Saturday, March 10, 2012

Three Years

That's how long we've been expats.  Today is our Expativersary.  (I believe my friend Laura coined that term).   Three years ago today we landed in Australia and started our life abroad.

Arrival in Sydney- 2 kids, 9 suitcases
Exploring Balmoral Beach for the first time.
Since then, we've made new friends, and kept the old.

We've visited 9 countries on three continents.  Always with our kids.

We've grown exceptionally close as a family.  We welcomed a new baby.

We've started new schools and new jobs and handled the transitions remarkably well.

One of us became an expert at assembling IKEA furniture. 

I still complain about the ridiculous 4-wheel-drive shopping trolleys that are impossible to steer. (Haven't any of these grocery store execs been to America and seen the beauty of our 2-wheel-drive carts?). 

We regularly use words like "rubbish" and "brilliant" and I can't help but smile when my 5 year old asks to climb into the car "through the boot."

I can drive on the left, think in kilometres, and know that 21 degrees feels just right.

We're experts at using public transportation, navigating ferries, buses, trains and the tube with familiarity and ease.

We've cuddled koalas and fed kangaroos.  Snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef and seen the rugged coastline of Tasmania.  We've visited Europe's castles and cathedrals and museums and monuments.

We've learned about history, and architecture, and art.  And along the way I've learned something about myself too.  I'm more adventurous than I thought I was three years ago.  I'm more confident.  I'm willing to try new things and put myself in new situations.  This is one of the beautiful gifts that comes with being an expat.

Exploring Hampton Court Palace on one of our first UK Adventures

I don't know how long this adventure will last, but I don't worry about the future any more.  I live in the present, enjoying today and appreciating all the opportunities we have here.    It's been the most amazing, challenging and rewarding three years of my life.  And I can't wait to see what comes next.

28 comments:

  1. lovely words. i feel very much the same, and i am starting to fear when our time comes to leave because i have let myself grow so attached to our friends here. x

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  2. Happy Expativersary, all of you! I totally agree with you that being an expat helps you to embrace the newness of all sorts of situations, and to live in the present. Hope you love your 4th year even more!

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  3. This is so sweet! Have your older children retained any vestiges of their American accents? My sister and I were a bit older (~12/10) when we did most of our traveling, and we never went to schools abroad, so we just sounded like Philadelphians with funny slang picked up from the other local kids- we still use rubbish, but brilliant just got too many funny looks back home!

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  4. Congrats on three years of adventure! You are my expat inspiration! :)

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  5. hey love. so glad I found your blog. I'm definitely following now. I can't wait to read more. If you get a sec, I'd love if you'd check out my blog. It's all about the adventures of a small town girl taking on the LA fashion scene. xo

    www.fashboulevard.blogspot.com

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  6. Great blog! I'm a new follower =)

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  7. I LOVE the idea of an expativersary -- congratulations on yours! To live in the moment is such a gift. I'm not there, yet, still caught up in what-came-before and what-comes-next -- but I'm trying! Posts like this get me excited about the journey. =)

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  8. Hope you enjoy your time in the UK :-)

    http://whatkimmididnext.blogspot.co.uk/

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  9. Love your way of thinking, enjoy the UK,
    Maureen

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  10. such an amazing and fun journey for you and your family.thanks for always sharing!!

    i was recently "tagged" and i have passed it on to you,so you are now "it"! the questions and rules are on my blog...if you feel like participating :)

    happy weekend!

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  11. Congratulations on your expativersary!
    My mind spins when I think about all that you've seen, learnt and achieved in that time and I most impressed that you've managed to convert your mathematical brain - tricky stuff that.

    Your kids are receiving such a wonderful gift through these life experiences and it's terrific to learn that you think so too.

    Happy day and thank you for joining in on this first POTM Club by the beach.

    Fx

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  12. Stopping by from POTM, congratulations on your expativersary! Oh, the adventure of it all! - Femme au Foyer

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  13. Very interesting post. I can imagine there are some big challenges involved in moving countries often but I love the way you have embraced it all and see just how wonderful the whole experience is for you :)

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  14. Happy Expativersary - love that term! - to you and your family. Our 6 month anniversary just passed and I feel much as you do - that the experience has brought gifts of new friends, new words and a deeper bond to our family. Happy you have had such a wonderful experience and wish you many years of expat happiness to come! xoxo

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  15. Lovely post! What an adventure you've all had together. I'm quite envious. Visiting via Serendipity.

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  16. What a great term! Congratulations! We feel so grateful to be living the adventure too :)

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  17. I'm visting from SITS. What an amazing journey! I can't imagine how difficult the transition must have been/still is!

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  18. What an adventure! It sounds like you have made a wonderful life there.

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  19. What a wonderful opportunity to live in new and exciting places! Found you on SITS. Look foward to following your experiences!

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  20. Came over from SITS and just love your site! :) You are truly living life as it was meant to be lived and teaching your children such valuable lessons along the way! I am in awe!! :)

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  21. I love reading about Americans living abroad. It's so adventurous!

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  22. I love that you guys have visited so many places! I would love to do that. We've done the cruise thing a few times with our kids to see other countries but there is only so much you can see with that. Although we do love cruising! I'd love to go to Europe one day but we don't have the money for that right now. Love your adventures!

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  23. What an incredible adventure you are on!! I love that you are focusing on living in the moment and being grateful for the opportunity. BTW - I love your blog design too! Visiting from SITS!

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  24. Stopping by from SITS. A Happy Belated 3 years!

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  25. You're having the times of your lives and I can hear and see it. It makes me wish I were there, going to the places that you're going to - seeing the sights, tasting the cuisine, etc.

    I'll work harder because I want to see more of the world like you are.

    Happy SITS Day... belated. I don't think that you're missing so much here. Enjoy yourself and keep sharing what you're doing.
    I love it!

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