Wednesday, 12 February 2014

playing tourist

Sometimes it takes returning to a familiar place to make you realise just how good it really is. When John and I moved to Ireland in 2012 it was just as exciting for him as it was for me, as it gave him the opportunity to see his home in a shiny new light. So taking him back to the small(ish) town that I've called home for all my life has afforded me the same experience. And that's exciting.
Canberrans truly are their own worst enemy. The city has a reputation for being home to lackluster politicians devoid of soul, abundant in roundabouts and with a distinct lack of things to do, but that couldn't be any less true. Well, maybe the roundabout thing. Having the opportunity to play a tourist in a city you've become so accustomed to just living in is really exciting. 
Over the past month we have drunk in bars that wouldn't have been out of place in trendy suburbs in London or Berlin, seen exhibitions collaborating pieces of art and literature from all around the world and bushwalked through families of kangaroos, all within a 20 kilometre radius. There aren't many cities in the world that can offer that.
The charm of Canberra comes from the fact that it's actually a melting pot of national and international exports. Canberra is a relatively new city, having only turned 100 in the last year. This means the population has built up from people from all around the country headed to the capital for job opportunities, international students coming to study at the highly acclaimed Australia National University and people who have visited and decided to stay for the safe, relaxed style of living mixed in with the stable economy and peppered with a touch of cultural satisfaction from the countless museums, festivals and exhibitions the city is privileged enough to host each year.
When we were exploring Ireland we were lucky enough to spend a year treading footsteps throughout the country but with limited time in Australia we've decided to spend our time with family and friends soaking up all that this charming little city has to offer. So we have visited Questacon and the Australian War Memorial, two really interesting museums that I haven't been to since I was about 10 years old. 
We've drunk copious amounts of sangria at the Canberra Multicultural Festival which was so packed with happy, jolly people that it took 20 minutes to walk 200 metres. We've camped in quintessentially Australian Wee Jasper, only an hour and a half from the city centre and swum in the ocean at Batemans Bay, an easy day trip of about the same distance.
I don't think that travelling the world has to mean escaping the ordinary of where you've come from. I think it means realising just how beautiful and unique every single city can be, Sometimes you just have to look a little harder in the places you least expect it.

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely blog, very interesting a inspiring! I need more!