I am just about to get on a flight to Sydney to start my new expat life, and having spent nearly a month away from the UK (and post goodbyes) I thought this would be a good moment to stop and record what’s been going on since we left.

The Good

Being on holiday ¦¦ Having some time to relax and decompress after the sadness of goodbyes, the stress of finishing work and packing has been great. And all too easy. Exploring new places has been fun, but I’ve not wanted to be as high octane as we sometimes are on holiday. I’ve craved pool time, book time and time just being with S. It’s been good.

I’ve been back on the gram too. Also good!

We have visas! ¦¦ Hoo-rah! And not a minute too soon. We got our visas granted about a week and a half ago, so not cutting it fine at all. We had a good celebration that night!

Seeing Brian, Lydia & their son ¦¦ Our friends are generally amazing and seeing them is always a joy. It was however particularly poignant to see them just as they prepare to leave their home in Thailand, where they’ve lived for nearly 3 years (more on their story coming up next Thursday in an expat story post).

We had some great chats about all things expat; differing attitudes and cultural reference points, groupthink vs the deification of the self, judgement, materialism, forging relationships amidst hugely different viewpoints and ways of living, I could go on. They’re wise people and we learned a lot in the few days we spent with them.

Being warm ¦¦ At times too warm, but I have to say it’s been great not to worry about jumpers, coats, scarves etc for three whole weeks.

The Bad

Political climate ¦¦ Since we have been away the climate towards immigrants in Australia has soured further. They’ve just announced the abolition of our particular visa, a matter of days after ours was granted. Obviously this leaves our future situation a bit unclear to say the least, but it also means that as holders of this visa class, the 457, a lot of scrutiny is suddenly being directed our way. I wouldn’t want popular sentiment to turn against us, because that would be….uncomfortable.

Trouble eating ¦¦ Keeping soy sauce away from me this month has been harder than I thought. I’ve had a lot of plain boiled rice. Good thing I like rice.

On the positive side, I did find this pudding I could eat (a rarity anywhere in the world). It’s called an IQ Ball Chin Chaw and it’s basically shaved ice, condensed milk, strawberry syrup and lots of weird jelly spheres and cubes. Good… but so, so sugary!

Too much stuff ¦¦ We still have too much stuff. I don’t know how. We’ve chucked away a lot of stuff we brought with us already. I just don’t want any more stuff.

The Ugly

As before, I’ve decided that I’ll be sharing The Ugly side of things via email. That way, I can share a bit more honestly on things like work and personal matters that I don’t want searchable on t’internet. Seeing as you’re all my friends, I’d just feel a bit happier doing it this way.

So if you want to know The Ugly, just put your email address in the box and I’ll add you to the list. You’ll get mail from me 2-3 days after you see this post, just to give everyone a chance to sign up who wants to.

Catch you in your inbox!