The room is empty, the keys left on the corner of the kitchen counter, and the door has shut behind me. I’m now officially homeless again after 5 1/2 years.
Not to say I have nowhere to go, but back when I first moved to Australia, I struggled to define what made a place home, because for the first time in over 10 years, I didn’t feel like that place existed anymore. And for me, it boiled down to a bed. Somewhere that I had a bed that belonged to me, that was mine and no-one else’s, that was not a change of sheets away from the next person who you had never so much as met; that was what became home for me. As my bed now lies dismantled on the curb, I no longer live in Australia. I am an upwardly-mobile hobo.
It’s amazing to think back on what nearly 6 years can produce. From the first bleary, jetlag-addled cab ride down George St through Haymarket to my crash pad set up by work to keep me functional for the first month, I have both stretched and contracted in my life. I have woken to an entire city turned orange with the sunrise glow on a dust storm half the size of a continent. I’ve watched the first sunrise of the year from one of the first beaches on the globe to witness it. I’ve driven the Great Ocean Road of Victoria, snowboarded on the improbable snowfields of the Australian highlands, snorkeled over the Great Barrier Reef, gotten plastered on many occasions in pubs and wineries, gone to parties, avoided parties, met new people and grown apart again. I’ve traveled more than I ever dreamed, and I’ve grown increasingly distant from the mountains and wilderness I once defined so much of myself by.
And now we start on the next part, to see what it will bring. To see what it will make of me.