I never intended to have so many American friends in Sydney. That being said, I was never against the idea of meeting Americans when I moved here. It just happens somewhat naturally when you’re an expat I suppose. I always tell people that “one American leads to another…” I had a few American friends that I made when I arrived and somehow through our network we’ve collected up a whole group of yanks living down under.
It’s good fun. We share memories together here — a party for Cinco de Mayo, complaining about the lack of chocolate and peanut butter combinations available in Australia, and just enjoying being tourists in our own city. I cherish those common experiences that seem to tie us together from the start.
I’ve also come to believe that it takes a certain type of American to live abroad. I still have ‘cringe moments’ when meeting fellow American traveling abroad, but I find it’s different when I meet Americans who live in Sydney. I recognise it’s a generalisation, but seriously… they are a lovely crew. I’m not sure if living in another country mellows you out, or as I mentioned, maybe it takes a certain personality type. We somehow all choose to embrace a slightly different lifestyle away from home.
While I’ve never been ashamed of my nationality, but I did used to shrug off my “American-ness” more when I first arrived. It made me feel isolated or different at moments, and I really wanted to feel at home here. I think time has made me feel more comfortable and more comfortable to be me.
So in the end, I love the American connection. It’s that moment when you meet someone miles away from home but you still are randomly linked. Your best friend went to the same University as their cousin in a small, Midwest town (or however the story goes). It feels as though you’ve traveled to the other side of the world, only to discover how small this world actually is.