The plane wheels touched down, I cleared customs and then I could feel reality setting in. I could feel the beads of sweat. I was back in Sydney and the February humidity hit me like a sticky tidal wave before I’d even left the airport.

After an emotional reunion with my family at arrivals, it really hit me that I was back in the city I’d loved, hated and missed dearly after a year away.

On the first night I caught up with friends for dinner, reality hit me in the face again when we paid the bill. I’d missed Australia’s outstanding food, but paying $30 for a pub dinner (and just as much on drinks) was a shock to the system. I knew it would be rough but had somehow forgotten how rough.

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