Two Weeks In
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Yesterday was my two week anniversary since arriving in Sydney and I celebrated with about 50 other Americans by doing a very American activity – watching the Super Bowl. Instead of pizza, chips, and other junk food we had breakfast food. Why? Well, the Super Bowl was broadcast at 10 am Monday morning here and there were many Americans in attendance who had called in sick or stated they had personal commitments to attend yesterday’s watching party. I personally love the personal commitment excuse and will tuck that away for other significant events I might want to attend. Maybe opening day of Rugby season.
Oh, and even though most of us arrived around 8:30 am the bar was open and serving whatever you wanted. I’m afraid many of my fellow Americans were feeling pretty poor by about 3 pm yesterday. Regardless, good times were had by all and this is coming from a girl who could care less about football.
I’ve joined a number of meetup groups since my arrival in an effort to meet people and get involved. The Super Bowl watching party was hosted by the American Expat group at a local brewhouse. They had also organized a flag football game for this past Sunday but due to rain it was canceled. Instead of just calling the whole event off the venue was changed to a pub to participate in a very Australian activity – drinking. Between those two events, I met quite a few people, got their contact information, and have invited them to my local pub’s trivia night. Paul and I participated in the trivia night last week and came in 2nd place!! Considering it was just the two of us compared to much larger teams, I was quite excited. (Did I mention that Paul is the smart one in this relationship?) Unfortunately, he’s working in Macau, China right now and so I’m excited for my new friends to join me. And yes, he will continue to travel quite a bit in this role as well. I’m just hoping I’ll be able to join him on a few trips.
(Quite a few pub and bar mentions in the previous paragraphs. Welcome to Australia.)
So with two weeks under our belt, we’ve accomplished a major task by securing an apartment, which we move into on Feb. 15. By move, I mean roll our 6 suitcases down a few floors. We’re currently renting a room from a girl in the same building. And yes, the rumor is true, I did find her on craigslist. Even more amazing is that she is pretty normal. Well, Paul would give you different answer, but I think she is fine. This girl is quite eco-friendly and Paul always gets scolded as he puts his trash in the wrong trash bin. I think it’s funny, but it’s probably better that he isn’t the one who is at home all that much. It’s actually worked out to be a great arrangement . . .except that she doesn’t use her air conditioner in an effort to be more green. Did I mention that it’s summer here?
Pretty much my last hurdle is getting a job!! Tomorrow I have my second interview with an all- boys private school here in Sydney. If offered the position, I’d be based out of their elementary campus and my role would be more consultation, counseling, and intervention based rather than assessment based. This position sounds promising and during my first interview I just felt comfortable and relaxed and got along really well with the interviewers. I’m more than ready to get back to work and excited to be a part of something positive again. My lazing around on a daily basis is not positive. At. All. I really did enjoy my job in Dallas ISD (despite what I said on various occasions), and although I know I can’t replicate it nor the wonderful, supportive, and intelligent friends and co-workers I had there, I know I will be happy with this position. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
Living here, so far away from everyone and everything has been tough for me. I know it’s only been two weeks and I know that we’ll have ups and downs as we get acclimated over the next several months, but I can finally see everything coming together. Meeting numerous people over the last few days has helped significantly. Maybe I will make friends after all.
I can now say that maybe the move was meant to be. Paul and many others have already been on this whole “it was meant to be” bandwagon but it just takes me awhile to come around sometimes.
Paul and I first heard about this opportunity in his company upon our return from our honeymoon in SE Asia. We had just come off a ridiculously wonderful trip and were excited and motivated by others we had met and their adventures living abroad. One of our life goals was to live abroad and we were planning on escaping reality for a year by quitting our jobs and just traveling. Of course, we had all these realities/things that needed to happen before we planned on leaving: 1) both kids out of high school, 2) pay off the mortgage, 3) save enough money to live/travel for a year, and 4) Otis, my furry dog child, to no longer be with us. None of those happened prior to our move except for number 4. In October, I lost Otis to lymphoma cancer. Seeing him that sick and having to put him down was absolutely the most painful experience of my life, but I don’t know if I could’ve moved to Australia without him. In that sense, it’s kind of a blessing even though I do miss him everyday.
Other things eventually fell into place as well but not without a large amount of stress. Our stuff was shipped over, our house was rented, our cars sold, and our visas finally came through. My license as a Psychologist is mostly taken care of; just a few more hoops to jump through. And the kids don’t hate us for leaving them. They’re actually excited about visiting during their summer vacations and have even contemplated going to college here or using Sydney as a base to travel throughout Australia and Asia.
Yep, things are definitely looking up. Now, if I could just memorize my new cell phone number (super long) and consistently look in the right direction when crossing the street. . . . .