Expat update: Month 6

And we’re at the 6 month mark! Easy, breezy, just like that. Month 6.

I’m super late with this month’s update (I blame going on holiday and I have zero regrets) so let’s get straight into it.

The Good

Moar visitors ¦¦ Alright this has been an entry in basically all of my previous monthly updates and I am NOT mad about it. We ended up having a delicious supper with my Mum’s cousin towards the beginning of the month, and then a week later I got an email from my Uncle enquiring as to whether I had any free time as he had just landed in Sydney? Cue some rushed lunch plans as we both had fairly interesting schedules, and I got a selfie of us in Martin Place to send to the family as proof. It was so good to catch up with him and hear some family news.

A girls’ day ¦¦ As I’ve mentioned previously, my cousin is here for a few months as part of her studies. So she, my sister and I decided we wanted to make the most of Cousin Time while we could, and took a day trip to the beautiful Avalon. We ate seafood by the beach* and the sun shone. What more could you ask for?

Our first international holiday ¦¦ Momentous because we didn’t get detained by immigration upon our return, or have visa issues or confusion. And even though we didn’t get to join the Australian passport holders queue, it did kind of feel like we were coming home.

Zebra ballet ¦¦ I had the chance to attend my niece’s annual ballet concert this year and it was great fun. She had a starring role as a zebra, and did her steps on stage with all her zebra classmates very admirably. It’s being able to go to this stuff that makes me realise we’re here; this isn’t just a holiday. This is real life. Ballet concerts and all.

The Bad

Not being organised enough ¦¦ I am painfully aware that if we’re only here for 18 months total then we’ve really got to get our act together in terms of making sure we see/do/eat everything we want to while we’re here. Unfortunately, that requires organisation and I have had an absolute fail of a month for that.

I wanted to go to the Night Noodle Markets… it didn’t happen. It was too busy to go on the weekends, then on weekdays I worked late, or I was too tired.

I wanted to go to Sculpture by the Sea… it didn’t happen. I forgot it was on and then I already had stuff on. And it was too far away and busy and on the one day I could have gone it was 30 degrees and I didn’t want to get sunburn.

[Note: nothing to do with Sculpture by the Sea. Just some sea.]

I wanted to go to Sydney Open… we set alarms and bagged tickets to an event I REALLY wanted to go to… and then we realised we were going to be on holiday when it was on. Luckily those tickets went to a well deserving friend so at least they didn’t go to waste.

There was also the podcast recording that S found and booked tickets for, before realising that yet again we’d be on holiday for that. Again, luckily, those tickets went to another good home. I’m just pleased I wasn’t responsible for that mis-schedule as well!

The moral of the story is – as much as I try and keep the tourist mindset in terms of seeing as much as I can, sometimes real life problems take over. Some things I can (and should) work around, some things I can’t. This month I’m going to make better use of my diary and generally pull myself together

First homesickness ¦¦ Interestingly, it was going to New Zealand and hearing the British bird calls that made me start to feel a bit funny. Then I started noticing all the British plants (and accents!), and the cooler weather. It felt like being home, except I knew I wasn’t. Isn’t it funny how evocative sounds and nature can be? That and some difficult family stuff happening at home made me wish I could pop back. Just for a bit.

[Beautiful wisteria in Arrowtown that reminded me of home]

The Block ate my life ¦¦ This one I’m not proud of. You know how I was going on about watching The Block as a true blue Aussie familiarisation exercise? Well I took it a bit too far. 4 episodes a week, each lasting around 1h 30? That’s too much tv. As the artificially-created drama ramped up I ended up glued to my sofa for hours each week instead of doing more fun things (like going to the Night Noodle Markets?) and it was not good. I’m actually relieved it’s finished and I am NOT looking for something to fill the void.

The Ugly

In case you’re new around here, I’m sharing The Ugly side of things via email so I can be more honest on things that I’d rather not splash up here for all to see.

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 a few days after you see this post, just to give everyone a chance to sign up who wants to.

And that’s plenty for Month 6. Catch you very soon for Month 7!

*This is as much as I have figured out about What To Do At The Beach. Baby steps, people.


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  1. 16th November 2017 / 00:20

    Love that you do these updates. Glad you had some family time and got an international trip in. Id love to hear about the ugly side of things but for some reason the box isnt showing up (prob a work blocker thingy).

  2. 16th November 2017 / 02:36

    I can’t believe it’s already been 6 months! Your trip to New Zealand sounds great but it makes sense that you would get a bit home sick on that trip. I hope that goes away for you!

