Ten years ago today, along with hubby (the chef) and two children, we left our home country and the people we love more than anything else in the world for a new life in Australia. What a crazy thing to do; who does that? Who takes their children away from their friends and family that love them so dearly to move to a country on the opposite side of the world? We did, that’s who! It’s not like it was even down the road or just a short cheap flight to a neighbouring European country.
Really we were starting again – no big family gatherings at Christmas; no grandparents to proudly visit the children at school on ‘Grandparents Day’; no godparents at their side to guide them through their early year’s; no aunties and uncles to spoil them and no cousins to grow up with.
Instead a life where we have learned that no one owes you anything, a country full of opportunities, that were ours for the taking, we just had to find the courage to go out there and find them; a country whose citizens welcomed us with open arms and treated us like one of their own and are always there for us.
Australia has been good to us. The children have soaked up their schooling and sporting opportunities that have come their way and the Chef has gone from strength to strength – so much so he isn’t a chef anymore and is working in a role he wouldn’t even have dreamed of back in the UK. I have learned new skills which have taken me in a completely new direction.
Of course the hardest part was leaving the people we love and our friends; for them it was harder in a way as we left a gaping hole in their lives. I can only describe the separation as a living bereavement and it was hard and sometimes it still is.
I don’t hanker to move back to the UK at all; immersing myself in our new life was my way of coping with homesickness and it helped enormously; I just concentrated on life in Australia and that was it, I’ve never looked back.
I’ve learned to drink coffee and in fact have probably turned into a coffee snob over the years. I’ve also gained a deeper understanding of grape varieties. I’ve learned to run – and stop again. I’ve learned that Koalas make a noise – a horrible one and wombats have backward facing pouches so they don’t fill up with dirt when they are burrowing. I’ve learned that South Australians queue better than any pommie and drive a lot worse. I’ve learned that Australians are more obsessed with the weather than Brits and they have a national pride that’s sadly long gone in Great Britain. And I’ve learned that Australians accept you for who you are and not for what car you drive.
Of course there are some things I miss, like decent radio and popping to friend’s homes and family gatherings at times of celebrations. We’ve missed family hatches, matches and dispatches which were always going to be the downside of our move but it’s something we have to prioritise and deal with. We’ve not been able to comfort our loved ones in their times of need nor have they been there for us but that was always going to be the case. There have been lots of ups and lots of downs which have moulded us into the people we are today. We have become stronger individuals and feel ready to take on any challenge that comes our way.
So all in all ten years of amazing adventures and our only regret is not doing it earlier, in fact we wish our parents had made the move when we were children, now that would have been perfect!