Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The expat life: 18 months in the USA

I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that we've been living here for one and a half years already. It doesn't sound like long yet it feels like the life we had in Australia was a lifetime ago. In a sense, it was. So much has happened since then with babies and travel and making a new life for ourselves in not one, but two foreign countries. I feel like a move back to Australia is going to involve a lot of re-acclimatization as September 2013 marked 18 months in the USA and 3.5 years since we packed up our life in Australia.

Although I could never truly regret the decision to come to California, some days I secretly wish we moved straight back to Australia from the Netherlands. Not because I'm unhappy here; quite the opposite. The life we're making here and the people we've met are making me never want to leave and that terrifies me. I know in my heart we'll always end up back in Australia because I want our kids to experience an Aussie upbringing, but believe me - that day is going to come with a lot of mixed emotions. For the first time in my life, I feel like I have a real little community. A friend of mine always refer to our group as our village and I couldn't agree more. Without my village, life here would be pretty lonely and I know we'd be looking to move down under tomorrow.

It's not all block parties and sunshine though. A lot of things do frustrate me about living here - the cost of living rating pretty highly on that list. We've been married for almost 10 years and would love to finally buy a house but even with a good job, it's just not possible in this area. I'm not entirely comfortable with all the pressure here to 'make it'; the values that this area in general emphasizes and what that would mean for our kids growing up here don't sit quite right in my heart. However, I do feel a little more relaxed about the future. At the one year point I just wanted to know where we were heading and when... Now I'm just taking each month; each day as it comes and trusting in God that everything will just fall into place.

I never thought I'd be one to live this expat life. Until I was bit with the travel bug at the age of 19, I thought I'd be a homebody. But life always throws surprises my way and since 2007, Mitch and I have lived in France, Australia, the Netherlands, Switzerland and now the USA. We've traveled the globe while building our family. Our multicultural family - with our first being a third culture kid (Dutch born, Aussie citizen, American raised) and our second an American citizen through and through, I do wonder what the next child will be?!?! Some days I want nothing better then to settle down for good, but in my heart I know a part of me will always be a wanderer... And finally, I think I'm ok with that fact. I've just got to keep on finding the balance that not only satisfies my wandering heart but creates a stable home life for our growing family.

Bring on 2014 - I can't wait to see what the next year of life in the USA has to offer.


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7 comments:

  1. ☺So glad I've joined the village.xoxo!

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  2. so cool I think traveling around and living in different places as something that most people dream of but never have the courage to do. You are doing it! Best wishes to this next year :)

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  3. Lovely post :-) It is all about balance hey. I'm sure your next 18 months will be just as exciting :-D

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  4. Its funny, I am a homebody through and through. But just the other day my husband and I were dreaming out loud, and I mentioned moving to Australia when I was done with school. Probably won't happen, but reading this post made the idea fresh again....
    Cant wait to see what 2014 brings your family!

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  5. I love reading about your travelling adventures! it's great that your children is exposed to so many cultures and different unique experiences. :)

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  6. It is very different living in a different country. March 2014 will mark 5 years in South Africa for me. And yes, I miss America with such a big heart....I have a life here now and the idea of leaving it is so hard. It's a whirlwind of emotions and I understand your torn feelings! I pray that you continue to enjoy it though and always remember your children can still experience your culture through you!

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Thanks for reading, your comments make my day :-)

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