Despite being the nearest ‘Western’ country to Malaysia, it took me until nearly mid-life to visit Australia (not counting a short work visit).
Many Malaysians have acquired a kind of affinity to Australia, due to study opportunities which were more affordable than traditional bastions in the UK. But my personal affinity had always been to the UK, reinforced by my postgraduate study in Wales.
By the time I considered Australia, a colleague-turned-friend had already moved to work in Sydney. So my visits to Australia began from a trip to visit her, and the theme has continued since. I usually choose to transit in Australia on the way to and back from the South Pacific, taking the opportunity to visit friends scattered across major Australian cities.
Consequently, some of my Australia stories tend to mention friends, and aren’t strictly solo. For I have many homes in this country.