After more than a year of stepping off aeroplanes and into unknown adventures, there is something nice about being met at the baggage carousel by a friendly face and a “welcome home.”
Well, not technically home yet, but certainly starting to feel that way.
I’m back in Broome for another few weeks, still a locum, but working this time around at a GP clinic. Having made the decision during my last visit to Broome re-settle here, but unable to start at the hospital for another few months, I couldn’t face the thought of going to yet more strange places for yet more new locum jobs. I’m glad to say those days are over, as fortunately I was able to find a few months of work in the Broome primary care setting before the eventual “big move”.
Admittedly, I had a niggling worry that I would come back to Broome the second time around and think “oh damn it’s not nearly as good as I remember” and then have doubts about my longer term plans. But luckily that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, I’m becoming more and more enamoured with the place the more I get to know it.
I’m loving the fact that I can walk down the street and bump into friends and workmates. I love that I can drive around town without a map and not get lost. I love that I’ve found myself a sports team, a book club and a companion for regular trashy TV viewing. I’m glad to no longer be feeling so much like a tourist that I feel compelled to watch every sunset or try every restaurant, as I know there will be plenty more chances in my future.
I am enjoying slowly weaving myself into the interconnections in the town, where my volleyball rivals are discovered to be friends of friends, the local photographer becomes cultural guide and my neighbours are old work buddies from the emergency department.
Particularly awesome is how much easier working with the local hospital becomes when every phone call starts with “Mate! How are you?? We must catch up for a drink sometime…”
Increasingly, the people I interact with out and about the town are becoming my patients, and I’m sure this will land me in some socially challenging situations at times. But for now I’m just glad to be sticking around one place long enough to be able to say “come back and see me in a month” and feel like I’m actually providing some kind of continuity of care. I know I’ll miss it when I eventually move exclusively to hospital medicine.
Slowly but surely the first few roots are growing down into the pindan soil and I’m beginning to wonder if I will ever be able to tear myself away from this beautiful place…
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