‘I’ve got big dreams in a small city’ – Mac Miller
I hate change and I dread the anxiety that accompanies moving to a different country. I am a creature of habitat, but I think I’ve always had an inhibition to travel and explore. Or maybe it’s my denial of how having found The Place where I can feel like I belong.
My home, my culture and my ancestry don’t always coincide. It takes a while to explain to people, but those who know me know what I mean. Although wandering through life with a mixture of foreign exposures and an abundance of memories from travels around the globe may sound exotic and fulfilling, not being able to place your traditional and spiritual identity can sometimes make you feel very lost.
In a similar sense, I felt my views were outcasted and it felt difficult to relate to many when I lived in Adelaide. This was mostly due to the fact that I was always trying to get out while most had ambitions to stay. In a way, I appreciate the Adelaidians’ unquestionable love for their hometown, it’s very commendable. But despite the love I have for my own little hometown, I still long to explore. Seven months ago, I left Adelaide (covertly happy), not knowing when I would return. On June 27th, 2015 I said my second goodbye to Adelaide – this time (not so happy) reminiscing of the past few days when I was lucky enough to visit my friends, once again not knowing when I would return.
This time I was a tourist – a knowledgeable visitor with first hand knowledge of the city’s hidden gems. After three years, I learnt that T-Chow is still the best dim-sum restaurant in town, that an old favorite, authentic Malaysian restaurant, Nan Yang, still makes the best Hainan Chicken Rice in the world, and that the original Pancake Kitchen in a small alley on Hindley Street will always be home to the most fluffy buttermilk pancakes – ever.
I realized I had rediscovered my love for the city while strolling down Gouger Street one day, after indulging on St. Louis’ fine ice creams, eagerly pointing out the spots I used to frequent to my boyfriend. I narrated stories about the wonders of the Central Market and Adelaide’s Popup Bookstore to his patiently listening ear. And that was when I realized, there no way one could possibly resent a city that housed so many of their happy memories.
It’s great to travel and explore and seek out your ‘big dreams’, but sometimes it’s also nice to return to the small city you once called home.