Whenever I meet someone new and they find out I’m from Australia, the most common response is ‘oh but Australia is a paradise/so beautiful, why would you ever want to leave there’?
I was born in Sydney but I never really felt at home there. Since I was a teenager, I dreamed of moving somewhere else. It’s been six years since I left and I don’t really miss it. If it wasn’t for my family, I wouldn’t have a reason to travel the 25+ hours back. I actually catch myself missing Vietnam quite often, but I don’t get the same feeling for Australia.
I left Sydney as a fresh 24 year old because I knew I had to get out. The world I knew there was obsessed with money, image, status. I was too young and impressionable to stay and not get sucked into it. So I had to leave.
I also had this empty feeling inside of me. Life was nice and shiny, but I felt like there was something missing. Surely there was more to life than just working or studying during the week and then going shopping and to restaurants on the weekend.
Moving to Berlin, I lost this feeling almost immediately. Life was more of a struggle, having to establish myself in a new place. Fast forward six years and this empty feeling hasn’t really come back. I think I’m strong enough now to live in Sydney and not get consumed by its dark side, but I don’t want to. Australia may be a beautiful country, the dream of many, but it’s not my paradise.