Not gonna lie, but as we near our three year mark of leaving Melbourne, I still have to say; I don’t miss it much.
Honestly, there isn’t much to miss. With advanced technology and the so-so internet speed on the island, we still have access to Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook etc. I actually communicate on a more frequent basis with my immediate family back in Australia. We have a group chat where we greet each other with ‘Good Mornings!‘ and messages about the mundanes (‘I’m making a coffee right now and reading the news.‘ – thanks for letting us know Mum), to the excitements (‘I got a new job!’ – Congrats to my little sister), to the things that are most important (‘I’m making a pork roast, with mash and beans. It was like, 98 baht in total!!!‘).
We post photos to each other too; an ocean sunset from Koh Tao, my other sister with a street view of London covered in 2 cms of grey snow (kinda – see below), and the family Christmas tree decorated in our childhood junk in Melbourne. All of this communication between us makes it feel like I’m just in the next room, typing on our smart phones, which incidentally is how we would sometimes communicate if I was still living at home!
I don’t even miss the actual presence of the important people in our lives that much. With such cheap flights offered by budget airlines, and Thailand being on most people’s list of places to travel, we have actually had quite a few family members and friends come over to visit. We go out diving with them, drink at the pool bar, eat at amazing restaurants and generally catch up in the amazing setting of an island in Thailand, at budget prices, rather than back home in Melbourne at an overpriced, hipster-esque cafe/bar where we bring our 100 baht equivalent and realise it won’t even buy us a muffin.
That is not to say I don’t miss home. Of course I do. And I know this isn’t forever. But with my family and friends being so close (via the internet and the frequent visits), there isn’t much to miss. Occasionally I’ll miss a juicy, red T-bone steak, smothered in creamy mushroom sauce, with a choice of condiments such as horseradish and dijon mustard at The Railway Club Hotel in Port Melbourne, or a god-damn amazing coffee from Third Wave Cafe, but these are simple pleasures that I can forego during my time living on a tropical island, where I dive for fun, have a constant kick-ass tan, and hang out with people I can call friends rather than colleagues.
It’s a hard life, but someone’s got to do it!