Happy One Year ‘Aussie’versary to us!!
Well it has been one year since we made the big move to Perth, Australia. I still get an uncertain feeling in my stomach when I think back to sitting in our hotel room back in Newcastle absolutely dreading our early morning flight and feeling so unsure of what lay ahead. I don’t think I slept a wink that night, tossing and turning and feeling unnervingly worried and anxious. What were we doing? Would I settle into work? Would we get home sick? Would Matt settle into staying at home looking after the girls? Would we make friends? Would we like Perth? Would it feel like home? Would the girls settle?
When preparing yourself you ultimately do as all other expats most likely do…..you read up on other immigration stories, trawl through blog after blog on moving overseas, research local schools, local suburbs and try to picture in your head what your new life will be like. No matter how much time I spent online and talking to others who recently made the big move to Australia, nothing quite prepared me for our own journey…. the challenges of settling the girls and curbing the jet lag, the dreaded self-doubt that comes over you (especially in those first few weeks) and ultimately that one big question that you’ll probably ask yourself one year in…‘was it all worth it?’ ….the planning, the uproot, the long flight with two little ones, the ‘starting all over again’ literally….from jobs, to house to friends….missing family and important dates and events back in the UK. Would Perth become our ‘forever home’?
Ever since we met in 2004, we both knew we would want to live abroad in the future, although both our families were settled in the UK, it just never stuck with either of us as somewhere we would bring up our children…. Emigrating was always on the cards and had been in our minds and in our plans for a very long time. It’s undoubtedly a huge leap and although we completely thought it through (in meticulous detail) nothing can quite describe the emotions that we went through back on that dark morning setting our 3am alarm and taking ourselves off to the airport with our girls and a whole heap of luggage, waving goodbye to all of our familiarities and heading into the complete unknown.
So one year on….was it all worth it? For us……YES!
I couldn’t say it has been an easy ride, that’s not the right word to use I guess…we poured our hearts and souls into making this work for us and so far most things have fallen into place. It has taken a lot of hard work and commitment to get this far, we’ve had good days and tough days but the great moments far outweigh the bad ones. Although this was a very selfish decision on our part, the girls were at the absolute centre of our decision to emigrate. Seeing the way they’ve taken to their new lives down under makes us both burst with pride. Excitingly hearing Ava ask daddy what we are doing in the morning every night before she goes to bed (every day is a holiday to her it seems), watching Mollie grow into a very independent toddler who loves the beach, her sister and generally just being outdoors and being able to fit so much into our family time together….evening sunset walks and Saturday morning breakfasts are firm favourites.
As we reflect on this year, we look forward to the future and feel so thankful and grateful that so far this move has worked out for us. We are most definitely enjoying the ride.
Roll on Year Two and I promise I’ll do a few more posts along the way….