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Reflection on Three Years in Sydney

Leaving Alice Springs, flying over the Red Centre

Leaving Alice Springs (Norther Territory) flying over the Red Centre

Three years in Sydney… How have I been away for three years? I’ve reached a point where I’m not quite sure if three years is long time or short time to be living abroad.  Depends who is asking.

In some ways it feels like ages. When I moved here I thought I would stay for 2-3 years at the most. My aim was to experience Australia in a more in-depth way than just a temporary holiday. I wanted Sydney it to be a home for me. I wanted to create a life here, with a career, friends and community. Reflecting on it now, I feel as though I have that, and I’m very grateful.

I moved to Sydney alone, not knowing anyone here. I remember wondering a lot in my first months when Sydney would become ordinary or completely familiar to me. I also wondered how long it would be until I had friends where I could be myself and let my guard down. I desperately wanted to feel comfortable in my surroundings. I’m not sure when it happened, but much has changed since those days.

Despite loving this place, I never thought Australia would be home forever. I always wanted it to be temporary, as part of my life, not the rest of my life. The thought leaving now, devastates me. While I have no plans to leave in the immediate future, it still isn’t a permanent home.

I know three years is really just a small blip on the radar. I have expat friends who have lived in multiple countries, travelled the world and have been away from “home” much longer than I have.  It’s actually funny how non-unique your own story starts to feel over time with the more people you meet. I find it can be both comforting and annoying at times. I guess that’s probably more a life lesson that translates beyond just moving abroad.

Before moving here, I had never really considered the idea of long-term travel or even living anywhere other than Australia. My dream wasn’t to just become an expat or live abroad; it was specifically to come live in Australia. However, lately these three years are feeling like they could be just a start.

Uluru at Sunset

Uluru at Sunset

One of my best friends came to visit earlier this month from the US. We spent a week in the Northern Territory for a camping adventure in the outback and to see Uluru (Ayers Rock). It’s something that’s been my ‘to see’ list since studying abroad in Australia, and I’m glad I finally made it there, it was a great way to celebrate a three year anniversary.

Thank you for wonderful times and great memories over these last three years Sydney. Looking forward to many more to come. Cheers!

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Sydney Life: Chapter Two

A lot has changed after two years abroad living in Australia. I’m starting to say stuff like “fortnightly” instead of “bi-weekly” and I don’t struggle to understand other accents (most of the time anyway).

I loved Sydney the day from the day I first arrived, but now I can say that I know Sydney. It makes me love this place for a new layer of reasons. I’ve made close friends here. I’ve created memories here – from my first Christmas on the beach to my friends’ engagement party last month. I have a local café, and I’ve become a coffee snob. I can give people directions, catch public transport without getting stressed and even feel comfortable driving on the other side of the road. It seems like small things, but I think it’s a big step to feel completely comfortable with these tiny differences in everyday life.  What used to be “different” now becomes the usual or standard, and I forget that it was ever not the standard. It’s strange to think, but beautiful as well.

I said a sad farewell to my colleagues at Switched on Media last week. Work and my friends there have been a huge part of my life for the last two years. I remember asking my director Scot about the culture of the company during our phone interview. I was about to move to Sydney and not know anyone, I was anxious to meet my colleagues. I consider myself very lucky that not only did I meet some awesome people, but I made some of my closest friends in Sydney. It exceeded my expectations, and I’ll miss that crew.

I now feel that I’m staring chapter two of my life in Sydney. I started a new role this week with Rocketman Media (check them out). It’s a small agency that specialises in influencer outreach. I couldn’t be more excited. It’s an amazing opportunity and work that I’m incredibly passionate about.  I also feel that it’s an innovative company, and it’s great to feel like you’re at the start of something new. I’ll look forward to sharing more updates with you as I go.

I’m still working on The Fetch Sydney as the local curator. Kate founded the Fetch in Melbourne, followed by Sydney and now has launched it in 7 cities worldwide (and still growing). It’s been an inspiration, and pleasure to be a part of it and watch it grow. We recently introduced the Fetch Community Ambassador program to get more people involved. It was perfect timing with all of the industry events happening as part of Vivid Sydney Festival. I’ve been doing some blogging there too.

Lights on MCA for Vivid Sydney

My last bit of news is that I’ve accepted a committee role with Project Australia. They are not for profit with a mission of helping other NFPs and community projects in Australia. I’ve really missed the volunteer work that was a big part of my life before moving to Sydney. It was groups like HOBY and Circle K International that allowed me to make friends and meet like-minded people with shared values. I feel that working with Project Australia will help connect me back to that world, and allow me give back to the community in a hands-on way.

Looking forward to the second chapter.

What’s new with you friends?

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Filed under About Me, Sydney