Like most of us in the world now, I’ve always lived in cities. I appreciate the convenience, infrastructure, employment and education, arts, and the illogical calm an introvert can derive from being surrounded by people without interaction. They’re communities, on a scale of millions.

For all intents and purposes, cities represent the pinnacle of human development. Here are entire societies of people living and working together in these huge and densely-packed structures in (relative) peace, getting along with our lives. It’s amazing we don’t all step on each others toes.

My old man’s job had us moving around varies Australian and Asian cities when my sister and I were growing up, but we always made the trip each year to Ubud in the Baliniese hills to unwind. My parents’ excitement rubbed off. The sounds, sights, smells and tastes of that part of the world left a deep impression on me.

For school camps in Singapore, we went to Malaysia and Thailand. For longer trips, we’d venture to Europe (my dad is German).

Like every self-respecting computer nerd, I also adore East Asian cultures. Clara and I both want to do an epic trip from Hong Kong, Seoul, Kyoto, Sapporo, Taipei. I also want to hit up New York, Boston, Montana and Toronto.

I’ve been so lucky with the travel opportunities we had as kids, and the disposable income now to travel the world at 30. Most people aren’t as fortunate, either by family or financial circumstances.

My dad’s job moved us around various ones in Australia and Asia when we were kids, but early on we were told of.

And then on the weekend, I headed up to North Arm Cove and Tea Gardens, small villages on the Central Coast of NSW. My old man retired up there, with a house five times the size of my apartment, waterfront views overlooking national park, and sounds of nature.

For really the first time in years, I recharged.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Hi!

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