We have seen some amazing sites, gone through challenges, taken some neat trips to places, are battling the new economy, currently living in two different states, facing career changes and trying to work out where we are heading.
Move over Tori and Dean.
We should be a reality show.
(I'm kidding. I have no desire, really)
Looking back, it might have been unfathomable that a 22 year old from a small town in South Western Queensland, and a penpal from Indiana, USA who had been writing for the past 7 years would end up married. I still have the stacks of letters we sent each other, the humorous stickers and pins, photos, and cards that we sent over the years.
Looking back I would never have known I would have the opportunity to see as much of the country as I have. I wouldn't have known the road that continues to be a bittersweet journey, the same that many of us face in our lives. The twists and turns, the realities of joy and heartbreak.
Leaving it all behind, as an expat from any country can be a challenge, particularly when doing it alone. Without question, when I first came to the US, I met up with some interesting challenges, ones I really had no idea existed, or at least expected to run into.
My arrival hardly heralded a welcome in the apartment complex we lived in. Instead, I was introduced head on to the regional thought concerning immigration and the number of misconceptions about legal immigration. There were questions concerning my 'entry' and where I should rightfully be living (bluntly, it apparently was not the US). But it wasn't until much later that I began to hear the full issues concerning illegal immigration, I put two and two together. I had dark hair and a tan. The blue eyes and European features I guess, didn't throw anyone off.
And yes, I do speak English, and no I do not need to learn to 'talk' it better.
Expat lesson numero uno - reduce the culture shock. Ask in an impartial manor, and in advance about any issues, political or cultural, that you should be aware of.In many cases, expats particularly from Australia and even those vacationing are caught by surprise at the culture shock and general differences between the US and Australia. Both countries you might expect to be similar, but its that, that contributes to the unexpected surprise. Its definately an adventure, and can be at times quite humorous.
Expat lesson 2, there are gits everywhere, you'll laugh it off soon enough.
Catch ya later