Most people assume I’m homesick. Only the other day, a visitor asked why I had no Australian Christmas carols. Aside from the fact that not many exist (and that many of the Australian Christmas iconography is shared with Britain) I don’t need these things to remind me of home.

Not being homesick doesn’t mean that I hate home. For me my lack of homesickness is that I can adapt to my new surroundings and find things to enjoy where I am. Symbols of home are just that  – symbols. They only stand in for the real thing as much as you want to believe it.

Of course I have memories and a song or a food can trigger those memories. I wonder if this is not what many people think of when they are homesick – the memories of the place and not the place itself. My memories live somewhere else. Perhaps selfishly they are a part of me and don’t belong to the broader land.

Yes, there are some specific things I miss from home: seafood and the band scene. But there are things I have found to replace them – the beautiful countryside, the local beer and the challenge of learning a new language. Everything is a trade off. Memories are golden. And we always mint new ones.