Can it REALLY be six months already? Six months of calling Kellyville home….? How does it feel like I have missed half of my year? Today actually marks 1 year, to the day, that our Australian whirlwind began. This day- 365 days ago- was the day that my hubby off-handedly asked me where the passports were as I was passing the study on the way up the passage (hallway). That was the question that changed the trajectory of our life and started us on this incredibly daunting, often chaotic journey that has been our life for the past 365 days.
I was talking to a good friend this morning and mentioned that in some ways it feels like I literally just left SA and in others it feels like I’ve been gone for a lifetime. I feel like I’ve always been here. Things feel so familiar (or at least MOST things – who knew you could get so many variants of peanut butter!?!?!)
Our Aus adventure has been filled with so many things to learn – accents and slang being one of them… hahaha. You learn very quickly that words that meant one thing back in South Africa mean something COMPLETELY different here. :p
A few things we’ve learnt along the way:
~ Do not assume that things work the same in all the territories – they almost seem like small little countries operating under their own laws. Rules that apply in New South Wales (that’s where we are) are not necessarily the same as similar rules in other territories – even public holidays are not standard…. this was a painful blow one June Monday morning when my hubby thought we were having a public holiday only to find out it was in Queensland, not in NSW hahahaha.
~ Making friends as an adult is hard!! Especially when you don’t work in an office where you get to meet or interact with people on a daily basis. Self service checkouts at the stores make it even harder …as you don’t even meet the cashiers at the tills. ;p
~ There’s ALWAYS a sale on somewhere. Wait long enough and you’re bound to get those awesome shoes you’ve been eyeing at a fraction of the original cost.
~ The landscape is as diverse as the people. We live pretty much sandwiched in the middle of the mountains in one direction and the beach in the other. It’s the best of both worlds. Having lived far from both our entire lives, it’s wonderful to be eating breakfast at the beach one morning and hiking in the mountains the next.
~ There are so many fun things to do here that cost you nothing more than the travel time and expense to get there. There are hiking trails, biking tracks and trails, cliffside walks…the options are only limited by your Google search skills. LOL
~ It gets crazy cold here (okay not as cold as the Northern hemisphere snow laden winters, but still colder than I ever expected)!!! All you ever hear is how hot Aus is…..but believe me, when those arctic blasts pass through you know ALL about it. (In all honesty This has to be one of the most surprising things for me. :p I expected it to be on par with Jhb winter’s, but NSW taught me a thing or 2 about winter this year. hahaha.
~ Kids are resilient and rise to the occasion given the opportunity. Our boys have adapted so well to their new world. Making friends and fitting in almost from the get go. To say I am proud of them is a gross understatement. They continue to amaze me everyday. They have spread their wings and embraced their new found freedom.
~ How we adapt to a situation is up to us. Happiness is a choice and while we all have bad days, how we pick ourselves up from those bad days and move forward makes all the difference to how our daily lives play out.
~ Chocolate tastes good on any continent. 😉
It’s a funny thing – relocating to a completely new place. You go through so many emotions during different times in this process. It’s filled with excitement and thoughts of adventure. Dreams of all the wonderful things you’re going to explore and discover (and we’ve done a whole lot of both of those things 😀 )… and then it’s filled with all the REAL things too, like endless housework , washing that seems to multiply overnight (this is especially true when you live in a house of men…Ooops did I say that out loud….haha) the normal day to day activities of running a house. And while those things are not necessarily fun, they’re standard everyday things that are part of life, no matter where you live. But it really opens your eyes to the things in life that are important. Relocating opens our hearts up to the biggest and hardest part by far – missing family and friends back home!! And While it’s great to go to the store looking awful (hahaha…scraped back hair, no make up, yoga pants) and not having to worry about who see’s you (because no-one actually knows you), some of my best catch ups with friends back home happened in the aisles of Pick ‘n Pay or Woolies when I dashed in for bread or milk and ended up taking 3 hours because I bumped into “so and so” and we ended up chatting about everything under the sun. Those are the small things that can catch you unaware when you’re least expecting them. But as long as you keep in mind that the sad moments are bound to come and that tomorrow will look brighter, you’re able to move beyond that and keep looking for the next adventure.
So here’s to new adventures, the good and bad days and the next 6 months as we enter the last stretch of the year and look forward to celebrating a whole lot more firsts in our new home.
These are a few pictures from our adventures over the past 6 months. I hope you enjoy them and they give you more of a sense of what our little piece of Aus looks like.
Circular Quay is a fascinating place to people watch. The guy in the picture on the left was dressed up as Crocodile Dundee and you could pay him $5 to have your picture taken with him.
Watson Bay – the oldest fishing village in Australia. A short ferry trip across the harbour
The rivers in Australia are so beautiful and most are within National Parks. We visited the Nepean River and were lucky enough to spot a pelican in its natural environment. Can you spot him flying past the tree’s?
And what would a post of Australia be without a pic of the iconic Bondi Beach….
And it’s “not-as-famous” cousin across the bay – Manly Beach
We enjoyed a fabulous morning out at Balmoral Bay
And a hiking trip to the Colo River.