I am starting my last serie of posts on Australia, as I have now reached the end of all my knowledge on that beloved country. Last but not least, Western Australia. I kept it for the end, for a few reasons, and most of all because it has been my absolute favorite Australian state. Also, probably because it is still such a deep memory, the good and the bad are still intertwined in a swirl of laughs, happiness and tears.
My brother is now living in Perth, he broke the news to me the very day I came home from 16 amazing months of travelling, through my mother, probably for fear of what I would say. If I like to think that family is sacred and that I should ONLY have been happy for him to have the opportunity to live the same life changing experience I had, it only broke my heart so deep I wasn’t too sure how to fix it. I can’t really say how much of what I felt as a betrayal conditioned the way I now consider my experience in Western Australia but it sure made it an open wound, a memory so dirty that I would only feel sick and enraged every time the word Australia would be brought up. Time has passed since then, and if I am able to have the best outlook possible on my experience in OZ, I still don’t know how to deal with the curiosity of my whole family around the new life my brother has given himself.
“He owes it all to himself, you have no right to be angry at him” that’s exactly how Mom put it. “He took lots of risks to go there, and live the life he wanted”. The only thing he did was live the dream of MY life exactly at the moment it was taken away from me.
But family is like that that you learn to forgive. Anything. C is always talking of the days when “we’ll be back there. Because we will. Won’t we?” Won’t we? Can we revive the happy days that we’ve had? What happens if the day we finally set our backpacks down there (because we will) none of what we remembers is there? One thing is sure, we won’t ever find what we used to have. And when I am asked now “If you have the chance to live in Oz again, where would it be?” the answer is not Fremantle anymore, for the fear of ruining the memory of what are the happiest days of my life is greater than the expectations of a lifetime of beach and sunshine.
I absolutly did not intend that post to go on like this, but I think that is an interesting subject, how do we react to a ‘coming home’ after what appears like a lifetime away?We always hear about the ‘cultural gap’ between our own culture and the one we enter into when we travel somewhere, but what about the cultural gap you feel when you come back after so many months away? How do you come to terms with it? I used to think then that I would NEVER come home, that my home was nowhere or everywhere but certainly not France, and it was so deeply rooted inside of me that I believe it is the only explanation to why I agreed to get on that plane that would take my back to the Old continent. The belief that I would go back, come home to the Down Under, far away from a country to which I stopped to belong. I see a lot of blogs around here of people travelling the world, I think what I want to know is how you deal with the coming back, leaving behind the exiting life of travelling, letting go of the backpacking community to come back to a normal routine of work, listening to the news everyday and worrying about the future.
I will make sure to prepare a proper post tomorrow about the amazing wilderness of WA, in the meantime, enjoy these few shots…