Six Year Expativersary

expat issues 4 Replies

6 years ago today (today = a little over a month ago. I’m a bit late on this post), my two suitcases and I landed in Sydney. I thought we might stay for 5 years. We’re not going home anytime soon.

It makes me sad to write that, but 6 years ago, I couldn’t imagine the clown car carrying Donald Trump hurdling recklessly towards a potential Presidency. I’ve written and deleted many paragraphs on this topic, but it’s bigger than I can talk about. Bigger than I want to think about. Bigger than Trump. If you’re here, you get it. Or, you don’t, maybe … I can’t do anything about that.

Regardless, my husband, my daughter and I will be calling Australia home for some time longer.

This is not my perfect home. There are parts of myself that I’ve lost in the past six years. My choice to stop driving has stripped me of an independence that I used to love. Leaving work outside the home has given me a lot more freedom of movement, but left me with less intellectual confidence. I don’t have the roots of family or longtime friends here.

You know what I miss the most in this world? I miss having a best friend. You know that person you feel like you’ve know forever, who you call up anytime and say, “hey, what are you up to today?” And they say, “oh, listen, I just have to run to Target to get some new pillowcases. Want to come?” And you’re like, “Uh, YES! See you in 20.” Does anyone have that once you have children, or is this a symptom of having transitory expat friends?

It’s not perfect, but Australia is going to be home for now. I can’t imagine a place I’d rather raise a child. At this stage in my life, that’s just about the only consideration that holds much weight.

But, I defiantly hold onto things from home because these little rebellions make me feel like I still have one toehold in my home:

  • My American i-Tunes account
  • Saying zee, not zed
  • Making my kid peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch
  • Using the Oxford comma
  • Voting in American elections

So, a year past my expected Australian expiration date, life just carries on – me being my quirky self, happy most days, grateful for the many gifts I’ve been given in this life. Health, family, friends, beaches, flat whites, and the ability to choose which country I call home.

As I do every year, I’ll leave you with some the most significant images from my past year.

If you’d like to know what I’ve thought about on previous expat anniversaries, try these:
1 Year Expativersary
2 Year Expativersary
3 Year Expativersary
4 Year Expativersary
5 Year Expativersary

Coffees on the beach. The best of Sydney life.

Coffees on the beach. The best of Sydney life.

My favorite singer in this world came to Australia for the first time in 10 years. I was in absolute heaven.

My favorite singer in this world came to Australia for the first time in 10 years. I was in absolute heaven.

This theatre major got to see the Theatre of Dionysus.

This theatre major got to see the Theatre of Dionysus.

This was my balcony for a week.

This was my balcony for a week.

We met the Princess of Serbia, and she was gorgeous.

We met the Princess of Serbia, and she was gorgeous.

My kid was baptized.

My kid was baptized.

Jacarandas!

Jacarandas!

We threw a baby shower for one of the best girls I know. One more beautiful baby in our AusMerican extended family!

We threw a baby shower for one of the best girls I know. One more beautiful baby in our AusMerican extended family!

We took an impromptu trip to Jervis Bay, our happy place.

We took an impromptu trip to Jervis Bay, our happy place.

We celebrated Thanksgiving - a couple of times.

We celebrated Thanksgiving – a couple of times.

We had a pretty spectacular holiday season with our Christmas activity advent calendar.

We had a pretty spectacular holiday season with our Christmas activity advent calendar.

Loved the Sydney Festival

Loved the Sydney Festival

My little dinosaur turned 3.

My little dinosaur turned 3.

We went apple picking.

We went apple picking.

Hushpuppy and I spent 5 weeks enjoying all things Southern.

Hushpuppy and I spent 5 weeks enjoying all things Southern.

This one started daycare.

This one started daycare.

I saw Gloria Steinem.

I saw Gloria Steinem.

Vivid Festival Taronga Zoo

Vivid Festival

I voted in my first Australian federal election - and SBS TV came along!

I voted in my first Australian federal election – and SBS TV came along!

We went to Bali, baby.

We went to Bali, baby.

I made this thing that I'm immensely proud of. Artsplorers.com

I made this thing that I’m immensely proud of. I’d love for you to have a look. Artsplorers.com

4 thoughts on “Six Year Expativersary

  1. Amanda

    I still say “zee”, too, and I also keep my US iTunes account.

    And I was a volunteer the night of Gloria Steinem’s talk at Town Hall. Maybe I helped seat you! Wasn’t she WONDERFUL? She spoke at my college (another word I continue to use) graduation a number of (cough! cough!) years ago, and she was as amazing this year as she was back then.

    1. Cristin Post author

      She was so fantastic. I snagged a last minute ticket for the added afternoon talk, and was so glad I did! So many things she said have stuck with me. Definitely one of the most memorable talks I’ve been to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *