With less than a month until I return to Australia, it has dawned on me how much Krakow has become like home too me. I know and regularly frequent all my favourite places to eat, drink and party and I have an extensive list of restaurants where you can find the best and cheapest pierogi.
However, I had become so accustomed to this city that I had almost forgotten all the reasons that I fell in love with it in the first place. Instead of doing what I had done when I initially arrived, I hurriedly walked past all of the magnificent buildings and breathtaking scenery. I no longer stood in awe admiring the beauty that surrounded me. They and everything else that wowed me on my initial arrival were now just a part of the background to me. The city became a blurred backdrop to my life and its little dramas.
Although this realisation initially sadden me, it showed to me that I was fully comfortable in new home and I had adapted to the different conditions. That is not to say that there are still not some difficulties but nonetheless, I am pretty content with my time in Krakow and the way it has progressed. I am almost 100% certain that on the day that I leave I will shred a tear as I say good bye to the friends I have made and leave the first city which I not only visited overseas but also lived in away from my family and friends. This is the city that I have ultimately done the most growing up in and our final farewell will be bitter sweet.
With all this in mind, I began to reflect on returning home. Before I left, Brisbane was where I lived but I did not have an appreciation for everything that it had to offer me. There are so many places that I have not visited as I have simply put it off and said to myself ‘I can do it another time, it will always be there’. It is a sad thought that I never just once stopped while rushing on my way to classes or to meet friends to have a look at what was around me and truly take in all of the beauty.
The urge to indulge in a Brisbane love fest came to a head when our Border Crossings organiser Agnieszka showed us photos from her recent trip to Australia. As I gazed at the pictures which had been carefully laid out in her photo album and I saw the looks of joy on her face as she regaled us with stories about her time in Australia, I realised how little appreciation I had given to my own country. Being able to view Australia through someone else’s eyes allowed me to realise that there was so much beauty and culture that I had taken for grant.
While this event has changed my outlook on Australia and will certainly affect my lifestyle when I get home, it has also meant that I have rethought how I will approach my last few weeks in Krakow. Instead of becoming complacent and ignoring the beauty around me, I am going to truly view Krakow and take in everything that the city has to offer. With visitors arriving from Australia tomorrow, I am sure this will only deepen my love for this city as I get to share with them everything that has made my experience of Krakow unique and life changing.