As most of you know I’ve been living in Melbourne out here in Oz for about 14 months now. It’s been a blast – working for a pretty funky company that’s allowed me to explore new ideas and ‘do cool stuff’ as well as discovering a pretty funky country.
Australia has been good to me – it’s helped me lose a not-insignificant amount of weight (4 Stone/26 Kg), it’s helped me discover an active lifestyle I didn’t really understand I had or could even make happen. It’s provided me with friends that I’m going to be exceptionally upset to leave behind…. it’s a culture and a life-style I’m reticent to say good-bye too. Working out of Australia has been a real experience – I’ve never really heard the phrase “drink a can of harden-the-fuck-up’ and get on with it” before – but I have to say I agree with the general principle… Melbourne is the arse-end of beyond as far as the rest of the world goes, but that doesn’t seem to matter when you’re here – only when you’re on a plane trying to get here.
I land back in the UK on Thursday (17th) morning – I’ll be in the office from Friday (18th) and back to my old tricks – still working for Lonely Planet – just doing it from a slightly more ‘connected’ city… which should make my life a little easier.
I shan’t miss a few things from Oz – the price of books for example, or the sad lack of any technology launched in the rest of the world in the last 12 months, or the customer service (seriously… I didn’t think it could get worse than London). But they’re trifling things and I don’t want to sound like I’m moaning. I am looking forward to being in London again – how well it’s connected to the rest of the world, the feeling that you can actually change the world and the ability to grab absolutely anything you need – ever – by jumping on the bike and finding the right part of town… then haggling for it! I’m also rather looking forward to being so near France and the rest of the continent again… I didn’t think I’d miss the ‘idea’ of being able to dash over the channel… but there you go.
Here it is then – the final post from Oz, the final goodbye in the office and the final farewell to dear friends… but as the New Zealanders say… “you don’t lose a friend, you simply gain a place to stay in London.”