Friday, June 26, 2009

Two Year Expativersary

This whole coming to Sydney thing, this whole moving across the world thing...  I think the time has finally come that I am able to celebrate that we did it, and even though I've reached this plateau before,  this time I think I really mean it.

The first year was more difficult than I could have imagined, and there are still days that make me feel sad and alone and isolated from everything and every one I've ever known.

But here we are, and this week is our two-year expativersary.

The things I thought were good a year ago are still good; the things I thought sucked, well-- they basically remain constant. But there is no longer any doubt, that this risk we've taken, this whole living on the other side of the world thing, was worth it-- and will have a profound effect on the rest of our lives.

It has been found that children who live in countries beyond their native land are generally more open-minded and accepting of people; to me, these are gifts you can't buy your kids. So when my little boys are taller than I am, and acting like grown ups before they really are, this experience of having lived in Australia will have made a huge impact on their lives. Of course it'll probably help them get the hot chicks too, but that's just a little expat bonus.

And of course they have bragging rights to this:

Sydney Opera House and Bridge by you.

Weekends spent going to kids film festivals at the Sydney Opera House and chillin' on the steps afterward like they own the place.

DSC_0065 by you.

Waiting for the QE2 to Come by you.
Sitting behind the house we recently moved out of.

I'll probably never again live in a place where I can walk out my backgate directly onto a beach which also happens to be two doors down from a ferry wharf which whisks you off to the Sydney Opera House. 

And have I mentioned that my four year eats Vegemite-- as in yeast extract spread which looks like tar and smells like beer?  Our experience in Australia has changed us, and there's no going back to what once was... as in, peanut butter.

And if I didn't live here I couldn't do this:
Squashing the Opera House by you.

When the time comes to go "home" I'll surely be in a panic having not done and seen everything I could have, but until then-- I'll just keep trying get a little piece of every offering here.



Anonymous said...

This post makes me want to come for a visit. Gorgeous photos . . . simple yet alive . . .

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Cheekofgod- Before moving here my husband and I worked in the cruise industry and traveled pretty extensively-- I can easily say that Sydney is the most beautiful place we've ever been-- and it's still surreal that we actually live here!

elsja said...

My parents came in march and my mom also said it was the most beautiful place she has been. I love Sydney and the last few days have been finding myself missing my new home (since currently I'm back in CA). But then I started reading ex-pat blogs and it actually had a negative affect and it's making me realize I like california. I'm just always so torn and I go back and forth between loving it and wishing I could be back in the US. .

Amanda said...

I'm actually dying to go to Florida!

Oh, and have you been to Canberra yet? It's no Sydney but it has its charms...I'll happily be your tour guide (just wait until Spring otherwise you'll freeze your little Floridian arse off!)

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Elsja- California has the hills and cliffs and whatnot, so I can see how it would be hard to not love it-- Florida on the other hand is okay-- but it's not Sydney or California.

Amanda- I'll definitely email you if we are heading to Canberra! We will happily take you as our tour guide!

Mama Bird said...

This post makes thecheekofgod want to visit and makes me want to MOVE back to Australia.

Everyday that I lived there I was in awe of where I was living, the beauty is astounding sometimes.

Do you know how much longer are you there or is it open ended? Do you have a limit for yourselves?

We had a "5-yr plan" when we moved back to the states, but it's now been 7.

Gypsy said...

Congrats on getting to this happy place in your stay there. And those pics are gorgeous.

Dina said...

Well, it's about TIME you started to appreciate it!!

No, I'm joking. I know the adjustment was rough...very rough at times.

But I'm glad you found friends, and I'm glad you've found happiness.

I think you guys are giving your kids an amazing opportunity.

I hope things keep getting better and better.

PamelaRose said...

Well usual.

Jill Stevens, Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist said...

I don't know how you do it- but you got me crying at my desk again. nice. very nice.

Jenny said...

There certainly are worse places to find yourself in for a few years. Thanks for reminding me of that. Happy Expativersary!

Teresi Family Oz Blog said...

sometimes I think it would be easier to appreciate Australia if we were going to be here for a specific amount of time. I just feel like we're in limbo. We could be here for a year, or ten years, or forever. Just haven't figured it out yet. Happy Expativersary. BTW - did you just invent a new term, like Festivus?

riesdownunder said...

Hello Florida girl in Sydney!
Happy Expativersary!
I came across your blog not long ago.. and I just LOVE it. We too, are from the US and have been here in Sydney for 6 months now. We have two young kids, year1 and year3 in school. I have enjoyed reading your thoughts on this experience. Your kids are adorable! I am not as computer savvy as you are and I sortof got reallly lazy about a flegling blog I started when we first got here... It's been sitting dormant for some time I am afraid.

Nicole said...

Congratulations! I am starting my down under adventure on Thursday and moving my life to Melbourne!! Makes me feel a lot better after reading through your posts over the past year!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Mama Bird- We are on a four year visa, but it could be longer-- it's hard to say. So what's your 5 year plan???

