Right now, I’m sitting behind my desk with a view on a typical Dutch, flat and frosty landscape, trying to figure out what to write. My hands are freezing and when reminiscing the past 5 months I get overwhelmed by a variety of emotions. It’s official, after half a year of building up a life in Sydney, Australia I’m back in that little village in the north of The Netherlands. People say: “Welcome home!” but the meaning of the word “home” only confuses me.
Looking back on my last week in Sydney, it couldn’t have been any better. Wednesday (Valentines Day) evening was the graduation party, cruising on a boat through the harbour of Sydney, we all watched the sunset, ate pizza and had a great time. The next day, after school, was simple and held the purpose of letting me take in all that there is about Sydney. Being able to experience certain activities or enjoying specific sights for the last time was just a necessity before saying goodbye. That evening we went out to Ivy’s, which turned out to be one of the best nights so far. The music, the people, everything added up to an amazing evening with my crazy and amazing friends. Friday was my graduation and after getting my EF certificate I went to Coogee Beach to get my last Coco Bliss açaí bowl. Back home, I finish up my packing and it’s just horrible to see my suitcase all ready to go. Jil is with me and together with a big group of friends we head out for 3 meter long pizza, rides in a ferris wheel and continue to enjoy my last night in Sydney at a club. At 4 A.M. I finally go to sleep, but after one hour May stands in front of my door and it’s time to catch the sunset on Bondi beach. This is one of the sights I had wanted to see since September, but never actually went out to do it. After gazing at the sky wrapped up in a little blanket I was immensely happy and even though I hadn’t crossed off every thing from my bucket list, I was satisfied with everything I had done.
That last day went by so quickly on the beach and within no time we were at the airport with a big group of friends, saying goodbye while keeping in mind that I might not see some of them for years. It’s sad, definitely, but I didn’t realise this fact until my flight from Dubai to Amsterdam took off, and I started tearing up. My flights went by quick and smooth without any trouble or delay. Walking through those doors at Schiphol, scanning the crowd in search of my family is a weird, joyful and indescribable feeling. It was great to be able to hug them again and be so close to them after being divided by hundreds of kilometres.
I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that I’m actually back again. Everything is so different, the most significant factor would obviously be the cold weather in contrast to the 30 degrees I had in Sydney. But also the difference between world city and small Dutch village, everything feels different yet familiar. Breathing in fresh, cold air is lovely, but I miss the warming sun on my skin. The quietness at night is pleasing, but I keep wondering when the sounds of a city by night jump in. Being in a familiar environment is comforting, but I can’t stop thinking about new adventures or places. This is exactly what I mean with being in two minds about whether I’m home or not. During those five months, Sydney has become just as much my home as The Netherlands. This can be explained by the fact that I built up a whole life over there, with an own place, activities, responsibilities and most importantly: family. Those who become close to you are not just friends, you ask them for advice, you rely on them and support each other whenever necessary.
People are quick to perceive this as something negative or sad, and somewhere I agree with that, as I am incredibly sad that I had to leave Australia. However, it has been an amazing experience and it’s incredible to think that I have gained so many new friends, interests and experiences. Sydney has offered me so many amazing opportunities and I tried to take on every single one of them. This time abroad has helped me grow and learn about myself. For all those we have made these 5 months possible, an amazing experience and supported me during every single step, both in The Netherlands and Australia, thank you!