Hi All. I’m sorry I’ve been really bad at keeping to my “1 post a week” goal so far this year. In fact, I’ve been really bad about blogging in general since the Australian move. I haven’t really had the motivation to blog. And as previously stated, sometimes I have received a lot of negative comments on any post not related to fashion, so I feel posting more honest, personal posts aren’t safe.
But today I feel different. I want to share my feelings. Because in all honesty, this Australian move has been hard. Much harder than I thought it would be. Much harder than my original move (which was 10 years ago, by the way. Yes, I’ve been an ex-pat for 10 years. And no, it doesn’t get any easier).
This time has been much harder, and for 9 months now, I’ve felt super isolated and homesick. But now of course, I feel homesick for two places. Luckily, NZ is very close and I’ve gotten to see a lot of our friends at least a couple of times over the last 9 months (especially over Christmas). But I’m still incredibly homesick for the NZ mountains. I know there are other people out there who know “once you live near the mountains you can never live anywhere else” and ohmigod have I found this to be true. I firmly believe I will never be happy living away from the mountains ever again – and yes, even though I am close to some of the world’s best beaches – I’m a mountain girl through and through.
But more importantly, I am incredibly homesick for my friends and family in Minnesota. You might be wondering after 10 years, why I’m so homesick right now? When I was looking for new jobs back in 2015, I was concentrating mostly on the USA. D and I planned to move back there. That was absolutely 100% the plan and I was telling my family and friends that we would be back! Well lo and behold, I didn’t get any job offers in the USA, and instead got one here in Australia. So here we are. So in a sense, I am still mourning the life that I’ve given up yet again – being closer to my family and friends in MN – and yes, I do feel a profound sense of loss. That is not to say that we don’t have friends here in Australia – we do! But I don’t have any friends in the city I that I actually live in yet. All of D & my friends still live an hour away, and at most we see them every few weeks.
Soooo… the last 9 months I’ve felt isolated and alone.
That’s not to say I’m not glad we ended up in Australia. With everything that is happening in the USA, I’d say I’ve dodged a bullet. Also, it’s hard to say to my family and friends that “I have a much better life as an expat” than I ever could have had in the USA. But I’ve had to give up all of my closest connections (which, as a functional only child growing up in the middle of nowhere rural MN who had almost no friends from the age of 5-12 – aka, my childhood was also profoundly lonely – seems a little crazy).
Being an ex-pat isn’t easy. Each move is different. Even when you move with a spouse, it can still be hard! And as this certainly won’t be the last move for us, I can only imagine how different the next move will be (because again, who knows when or where we’ll end up. Welcome to being an academic). I just vote that next time we end up a little bit closer to my family and the Mountains.