Gypsy- My happy place is being at Marshalls before xmas when they're loaded up with bargains... I'll be spending a lot of time there again this December! :)

Dina- Thanks, it's not easy to put yourself in someone else's shoes, but I'm glad you can appreciate that moving cross-world isn't all rainbows and puppy dogs.

PamelaRose- Thanks mama.

Jill- I totally do that on purpose.

Jenny- Surely you of all people don't need to be reminded, you're like a miracle expat-- you should give an expat clinic on positive attitude.

Ana- I invented it last year, haha.
Yes, I think there's definitely an advantage for people who have a set time frame, etc. We don't exactly, but probably more so than you?

Riesdownunder- So nice of you to say hi, you always wonder who's actually reading my dribble, so it's great when you speak up, I LOVE IT. Are you in Sydney?

Nicole- Good luck with your move, it's going to be a huge adventure!!!

Marketing Mama said...

congrats!!! what an awesome experience. I've loved going along for the ride. thx for sharing it with us.

JD at I Do Things said...

So when are you coming home?

What an amazing experience. I envy you. And your kids are really going to reap the rewards. Living abroad just gives you such different and valuable perspective.

I guess it also can give you a love of Vegemite.

ian said...

You've been here 2 years - we've been here 2 weeks. I have a 2 year contract which may become permanent - at the moment we are treating the whole thing as one big adventure, and we intend to get as much out of it as possible. Which is why we have rented an apartment with the quintissential view of The Bridge. I think that, however long you are here, you will look back on this time as one of learning and growth. Experiencing another culture, with its ups and downs, will give you and your boys a wider world view. That's gotta be a good thing.

The THOMA Gallery said...

Awesome. Love and miss you Kitten

Kristie said...

Oh how I loved Sydney when we were there. I hope to go back and visit again one day. What an awesome experience you are having!

Danielle said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

happy expativersary!!! The fortunate experience of living abroad is certainly something you'll always be able to treasure!!!

A Free Man said...

I can identify with this. My first year away in Oxford, I was miserable. I found everything incredibly difficult, found people hostile and passive aggressive. But when the time came to leave Britain a few years later I was devastated to have to go.

Lovely post.

How long are you guys planning to be here?

Captain Dumbass said...

The idea of moving off to a foreign country is exciting and romantic, but the reality of doing it must be quite different.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Marketing Mama- Thanks!

JD- We will probably be here another 2-3 years, of course that's just really a guess. I agree, regardless of how hard it's been, it's a great thing for us.

Ian- Yes to all of that.

Thoma Gallery- Thomas, you are one of the loves of my life. Miss you. So glad I finally sent you a link to my blog... as you can probably tell I'm a little self-conscious about it and don't tell many people that I actually really know. Kisses my pumpkin.

Kristie- Did you live here or just visit-- I'm still confused about that...

Danielle- Thanks!

Jcpk- Did you eat sausage rolls when you were here???

Freeman- Guesstimate would be 2-3 years more, but who knows. Yes, the first year was crazy, and probably the rest will fly by-- hope I get to do as much as possible, it's not easy with 2 little ones... as you know.

Capt Dumbass- Totally!

Kristie said...


I was just a visitor on vaction. We were there for 2 weeks. 5 days in Sydney, 4 in Melbourne, 2 in Surfer's Paradise and the remaining 3 in Brisbane. Loved every minute of it. Sydney was by far my favorite!

Catherine said...

Happy Expativersary! What great photos. Sydney is truly a beautiful city. You are very fortunate to have this experience.

We just got on a plane to return to the US. We hope to be back very soon - this time to stay a lot longer then 7 months.

Anonymous said...

I just had my two years and sadly had to return to the us. I boarded teh flight kicking and screaming as we were meant to stay 3 and sadly the economy and big business turned out years to two. I miss it and I have only been in the states for 3 days. I don't know where home is and we've even talked we might like to move on our own back to australia. It's an amazing place!!! Enjoy it while your there as I miss it all ready! I watch your blog and now with envy from the states I will still watch it, posted before but can't find my password to put in my blog name.
ENJOY!!! Wish I was there!

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Kristie- Got it! We went to Surfers Paradise last year-- it totally reminded me of Florida!

Catherine- Thanks, I know-- and I'm glad I'm finally enjoying it more!

Anonymous- Well maybe when I'm having a rough time I need to talk to you so you can remind me of how quickly the time passes and how great it is to be here??? I often wonder how it will be when we move back-- I guess nothing is easy.

Marvin the Martian said...

Congrats on your anniversary! Seems like you left only days ago, doesn't it.

Blues said...

Great uplifting post. And your boys are just freaking adorable.

Florida Girl In Sydney said...

Marvin- Thanks!

Blues- Double thanks girlfriend.

Mr said...

I have some of the same feelings you have described beautifully about my first year here downunder.
My homestate is the same as yours.

2 days after my 1 year mark I found myself answering a question about how long I'd been here with an actual day count..367 days I blurted out like Rainman's sister...The woman looked stunned and said it sounded like I was counting the days of a prison sentence. I laughed in an odd way and tried to explain about my 1 year thingy 2 days ago that's how I know and her blank stare made me stop and say no more.
Sad and funny...well to me. Happy day 730 to you FL girl !