This day eight years ago, I moved from New Zealand to Australia. That was definitely one of the moments that changed my life the most, though Mum and I were perfectly calm and acting like nothing out of the ordinary was occurring when we landed in Brisbane. Overall, I can say without hesitation that moving was a positive thing - though it certainly had its negatives. 1998 has no competition as the worst year of my life, and Australian food and sport is not as good as at home, especially the sport. All in all, Australia is a nice country. The stupid foreign stereotypes are largely if not wholly untrue, and while Australian Internet may suck, it's a whole lot better than Kiwi Internet! I must be honest and say the scenery isn't particularly interesting - while the Outback may initially seem interesting, if you've seen a part of it, you've seen it all. And frankly, the drive down the east coast from the Gold Coast to Melbourne and the train ride up the east coast from Brisbane to Bundaberg are both like passing through a less interesting version of New Zealand.
As much as I hate Queensland and am apathetic towards New South Wales, I really do like Victoria. Melbourne may be my favourite city outside New Zealand - of course, nowhere could compete with the awesomeness of cities like Wellington and Christchurch. Sadly, the Gold Coast and Brisbane are town planning disasters, the very definition of what not to do, and they don't exactly have the world's greatest climate. Being Australia's cultural black holes does not help either. Living in southeast Queensland has somewhat marred my perception of Australia. But I've made a few great friends and found my faith here, and I'm pretty certain my life in NZ would not have been as good as the one I've had here, so I'm thankful Mum chose to move.
I must say, though, that eight years is far too long to be outside New Zealand, and I'm really not looking forward to the day when I'll have lived half of my life outside of the country. Wearing the shirts of our national sporting teams doesn't exactly cut it some days.
So that's another year gone. Where does the time go?