Sunday, 24 October 2010

Seen while out and about

Two teenagers with one leg each gaffa-taped together, as though they were in a three-legged race.

All while in the middle of the central shopping area in the town where I live

Oh how I love people watching.....:-)

Saturday, 23 October 2010


Four letters. One syllable. Such a simple word. Yet it's probably the one thing that I have the greatest difficulty in defining.

During my childhood and school years (including university), home was easy to define. I lived with my parents and sister. If someone asked me where I lived or where was home, I could say with confidence, "I live in ________"(insert suburb/city here, depending on who I was talking to).

Then I got my first 'real world' job after university. And I moved to a town a day's drive from where I grew up. All of a sudden, I found it a whole lot more difficult to define 'home.' At first, I would talk about going home to visit family, going back to town where I grew up. Then, as time passed, I got more involved in the town I was living in, I was feeling more comfortable and confident in my job, and was loving the town and surroundings. Before I knew it, this new town was home.

And now I find myself in the UK. The question of 'where are you from?' is even trickier to answer now. I'm finding that when most people ask, they just want to know where my accent is from (and some of the suggestions I've had....that's a post for another day) and so that's what I tell them.

But....I should also mention that I was born in the UK. In the year and a bit I've been here, life has a lot of the time felt comfortable, and in some respects, like 'home.' Yet I also describe myself as Australian, and find myself missing a few things back in Australia....and still think of it as home most of the time.

So, what defines home?

Is it where you were born?

Is it where you grew up?

Is it where your family lives?

Is it where you grew as a person and learnt about yourself?

Is it where you currently live?

Or is it a combination of some/all of these things?

I'm still to decide, and I think my definition will continue to grow and evolve....if I come up with a definitive answer, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Things I miss about home

With the positive there has to be the negative as well, right? So here are some of the things that I miss about home:

1. Family
I'm close to my parents and sister, so being half way around the world from them is tough at times. Especially the time difference....working out the best time to call can be tricky sometimes! If I'm totally truthful, modern technology (mobile phones, email, Facebook, Skype etc) is a great help.....but doesn't completely substitute for seeing people you love in person...or for my mum's home cooking!

2. The weather
As I've said before, I grew up in Australia - warm to hot summers, cool weather in winter. After moving here last year, I experienced the coldest UK winter for 30 years (or so the media said). Lets just say, it was somewhat of a shock to the system....I miss the sun, warm weather, and summer days actually being *hot*

3. The beach

one of the beaches in a National Park near to where I used to live

I've always lived within close proximity to the beach (the last place I lived before moving here, I was 10 minutes walk from the beach). And, the Australian beaches are beautiful....crystal clear blue water and sparkling white sand......

The closest beach to me now is about 1.5 hours away by train.....and the sand is actually pebbles. When I visited, it was somewhat overcast, and the water was kind of a dull blue colour.....certainly a change from what I'm used to.

4. Friends
I've got a few friends that I went to highschool with that I'm particularly close to. We have the type of friendship where we don't see each other on a regular basis, but when we's like we last saw each other yesterday. Again, modern technology helps us stay in contact, but I still miss them (especially my friend who was also over here for a year before heading home a few months ago)

5. Food
I'm the first to admit, I have somewhat of a sweet tooth. And while I like British chocolate/sweet things, there's some food from home that I miss......some of which include - Arnott's Shapes, Tim Tams, Schweppes' soft drinks, Allen's lollies, and Cherry Ripes. There is an Australian store where you can get these things, but the prices are somewhat prohibitive. My family do send some stuff over though (mostly around celebrations - I make sure what I get lasts!) . Like I said, I like British chocolate, but definitely thinks it tastes different to Australian....

So there you have it. A few of the things that I miss from home. I'll probably think of things to add to this list too.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Things I love about living in a new country

Ever since moving to England, one of the most common questions I get asked is: why?

Why on earth would you want to leave Australia and move halfway across the world, away from family and friends?

Now, I'm the first to admit, the experience hasn't been all "Susie Sunshine" (so to speak)...there are things that I miss about home (but I might save that for another post...)

Some of the things that I love about living in a new country are:

1. New opportunities
Now this sounds quite broad I know, but its the overall experience that I do really love. Getting to live in a place that is both similar and different to what I have previously known is, I think, a memory that will always stay with me.

2. Travel
This is probably one of my favourite parts of the experience. The opportunities for travel (both within the United Kingdom and within Europe) are endless. I have the chance to see things I've only read about, and to 'soak up' as much atmosphere and culture as I can possibly manage. And the relatively cheap flights to get around Europe really help too.....(where I lived in Australia was a 1.5 hour flight from where my family lived. It cost A$400 return (approximately 200 pounds). When I visited Berlin last year, the return flights were about half that cost....

3. The history
As a country, Australia is relatively young on the world stage - only 200 years or so of history (I'm taking that from when the country was first settled by the English, Aboriginal Australian history stretches back much further than that). In both the UK and Europe, I've visited buildings that are several hundred years old - built well and truly before the advent of modern technology. Many of them are incredibly beautiful....and still standing! It is something we just don't have in Australia.

4. Weather
People who know me in real life, would probably be scratching their heads and trying to work out just why I've included this on the 'things I like' list. And in some respects I would agree......but at least I've had the chance to experience different weather to what I grew up with (the fact that last winter was the coldest in the UK for 30 years, and was somewhat of a shock to me, is a moot point, really!)

5. Accents
If asked what are my favourite accents to listen, the answer would be: Scottish and Irish. The fact that I'm living in a country where I get to hear them regularly is just an added bonus to all the other wonderful things I have the opportunity to experience.

That's the main things.......hmmm only five things on the list? I'm sure there's more in my head that I'm just not thinking of right now. If other things should come to mind, I will share them at a later time.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

And So It Begins.....

I'm still surprised at myself for actually doing this, but anyway.......

I thought starting a blog might be a useful way to chronicle my current journey, as well as hopefully allow me to be just a bit more up-to-date with sorting and sharing photos.....

A little bit about me:

I'm a girl in my 20's who grew up in Australia, but have always had a yearning to live, travel and work in Europe. So, a little over a year ago, that's exactly what I did! I left my job and family at home and moved to the United Kingdom. The experience so far has been everything I could have hoped for, plus a little bit extra......and I hope it will continue.

I have no idea where this journey will take me, but as the saying goes, "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step..." so let's see what happens....