Like a tourist with benefits

Featured in

  • Published 20150127
  • ISBN: 9781922182678
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

I HAVE A friend who says she weeps every time the plane descends over her hometown of Johannesburg. She has been away from South Africa for forty years but she is brought to tears whenever she catches sight of the city she left at the age of twenty. She never wants to return to live there permanently, but every time she flies in she is blindsided by emotion she cannot explain.

What is it about the place where you grew up? Can you draw more than sentimental memories from a home city you left behind a lifetime ago? In a world where mobility is coveted, where fluid connections with place are common, where someone in Milan or Prague or Perth can share precisely the same aspirations, does it matter where you are from?

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

If you are an educator or student wishing to access content for study purposes please contact us at

Share article

About the author

Helen Trinca

Helen Trinca grew up in Perth and moved to Sydney in 1980. She has held a number of senior jobs in Australian journalism and...

More from this edition


GR OnlineIN 2013 A total of 429,000 Western Australians visited Bali, with more than a thousand arriving every day. Most were tourists, but a relationship...

A very striking parasite

EssayI RECENTLY EMAILED a photo of the Western Australian Christmas tree, Nuytsia floribunda, to a Chinese friend in Nanjing. In uncharacteristically gushy fashion, she...

Not so easy

EssayA YOUNG MAN – scarcely more than a boy – stands on a rock beside the deep sea. A whale surfaces next to him,...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.