I’m not really sure of how I expected to feel after 24 hours on the other side of the world. I guess I hadn’t paid much attention to it, given all the logistical planning and aforementioned goodbye-ing that has been occupying my mind recently. However, now I’m actually in this position, it’s fair to say that my emotions are somewhat mixed.
Don’t get me wrong, the majority of my famously limited emotional range is akin to a medium-sized child who’s just eaten his first white mouse in a sweet shop and who can’t wait to try EVERYTHING else all in one go. But, there is a tinge of weirdness thrown in for good measure.
Now, when I say weirdness, I don’t mean that in a negative way. Yes, the prospect of spending longer than ever before away from family, friends and loved ones is a daunting one, but this unusual feeling is more to do with my geographical location.
I’ve always been fascinated with media that deals with some sort of alternative world. Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, The Elder Scrolls/Fallout video games, these are all examples of my favourite things to watch/play because they give me the opportunity to immerse myself in a different world or version of this world. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t expecting to bump into any dragons or super mutants down under, but there was a natural assumption that, being so far away, it would be something quite different.
In a way, I’m right. I’ve only been here a day and already I’ve seen camels, road trains and drive-through off-licences. The latter of these things is definitely something I’ll be suggesting Britain introduces should I ever have the pleasure(?) of meeting Mrs. May, in a “what could possibly go wrong?” kind of way. I’m sure there will be plenty more weird and wonderful things that I’m not used to (such as people talking to me on the bus, I genuinely don’t know how to handle that) whilst I’m traversing this part of the world (did I mention Australia is fecking big?), but in all honesty, there’s a large dollop of familiarity here that leads me nicely onto a well-used cliche (without an accent on the e because I’m still jet-lagged and can’t be arsed to work out how to do it).
The world is a much smaller place than it used to be. In just one day I was able to travel from one side of it to the other (take that, Mr. Fogg). Furthermore, it doesn’t feel like I’m very far away at all. Last year, I wrote a blog post whilst sat in someone else’s garden, enjoying the sunshine and pondering what to do next in my new surroundings. Today, I’m doing the exact same thing, and my mind is struggling to comprehend the fact that I’m tens of thousands of miles away from where I was whilst hot-footing around Europe 12 months ago.
But as surprisingly small as it might be, it is full of mystery and wonder. Just like my…oh wait, my Mum reads this.