I did it! Deep down I knew I could. But I definitely had a moment or two where even I thought that this master travel plan I derived was pure meshugenah.
But as I closed the door to my St Kilda apartment for the very last time and headed off to the airport to fly out of Melbourne, I realized I was leaving behind a new home. A place that will forever be associated with good food, good friends, and unbelievable life experiences.
As I look back at my blog post titled The Truth About Homesickness that dates back to March, I describe the extreme homesickness that crashed on my couch for a while upon first arriving in this marvelous city. And for a quick moment, it looked as if it were going to completely take over the house and send me on the next flight home.
But somehow, someway, things started to fall into place. My apartment turned out to be in a great central location, my roommate turned into one of my closest Melbourne friends, my job turned into enough to sustain my travel needs, the strangers I worked with turned into a group of girls to welcome the weekend with, my desire to stay fit turned into a great way to get involved in the community, and my research to get to know the Jewish community turned into the closest thing to Melbourne family.
And as two glorious weeks of last minute exploration, celebrations, and farewells came to an end, there is no better way to describe the term “bitter sweet”. I have daydreamed repeatedly of the moment I finally get to embrace each of my family members in the hugest bear hug ever. I have planned out my first 72 hour itinerary of the Chicago hot spots I must visit and seeing my girls whose couches I must camp out on. But on the flip side, I no longer will be able to attend Nike Run Club every Wednesday night, enjoy authentic Columbian arepas, grab my $1 cup of flat white from 7 Eleven, wave to the security guard every time I pass the Jewish Museum just down the block, serve my favorite customer his brekkie, or camp out at the Victoria State Library for the afternoon.
I have been asked countless times how I feel about leaving Melbourne, and in not to long of a time, leave Australia all together. And if I could be completely selfish, and just uproot my family and bring them to beautiful Melbs, perhaps one day I would make this my permanent residence.
But for the time being Melbourne will always be the place where I grew, where I laughed, where I cried, and where I learned that truly truly any dream can come true!