It has taken me some time to even consider writing about my experience coming home to Australia on the GC during this world pandemic. There are so many topics in my head that I want to talk about – my mind is exploding! I know that to some extent all of our worlds have been turned upside down and inside out over the last few months, but as I sit here in my “new life” I still can’t really believe it. From London, to New York, to iso life in Brisbane and now sitting overlooking the Gold Coast skyline from Palm Beach, it really has been a complete whirlwind. I want to get back to my regular blogging and really delve into some of my experiences during these crazy times – in classic Shannon style I somehow found myself in some of the largest hot spot areas and had to make some really difficult, split second decisions based on my ability to enter and potentially re enter the US, however to start off I want to keep it light.
In so many ways I feel like I really have not given myself a second to collect my thoughts – maybe that has been on purpose? I have been extremely fortunate to be loaded up with work over this time and this work has really allowed to me have a sense of purpose and push forward with life. The online dance community was so key to my mental survival during isolation and now is enabling me to stay connected to my life in the US – I don’t know if the students I have connected with from the future here down under will ever know just how much they gave me. The very weird hours were definitely worth it.
I’m getting side tracked again! The reality is this “Strayan in the City” has somehow found herself back to her original roots on the Goldie. I haven’t spent more than two weeks at “home” since I left for NYC in 2014 so today as I hit the 3.5 month mark of being in Australia the reality is really setting in . I have no idea what the future holds – at this point I’m not sure the Australian government would allow me to enter the US even if I wanted to. With that being said, I don’t know if I would want to return any time soon with the way the things are looking over there. My heart is torn – I am sure over the coming months the answer will come to me. I am so lucky to have so much in BOTH countries and two great lives with amazing people and love coming at me from all angles.
I will say that it has been lovely spending quality time with my friends and family over here – usually I am rushing about trying to fit so much in to a very short space of time. It has been lovely to truly catch up and just enjoy the company of those people that I have grown up with. Life in Australia has a sense of normalcy and I have been able to enjoy cafès and restaurants, gather in groups and even teach in real life dance studios! I went to a dance competition on the weekend and will get to judge this coming one. One of my close friends Mel said the other day “You have to be the most social person I know during quarantine”. I have been a social butterfly over here (within guidelines of course) catching up with as many people as I can and maximizing the time we can spend with each other.
I am very proud to be Australian in times like these as we have great leadership over here with an amazing health care system. I also have been able to indulge in all my favorite Aussie treats – vegemite, meat pies to name a few. I have even started reverting back to my Aussie “language” – the NY kids laughed the other day when I called the parking lot a “carpark.” How quickly I adapt! Not to mention the stunning beaches of the Gold Coast and the divine summer lifestyle that I appreciate more than ever now that I live in a very cold city. I am also visiting places I never even knew existed now that I have the time to actually do them. Yes, I was a workaholic when I lived here and although I am still pumping out the hours with a start time of 3am some days- talk about getting the most out of your day! Last week I ventured up to Mt Tamborine and did a hike through a rainforest with one of the most gorgeous waterfalls I have ever seen. I always thought I had to go to Hawaii to see such beauty and here it was in my own backyard. I have no idea what the future holds and my mind is still very muddled. I really hope that the USA can get back on it’s feet as it can be such a magical place to live. For now I am safe and with family at “home” and it feels right.