Tag Archives: nostalgia

Life in Melbourne (2016 in Review)

I bow down to pray
I try to make the worst seem better
Lord, show me the way
To cut through all his worn out leather
I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away
But baby, I just need one good one to stay
~ A Million Reasons by Lady Gaga

Travel has very much defined my life in the past few years, having embarked on numerous ‘big’ travels (self-defined as one month or longer) spanning 4 continents, approaching 40 countries and an estimated 100 cities. Each ‘big’ travel has coincided with various milestones in my life: exchange semester in Europe, graduation from university, leaving my first job in Singapore and selling my stake in a backpackers hostel.

After stepping down as a business owner of the backpackers, I decided to move to Melbourne and begin a new life overseas. 2016 has been the first full year I spent in Melbourne. Primarily due to the lack of any major happenings in my life, 2016 is also the first time in the past few years where I had not done any ‘big’ travels. Inevitably, I begin to reminisce on my past travels and my mindset following each milestone, which could be described in the following words: exchange in 2011 (inspired), graduation in 2012 (hopeful), quitting my first job in 2013/14 (idealistic) and ceasing to be a business owner in 2015 (thoughtful). If I were to chart the positivity of these ‘one-word’ adjectives over time, it will be on a downward trend. Likewise, the pattern has persisted into 2016, for I will use the word – confused – to describe my current sentiments.

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The Notion of Home

“If I could go back home
If I could go back home
If I’d never left, I’d never have known
We all dream of leaving but wind up in the end
Spending all our time trying to get back home again”
~ Home Again by Elton John

Travelling – especially when alone – clears my head of worries and allows for thoughts to wander freely without distractions. With this clarity of mind, the sensorial experience of listening to music gets accentuated. The meanings of the lyrics, as well as the melodic structures and vocal intonations of songs, become more apparent. A greater understanding of the music then triggers a deeper emotional response within myself. This is particularly true when listening to songs about home, which leads to me feeling especially poignant. And I will scratch my head in confusion – for wanderlust have always left me feeling unsettled at home and led to me searching for far-flung places to visit. If you are continually seeking to escape from home, why will you feel poignant when reminded of home?

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