I have been home in Sydney for the past week to finalize a work visa for my new job in Seattle. The trip, while being ‘immigrationally necessary’, has been the greatest gift.
When I landed the position at Groundspeak two months ago, I was thrilled – and then a little sad. I realized that it meant I would not see Australia, my home, for at least a year and a half.
Hence, the reason I have treated this week as a gift. The work visa was approved on Monday morning, and while I awaited the return of my passport, I enjoyed every moment of being home.
I have hugged old friends and chatted excitedly on the phone to others. I have swapped stories, gossip, concerns and triumphs, catching up on nearly a year of absense. I have talked at length with my dad, and spent an evening of laughter and tears at my aunt and uncle’s dining table.
I have indulged in many cups of coffee made by top-notch baristas, and stocked up on Jaffas and BONDS undies. I have taken dozens of photos of the most beautiful coastline in the world, filled a ziplock bag with sand from Bronte beach, and raided my storage boxes for much-loved books I want to take back to Seattle. I brought one suitcase, and I am taking two back. I have a tan.
And after just a week on Aussie soil, and my accent is as thick as ever (Ben calls it my Aussie accent ‘reboot’).
In a few hours I will be jetting across the Pacific Ocean on my way home. When I get there it will be one hour after I left, which I love, because it feels like ‘time travel’. I lost a Thursday on the way over, but am happily swapping it for two Saturdays.
On arrival, after hugs and kisses, and unpacking and showering (is there anything that feels better after a long-haul flight?), Ben and I will head over to our friend’s place for their housewarming party.
I will get to hug my new friends, and swap stories about our escapades over the past week, and plans for our upcoming holiday season. I will spend the rest of the weekend trying to get on Seattle time as quickly as possible, for on Monday morning I (finally) start my new job. I cannot wait.
So, I leave home to fly home, just as I did a week ago. When you have two places you call home, you are prone to twinges of homesickness, you will always miss loved ones, and you will sometimes slip into the annoying habit of comparing the two places – even if only to yourself.
But you will also have more love in your life, more joy, more nostalgia, and more hope for the future than you can possibly imagine.
I do. And I am very grateful. For all of it.