“Days in the sun, Winter cold on your cheeks”
Here I am, chilling on a sailing boat somewhere in the pacific ocean. I’m looking out over the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever witnessed in my almost quarter life. I see islands. I see rainbow coloured fish. I see our skipper selling overpriced anklets to poor backpackers to save up for his wedding. I see exhausted divers falling asleep on deck. I see a bunch of restless guys shining their torches into the dark, on the hunt for sharks. I see a couple trying to be Jack and Rose at the front of the boat. I see some British chavs feeding the fish after a hardcore round of circle of death. I see myself staring out over the endless ocean. Wishing to be here forever. Am I happy? The happiest I’ve ever been.
Here I am, waiting my turn to ride a mechanical bull. Waiting for my death. I’m cheering for my friend who’s riding her bull like she’s never done anything in her life before. Which is pretty shocking for a big city girl. But then again, moving to the countryside has done nothing but surprise me. I start thinking about what I’m going to miss here when I have to leave – and I’m not only talking about the cowboys. I’ll miss the drunk nights under the stars. I’ll miss the moonrise. It always managed to take my breath away. The chicken parmi’s at the pub which left me indigested for days. The sun, peaking through my window every early morning. The people, some more than others. Am I happy? Does a bear shit in the woods?
Here I am, lying on a beach, watching my mate’s proud face as he returns from the ocean with a giant fish on his spear gun. I can feel the heat of the sun brushing my skin. While the others are discussing whether the bright coloured corpse is a protected species or not, I put my book about ice climbing aside – don’t ask – to take a Skype call from my sister. Turns out I’m going to be an auntie. And we’re going to have a Unicorn fish for dinner – talking about an eventful day. Am I happy? Hell I am.
Here I am. Home for the holidays. Ho ho ho. A year later, and it feels like everything’s changed. And in a way nothing has. There are more Christmas cards on the wall than last Christmas. My skin is more tanned, my hair more blonde. My appetite is still non existent, just like the money on my bank account. My sister’s belly is a bit bigger and my list with the people I’m gonna miss has only grown. Instead of spending my days shooting guns and chasing crocs in a 4×4 called Britney – it’s Britney bitch – I post Instagram pictures about my breakfasts. Am I happy? I guess.
Being so close again to family and friends who’re used to my drinking habits and constant moaning about the cold helps me dealing with being apart from the place where my heart lays. They make the grey days, endless waiting for my second year visa and the feeling of not belonging here a tad more bearable. It’s not the same as having a beach in walking distance, but spending nights sipping the most massive Martini’s and listening to my girlfriends’ awkward Tinder stories almost feels like the sun is gently stroking my skin again. Like she’s giving me a quick reminder she hasn’t forgotten me yet.