I moved. Again.
After living in Canberra for nearly three years, I’ve now relocated to Adelaide. I’ve packed up my entire life, said good bye to some of my best friends, and flown almost two hours to the west of Australia.
It’s time to start again.
This time, however—for the first time in my life— it doesn’t feel like I’m running away. All of my previous relocations had an air of hope, of expectation, of the self-made assurance that I was leaving for someplace infinitely better. Moving meant going to better places.
It’s different this time, though. I love Canberra. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in the capital. Every day was exciting. As mundane as a regular Tuesday afternoon was, I still had everything I loved—my writing group, sea shanties, poetry nights, gawking at the galas, shaking my head at cockatoos, and just being in nature day after day. Hundreds of gumtrees hundreds of years old lived in my backyard. The bush capital had become my home and there was no other place I’d have rather been.
Naturally, I had to leave.
Leaving a place I didn’t want to leave is one of the toughest things I’ve done in my life. But I’d become far too attached. That’s mostly a good thing, of course, but not when the attachment takes hold and breeds the fear of moving away‚ the fear of being uncomfortable and being in the unfamiliar. I was afraid that I might grow afraid to leave Canberra.
I had to push myself to explore new avenues. Adelaide came to mind. Hot, humid, close to the desert, and driest capital city in the country. It’s miles smaller than Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane, but that’s what I wanted—it’s the closest you can get to Canberra’s small-town vibes. Except of course, the population is still more than twice the capital’s. What’s life if you’re not putting yourself in hotspots? Here I am, doing that. Literally.
Canberra friends who lived and studied and worked in Adelaide were surprised to hear of my decision to move Adelaide. It’s a place most people moved away from, not to. In my friends’ eyes, I was hurtling headfirst into an unknown that probably has a stone cold floor.
Maybe it does. But I’ve got thick skin and a hard hat.
I hope to land on my feet, and if my feet get cold, I’ll happily admit and move on to another place. I always keep that option open. But never experiencing this city is never an option. I might be stupid to pack my entire life into a 45 litre hiking backpack and fly into a city I’d never been to before. But there’s no one right way to find yourself in a new city—there’s only what you know and what you think might work for you.
This works for me.