I remember being in Canada and having people say(Australians mind you) “wow its crazy that you’re from such a small town and you’ve ended up/come all the way here”…… Ummmmmmm. Excuse me Mr. Melbourne’?(I still hear this in Brisbane, sigh). What the heck is that supposed to mean? Is that a compliment? An insult? Just something that people have not thought through before they’ve spoken? Why would me travelling abroad to live in another country be any different than my other Australian/foreign friends from cities/larger areas of the world? It’s kind of mind boggling. I had access to an airport, it wasn’t a 30minute uber away(you poor city slickers), but it was do-able. I had a good job, income(you generally make a better wage remote- der) and DESIRE, DRIVE and a massive WANT to go and live overseas, too. A few things stand out to me here. A massive one(which I’ve probably realized more with age) is:
When people say these, sometimes seemingly raw comments; they are generally just interested. I get it. Sometimes we can take these ‘unfiltered’ if you will, things the wrong way but it is really cool that strangers show interest in our lives. It’s cool they care! It’s great having a conversation with someone that is from somewhere you haven’t visited, you want all of the information you can get. I know I do!
Australian’s are well travelled. But when it comes to our own country I definitely think we could visit/learn/be more educated about certain pockets of our island. I do think where I am from originally(which is Katherine, Northern Territory, 3 hours south of Darwin- I’ve actually had an Aussie ask me where Darwin is located before- wow…) is quite misunderstood. Not many people I know personally have visited- but everyone has an opinion. We all have a voice these days, especially on the internet- (aka me on this blog, lol). Anyway, I often do feel like spite occurs when chatting to people that aren’t from a regional area.
In saying all of this, I am not from the most remote, isolated place in the world. I grew up in a town of 10,000 people. Small for sure. But It had everything you needed to survive. A grocery store, a few schools, a hospital, sporting opportunities(hated sport, catch me anywhere but there). It was a great up bringing- I grew up with three siblings and parents that are still together(rarity). We had so much fun. Spent a lot of time outdoors, swimming in our pool, rivers, going camping and fishing. I have so many great memories growing up in the NT. I feel privileged I was able to experience such a cruisey, low key, simple up bringing. I now see 10 year old kids walking across pedestrian crossings in Brisbane CBD and it looks so, odd. I want to grab their hand and make sure they get to school safe. But hey, it’s all about your upbringing and what you’re used to, right? These kids don’t know any different. Catching the public train to school and dodging corperate suits each morning would be the norm for them. I have no idea what that’d feel like. Just like they wouldn’t know what it’s like going to a high school with 500 kids. They’d think that’s odd.
Isn’t it so funny how much where we are from shapes us? Is it with us forever? I truly think so. No matter how much we move around(like I have), where we were born plays such a massive role in terms of who we are, our morals and values. I wonder if I’ll still be telling people that ask where I’m from that the NT is home in 20 years time? Probably. But then they say home is where the heart is huh, I feel like I’ve had many homes around the world. I’m lucky to have made so many memories in different parts of this country and globe. Katherine, Banff CA, Noosa, Queenstown NZ, Broome, Brisbane. Ah nostalgia. I cant wait to visit my previous ‘homes’ again.
Anyway. I tell everyone I meet to visit the NT. It’s barren, out of the way, unique, sunburnt, underpopulated(winning throughout COVID), wild, rugged, friendly, the wages are great, the sunrises and sunsets are some of the best I’ve ever seen, the lifestyle is a simple one, non-pretentious, you can’t buy booze past 8pm(boo), its always warm, there are waterfalls, millions of bugs, it’s full of wildlife, there are social issues, you can swim with crocodiles in Darwin CBD, you can drive a boat without a license and more likely than not you’ll hit a kangaroo or two driving the massive distances along the Stuart highway. The NT is classic Australia. It’s got to be visited. If you are reading this and are Aussie- go this year. Flights are cheap and it’ll be unlike anywhere else you’ve ever experienced. I promise 🙂
Will I ever live there again? Hmmm possibly, possibly not. It’s hard to go home again after living elsewhere for so long. But I LOVE visiting!
Shoutout to my mate TC for giving me inspiration for this blog!
Hope we are all having a wonderful week. x