  3. 16th November 2017 / 03:52

    WOW it seems like you just moved to Australia yesterday… those 6 months have really flown by, so I can’t imagine how fast it must feel for you actually living it haha.

  4. 16th November 2017 / 06:22

    you shut your mouth when you’re talking about the block! kidding. i wasted way too much time watching it when we went home.

    i am not surprised that you got homesick in NZ. well, not *not surprised* but a little, oh good, i’m not the only one. i get the most homesick when i travel, especially to popular places. New York and Disney are two that stick out in my mind, because Australians travel there, and I’m like OMG ANOTHER AUSTRALIAN HI HI LETS BE FRIENDS and they are like wtf you weirdo, i’m on holiday. i feel the most in limbo then – because i’m not a novelty surrounded by other tourists, but i’m not *just* a tourist? you know? it’s hard. it’s stupid, but it’s hard.

  5. 16th November 2017 / 08:45

    Your niece’s ballet recital sounds so sweet! It is hard to fit everything in when you still have to deal with real life.

  6. 16th November 2017 / 10:34

    That’s so crazy that y’all have already been expats for 6 months! That sucks that y’all haven’t been able to do some of the touristy stuff that you wanted to do, but hopefully you’ll be able to check off some of those things in the future! And that’s also great that you didn’t get stopped by immigration during your Queensland trip! Small steps right!

  7. 16th November 2017 / 12:34

    It’s shocking how quickly it’s going. You’ll get to other things you want to do..you’ve been busy acclimating!

  8. 16th November 2017 / 12:36

    Loved seeing your pictures on IG of NZ – a country I still need to get to, but mind you, I’m only starting to explore Oz a bit now…! Wow! 6 months have flown by…! But now that you’re stuck in a bit more in Sydney life, I reckon you’ll get the chance to do the touristy things you’ve got your eyes on…! Mind you, it’s taken me years to finally cross stuff off the Singapore bucket list. HA

  9. Jen
    16th November 2017 / 12:52

    I really can’t believe that you have already lived there for 6 months! It really doesn’t seem like it has been that long.

  10. 18th November 2017 / 07:11

    You have had such a busy 6 months!

    Don’t worry on being organised or forgetting things. My life is so crazy I feel like I forget so many things outside of work/church/commitments. I’ve only ever been to sculptures by the sea once for that very reason 😛

  11. 18th November 2017 / 16:13

    I really can’t believe that you’ve been here 6 months, feels like just the other day you moved here! You are managing to fit so much in – don’t be too hard on yourself. While it’s good to get out and see a lot of things, it’s nice to have a balance and sometimes you just need to veg in front of the TV! With summer coming up you’re sure to be out and about most every night as there will be so many things on 🙂

    Hopefully you have less scheduling issues next month! 🙂

    Hope you are having a lovely weekend 🙂 Cold and wet here, a bit unexpected after our warm week!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  12. Julia
    20th November 2017 / 22:23

    If it makes you feel any better, I still haven’t made it to Sculptures by the sea after 15 years… It’s on at a busy time of year, and the thought of battling the heat/crowds/sunburn/lack of parking etc means that it always ends up in the Too Hard basket. You can get a lot out of looking at the photos…!

  13. 21st November 2017 / 11:48

    Love that it felt like coming home (and that you didn’t get detained at immigration)!! That means you’re officially settling in… and zebra ballet made me LOL! Love that.

  14. 26th November 2017 / 21:15

    What an action packed month! I can’t wait to hear all about your trip to NZ and if it makes you feel any better I’ve lived here for 9 years and I still miss heaps of things… Still haven’t made it to the night noodle markets (my bad!) and I missed Sculpture by the Sea too for exactly the same reasons as you! Thanks so much for those podcast tickets – we had a ball!

  15. 28th November 2017 / 11:34

    I’ve so loved your photos from New Zealand…I don’t know if we’ll ever make it there, it seems so far away from everything, but the country just looks gorgeous! How true that little things like attending ballet concerts make it really sink in that you really live there. Last month I went to the kindergarten graduation concert for a little girl who I’ve been taking care of at my house five days a week, after school or whenever she’s not in school for the past two years–crazy how much she’s grown up just since we moved here!

  16. 29th November 2017 / 05:40

    Congratulations on six months! That’s a really great landmark 🙂 time really does fly! I know what you mean about feeling that you need to fit in all of those things that are on your list, so much to see and so much to do!
    Cheers to the next six!

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