Not sure if I brought this up before, but I decided to meet my brother in Munich for Oktoberfest, arriving in Germany on the 19th of September. Before that I had to go back to New Zealand to pick up and ship my winter gear, and of course, say hello to the gang. Working backwards, I decided that the absolute latest I could leave Australia would be the second week of August, giving myself enough time to relax in New Zealand, see my brother in San Francisco, pack up my things in Houston, then drive to Boston. I booked a flight from Brisbane to Queenstown for the 11th of August.
And I worked right up until that date. My last day was that Friday the 8th. The office had a goodbye lunch for me, and with that I went back home and met my friend Maddy (fellow bartender from Wanaka who was working in the Northern Territory). She had come into town for the weekend to see me before I left.
The weekend was great, highlighted by the visit to the Ekka, a large rodeo & cattleshow complete with cowboys and carnival rides. Maddy grew up on a farm and rode horses for quite some time, so she was in her element. I on the other hand, was ankle deep in cow shit, and would’ve settled for a cocktail in the Valley.
We wandered around the grounds, Maddy went and looked at the cows and horses, and we met up with Brad for a drink. I was leaving the next day and was grateful for the chance to say goodbye before I left. This whole crazy Australian experience kicked off only when I met Brad and Phil in Sydney almost 21 months earlier, so it was only right that I ended it with them.
The next day I shipped off a box with my motorcycle helmet, papers and clothes to my parent’s house in Boston, and Zorba took me to the airport.
I wasn’t done with Australia. Even though I may not come back to live there, I will still return to visit. And the friends I made there provide more than enough incentive.