The Wonder down under
Condé Nast Traveller India|October - November 2020
When I think of Australia, I think of my family, but also of the all-encompassing scent of eucalyptus in Cleland Wildlife Park, where I saw my first joey.
Saumya Ancheri

CHRISTMAS EVE, 2017 BEGAN AS USUAL, BOUND on a flight home. Except this time, it wasn’t to South India but halfway around the world to Adelaide, Australia. My folks, sister and her family had emigrated earlier that year. I walked into their residence to find that my parents had nailed moving in as neatly as every one of my father’s military transfers. The tree was up with presents below. Coffee, appam and egg masala were on the table, and Sunday service would begin shortly at the church across the road.

The last few months had been a bit of an emotional ride for me. I missed my family deeply and also luxuriated in knowing I was truly living independently in Mumbai. So as we sang carols in church, I felt both joy and relief that we were gathered under the same roof for Christmas.

My father often says two things: “It was destiny” and “You have just one life.” Over the next two years, each vacation Down Under felt exactly like living up to those principles.

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