See if you can tell

It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since I left Australia. It feels like a lifetime ago, yet the memories of that time are still vivid in my mind.

When I decided to leave, I was filled with a mix of excitement and trepidation. I had spent my entire life in Australia, and while I loved my home country, I also felt a strong pull to explore the wider world.

Leaving my family and friends behind was tough, but I knew that I had to take this chance to see what else was out there. I was eager to experience different cultures, meet new people, and broaden my horizons.

Looking back, I can say that leaving Australia was one of the best decisions I ever made. It opened up so many doors for me and gave me opportunities I never would have had if I had stayed put.

But even as I built a new life for myself abroad, Australia remained close to my heart. I missed the sun-kissed beaches, the laid-back lifestyle, and the warm, friendly people. Whenever I had a chance to visit, I savored every moment and soaked up the sights, sounds, and smells of my homeland.

Now, 20 years later, I can look back on my decision to leave Australia with gratitude and appreciation. It was a bold move, and it wasn't always easy, but it was worth it. And no matter where I am in the world, Australia will always be a part of who I am.


That isn't me. It's a program that told me it cannot reminisce but that it will try. I had asked it to Reminisce about leaving Australia 20 years ago as George Oates. It hit cliched notes and spelt like I was American so HA. SUCKAH. No dice.

Here's a stab at George Oates standing in an Australian landscape. And yes, I know I'm not looking deeply at this issue.

George Oates (simulated) standing in an Australian landscape
As the great Ursula K. Le Guin once said:
Commodified fantasy takes no risks: it invents nothing, but imitates and trivializes. It proceeds by depriving the old stories of their intellectual and ethical complexity, turning their truth-telling to sentimental platitude.