In this lifetime, I’ve touched down on 5 out of 7 continents and let 3 out of 5 oceans lap against my toes. Traveling is my happy place, despite my intense hatred of security checkpoints and liquid limitations. Landing in Hong Kong en route to Sydney was surreal. I really didn’t know what to expect. I will say, the girls are hella fashionable, the guys are super slim and trendy, and my technology envy was at an all time high. They have a gadget for everything. Incredible.
My time in Australia was pretty transcendent. I have never met such a lovely group of sun-kissed, outdoorsy, champagne and beer sipping, fun-loving people. And to top it all off, they’re my family. I haven’t been very close to my grandfather’s side of the family. Just a few familiar people amongst a wide collection of names and faces with a shared last name. I was always particularly intrigued by the branch of our tree that found itself in Australia, oceans away from home.
I was never a Christmas fanatic; in NYC I didn’t visit the ginormous tree or chase the world renowned plummeting New Years Eve ball. But, spending the 2014 holiday season in the middle of the desert did not appeal to me at all. I didn’t want to be alone while everyone I love was together elsewhere. I had been pushing to keep my head above waves of homesickness and loneliness and I needed to be around family, even if it was family I only knew from afar. This trip helped. The time I spent with my hands cupped around a homemade latte, laughing on kitchen stools, and basking in sunlight on a quiet trampoline helped. Cackling at inane Aussie tv shows with my cousin while swaddled in her bed helped. Exploring a new city on my terms helped.
Needless to say, Min loves Oz. I mean, I was plotting a second trip before I even finished the first one. Which reminds me, I promised to tell the quick tale of how I almost moved to Australia by accident. It started out innocently enough: a group of friends and small army of champagne bottles.
I’m still not 100% sure what happened after the countdown, but there is photo and video evidence that confirms that I enjoyed myself. And, Beyoncé was my soundtrack. I lifted my head from the pillow an hour after I was scheduled to be at the airport. My cousin, dazed and amused, was on her phone graciously allowing my aunt to give her the best I Told You So speech of all time. No better way to start 2015.