One of the things I love the most about Australia is how much I miss it when I am away. As a traveller, I love the nostalgia and memories of my own country when I am travelling abroad, I love the feeling of pride that I get when something reminds me of home, or a foreigner comments on how much they would love to see it.
I also love coming home. When the wheels touch the tarmac back on home soil, I always smile to myself. It’s a wonderful life travelling, but it’s also a wonderful life being able to call Australia my home.
At the moment I have a ‘new’ home. It’s temporary (I think), and it’s in New York City. My husband, 2-year-old daughter and I have just moved here for my hubby’s work. Making the decision to do it was easy. I absolutely love the experience of living overseas. I have lived in Switzerland, the UK and New Zealand before, and love immersing myself in a new way of life, discovering new things every day, learning, growing, and simply getting out there and throwing myself into a new adventure.
This time around, I love the fact that I am doing this with my family, and giving my daughter the experience also.
So while it was easy to say ‘yes’, I am a nostalgic person by nature. And those last few weeks in Melbourne before we got on the plane were full of tears for me. I was so excited and ready to go, but I also love the fact that I have an amazing life, family and friends in Australia that I hate saying goodbye to. That’s not a bad thing, I count myself very lucky.
So, whilst it’s obvious that I will miss the people in my life most of all, I have also reflected on the things about Australia that I think I will miss the most. I know I will come home to them again some day (and definitely visit in the meantime to get my fix) but it’s nice to recognise what it is about your own country that is so special to you… they are probably the things that visitors also love when they visit our pretty awesome land.
Our ‘she’ll be right’ laid-back culture
Yes we work a lot. Yes, our lives are sometimes stressful. But we do love to chill as much as we can as a culture, and relax knowing things will always have a way of working out. We try not to cry over spilled milk, and the answer to most problems is a cold beer with friends or a day at the beach.
I have found many other cultures tend to be a less relaxed (is that a nice way of putting it?), and our easy going attitude might even be a bit frustrating for foreigners. But for us, going with the flow and not letting the big issues get in the way of a good time, is something I always love and miss about Australia. To put it colloquially… ‘She’ll be apples’.
I know you can find incredible beaches all around the world. But I am going to be in New York, and yes, there is Long Island, the Hamptons etc, but this side of the world does not compare with our golden sands and turquoise waters… which literally surround our entire island.
We are so spoiled for choice with beaches in Australia it is not funny… And unless you head into the outback, an Aussie holiday generally involves the beach and our everyday culture seems to almost revolve around it. I find the ocean (swimming in it, hearing it, simply just viewing it) soothing and peaceful, and am so thankful it is so accessible to us, something I am really going to miss.
Before I get any New Yorkers jumping to their cities defence, I will say that coffee is definitely on the UP in this town. No longer do we have to put up with awful American style brewed coffee in this part of the world, there are some pretty mean cafes producing excellent espresso in most neighbourhoods now.
But, it’s not Melbourne (yes I am biased being a Melburnian), where it’s almost impossible to find a bad coffee, and it is available on pretty much every corner, of every street.
It’s more hit and miss here (and god help me when I leave the city for weekends away), and whilst it is getting a lot more boutique than the previous generation of Starbucks chains (even Americans around here give that era schtick), and they DO serve almond milk everywhere (yay!), it’s simply not what we are used to.
It actually appears that many Melburnian expats here in NYC are leading the charge with great cafes. Funny that…
Note: I am discovering great coffee here in NYC every day – if you are ever heading this way, drop me a line and I will send some tips on where to go for your caffeine fix!
I don’t even live in the bush in Australia. I live in the city. But I love knowing it is there, and we regularly make trips out of the big smoke so I can get my fix. The minute I see gum trees lining country roads, sunlight filtering through the fragrant leaves, debris littering the ground below… I sigh with satisfaction. Pine forests just don’t do the same for me (sorry pine trees).
The bush is home, it is unique, and Australian. It is home to our animals and it smells like our land. There is quite simply no substitute.
We have some of the best, freshest and delicious seafood in the world. Plucked wild, straight from our vast ocean and on your plate that night, we couldn’t be more spoiled. Big fat oysters in Tasmania, prawns in Queensland, Barramundi in the NT… the smell of the fish markets reminds me of summer, of Christmas, of home.
Food is excellent over here, you can’t knock Three-Michelin-Star restaurants and the unbelievable markets and grocery stores they have. But I will miss my Australian seafood – thank goodness Christmas is in winter here and will revolve around the turkey instead!
What do you miss about Australia when you head overseas? Tell me in the comments…