As I sit at the airport waiting for my flight back to Melbourne, I am at a loss of how to sum up my three short days in Hobart, Tasmania. So many things in my travels went awry, but I eventually made it. And from the time I could see the land outside the window of the person next to me, I fell in love with the state. The rolling hills, the small lakes and rivers, the bright blue sky and snow-white clouds, the glistening sun. Everything felt fresh and different than any place I have ever been, and yet it felt strangely like home. I have no idea what makes this place so different and appealing than other place I have been. Maybe it’s the rolling hills that charming little homes climb. Maybe it’s the glistening waters that return the sun, or the short buildings that make the city feel more like a small town, or the lovely people. Or maybe it’s that I am a different person than the one who has been everywhere else I have traveled, but whatever it is, this city has felt more like home than anywhere I have been in years from the moment I stepped off the plane. From the moment I laid eyes on it, it has felt like curling up with the best book ever written in front of a warm fire on a cold winters day, hot chocolate in hand. It has felt like a bonfire on a late summers night with those you love most. It has felt like silent peace and thoughtful tranquility glistening on endless seas. It has felt, scarily, oddly, like home, like where I am meant to be.
And this feeling only grew throughout my journey. In the cab ride to the hostel, in my aimless wanderings exploring the city, in the little pubs in which I ate, in the Salamanca Markets with the incredibly talented street performers and charming venders, in the many parks, in the peaceful harbors, in the historical town of Richmond that oozed to be explored and absorbed into one’s soul, in the museums and art galleries that only further beg to be ingested, in the oldest brewery in the country, and in all of the little things in between, everything in the state begged me to stay, to keep absorbing the culture and history, to become one with the land and the people it holds.
And as I sit in the airport, I cannot believe that soon it will be gone. In less than an hour, I will be boarding a plane, leaving this place behind, and possibly never, ever returning, which is by far the hardest part of this trip. Tomorrow, life will roll on. Time will continue in Hobart, without me. And time will continue in Melbourne, with me, longing to return. I never expected to fall in love with a place as much as I have, or as quickly as I have. I know people talk about love at first sight with people, and until this trip I was skeptical at best. But after this weekend, I have no problem saying I believe in love at first sight, because I have experienced it. Not with a person, but with a place. An amazing place that I will definitely never ever forget.