As an expat, it does you a world of good, to return to your 'homeland' and smell the roses as well as the horse apples, for it enables you to contemplate, and appreciate, both that which you have in your adopted home, and what you left behind.
I do love Australia for its natural beauty, its robust politics and levels of debate, and for the friendly earthiness of its people, happily leading with their chins, yet always ready to put another shrimp on the Barbie for visitors, roll up their sleeves, and get into any 'hard yakka' (work).
Just as with Bahrainis there is warmth to their welcome, and standing in the immigration queue awaiting entry, you see how multi-cultural the country has become.
It is indeed, for most, a 'lucky country' which has escaped many of the rigors of the global financial crisis.
But it also made me think that Bahrain too, is a lucky country.
I thought it at the petrol pump when I filled up the car at $1.58 per litre. It cost $80 to fill the tank.
I thought too of the ever increasing health care and education costs, and the continuous debate about increasing taxation rates, the burden of a goods and services tax, things which are not an issue here.
In countries like Australia, any riot damages or vandalism of public property, would be met by increasing taxes, and therefore a burden shared by all, unlike here, where the government keeps picking up the tab!
The price of food, none of it subsidised, has risen astronomically in Australia and while indeed there is a minimum basic wage for all, there were many people complaining that it wasn't enough.
So too complaints about the lack of government spending on Aboriginals, housing, infrastructure, welfare programmes, clean air, refugees, and the fact that the government was weak because it tenuously held office as a minority government, and consequently long-term decisions were delayed or ignored.
Then again, the highly professional bureaucracy generally works well and has eliminated much of the 'red tape' which blighted it.
The prime minister doesn't continually have to call for its cutting!
Sydney is now a city of more than four-and-a-half million, and it seemed that everyone had a car!
The 25km drive to our accommodation was in a bumper-to-bumper anaconda, over bridges and through tunnels, yet it flowed like a languid stream, with no-one driving in the emergency lanes left free for emergency vehicles, or people crossing three lanes to make an exit.
There were plenty of police and cameras and substantial fines, to make sure the rules were obeyed so that everyone, working together, got along more speedily than having to slow for bottlenecks made by 'me-first' merchants, trying to push in.
The key to traffic flow remains orderliness and everyone waiting their turn.
Until we realise this and the authorities instill discipline, our traffic situation will continue to be a major frustration, and a blot on our landscape.