I’ve just returned from a road trip with three girlfriends. We drove all the way across Australia, from one coast to the other, south to north.
On our first day of driving, as we left our city and drove through the countryside, I felt an almost umbilical connection to this land. My love for my country and my sense of pride in it runs deep. It’s what I know, it’s my home, and it’s been good to me.
By the end of my trip, however, I began to wonder how much I know my country at all.
The face of Australia is so multi-faceted, that I began to realize how vastly different my experience of ‘home’ is to other people’s. Outside the cities we drove through rural farmland; country towns that have a lifestyle and culture of their own.
Beyond that, things change even more. Decades of bush lifestyle have been carved out in remote regions, where a run down roadhouse is the central social hub and isolation is a way of life.
Further on we came to Aboriginal lands; where children roam the dusty streets with vicious looking dogs in the middle of the day.
And I wondered about school.
And I realized how much I don’t understand.
And we discussed and debated what should be done, and realized that we don’t have the answers.
And we wondered if anyone does.
And I thought of the bright lights of Sydney…
…and it felt like another world.