Nostalgia is a funny thing. Having traveled most of my life, I'm often finding myself reminiscing about the past, about my life before I moved. I wonder what I would be like if I had of stayed there, who my friends would be, what I would be interested in. Sometimes, I think I would be an entirely different person. I've felt like a bit of a traveling gypsy, seeing parts of Australia that most people haven't, all before the age of ten. I loved moving houses and towns. Renting was like a holiday to me, a temporary home, rather than somewhere to settle. Moving schools was never a problem, merely an excuse for me to make more friends, learn new things and experience different kinds of educations.
Nine years ago, my family decided to cut our ties to our traveling past and buy a house, a home just for the four of us and our three dogs. A quaint little weatherboard cottage, white in colour with a green picket fence out front was our new home. Lavender grew through the gaps in the fence, an old tree spread it's limbs and leaves over our backyard, a treehouse high in the sky with views over the neighbourhood and high school. I have fond memories of our house now. All the renovations we did to it, the work on the garden my father worked so hard to make it look beautiful, the shed we built and the games room and sleep out area my brother and I created. The old fernery outside my bedroom window, the treehouse made out of an old bed that we jumped off and onto our trampoline. I remember living five minutes away from my best friends and even closer to my school.
The winters were cold, my hands would turn purple with orange spots with the frost each morning. The summers were hot and steamy, fires were common in the valleys and clouds of smoke drifted over the town. Today I miss the smell of burning trees, even though I have a fear of fire. In summer we would swim in the rivers, climbs trees and have water fights in our backyard. Our street had an annual christmas party around the time of my birthday and I remember vividly having a fantastic weekend of celebrations with my friend, Demi. Days were spent at the pool, flirting with boys in our year level and showing off our latest swimwear. The evenings were spent walking kilometres around the neighbourhoods with our pets, running and laughing, talking about our adventures. I remember spray painting a second hand bike green and riding along the rivers with my brother. Winters were frosty and foggy. We spent our time hibernating inside, next to fireplaces and watching movies. On Saturday mornings we would play netball with other girls from our school, it was often highly contested, it wasn't just a hobby. Afternoons were spent watching football in the rain and cold, cheering on our local heros.
I feel most nostalgic about my time in the country because I still have many ties there, waiting to be cut off. It was my home for six years, my home for longer than anywhere else. Certain weather and the smell of freshly cut grass remind me of my younger years spent there. All the memories I don't remember, all the ones I choose not to remember. Sometimes I question whether it was a good decision that I left, but whenever I go back for a holiday, I am always reminded that it was. It definitely was.