Hamilton Pool

Austin's Hamilton Pool is one of my favorite summer spots.

It was never in my plans to leave Sydney quite so soon, but family calls, so it’s time to say goodbye to the sunburned continent for now. I will miss the “no-worries-mate” blue skies, the sparkling harbor, the miracle economy and, most of all, the friends who have served as family during my time here.

I am headed for another city of intrigue, however: Austin, Texas. My home for four years as an undergrad at the University of Texas, Austin is familiar territory. My sister has lived there for nearly two decades and I have spent a lot of time there on visits.

The self-proclaimed Live Music Capital of the World is a hodgepodge of cowboy culture and hipster cool. The scorching summers are made bearable by two lakes and a generous sprinkling of icy, spring-fed pools. Throw in the fact that it’s a major high-tech center and the state capital at a time when another conservative governor is running for president, and it should be a very interesting place to be right now. I look forward to the adventure.