Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Exactly One Year On: Moving To Australia, Take Two.

A year ago today I landed in Australia. It had been a long hard road to getting back to Aus, and there was a lot on the line. When I'd left Perth almost eight years previously, I walked through immigration crying so hard the official asked me if I was OK, and I then proceeded to spend the entire 24 hour journey crying. I knew in my heart that I would do everything I could to get back, and over the years, despite everything, my goal was to make it happen. And I did it.



Perth to me was my happy place, the place where I felt at peace, and the place where I felt like I belonged. When I left I was in a relationship that continued for another two and a half years, and when it finished everyone assumed my need to go back to Australia would disappear. The thing is, I was in love with Australia long before I was in love with this guy, and although he had definitely been a reason to come back, he wasn't the only reason, nor the most important reason.

And so, over the course of eight years, every decision I made in my life was made with the thought of 'will this help or hinder my move to Australia'. Every decision with university, relationships, my career, each job move, was made with the thought of getting back to my second home. 

Two years ago I made the decision to finally do it. I realised I was at that point in my life, where every move I had made had led me to where I was, and it was time to do it. I was at the right point in my career to successfully be granted the right visa (you have to be a certain level before they'll grant it), and the right point in my personal life. I was ready for a change from London, and I desperately needed to get out of the big city and have some time away.

The first person I told was Pete. As always he was insanely supportive, but I had to go to the bathrooms at work and have a little cry when he told me he was happy for me, but also sad. Me being the idiot that I am was confused and asked why he was sad, and his message popping up on my phone screen saying 'because I'll miss you' made it all the more real and it hit me that I'd be leaving my friends and family behind.

But my goodness was it the right decision. The first time I moved to Australia when I was sixteen, I learnt a crazy amount about myself, and this time has been no different. I've learnt more about myself in this past year than I could ever have imagined, and I'm so crazy proud of what I've achieved.

Moving abroad is hard. It was hard at sixteen, but it was even harder at twenty-five (I'm gonna do a post about this soon). At sixteen you have your parents to organise everything and you just tag along for the fun side of it, but at twenty-five...well, you're a grown adult and you have to do everything yourself! 

Over the past year I've moved 10,000 miles away, had six blissful weeks back in Perth, landed my dream job with my dream client, moved from Perth to Sydney (2,500 miles away) with just one-week's notice, and found a beautiful home to live in with an epic housemate. I then had to furnish my bedroom - cue a trip to Ikea and having to lift 30kg of furniture by myself and then build a double bed alone (a LOT harder than it sounds) whilst *very* hungover.

Over the past year I've made friends, reunited with old friends, had visitors from home, explored a new city, loved my job (almost) every day, travelled and seen more of Australia, partied on a yacht in Sydney harbour, been to one of Google's epic summer parties, saw Elton John perform mere metres away from me at a Youtube event, eaten at some of the best restaurants in the city, had some incredible nights out, snorkelled the Great Barrier Reef, swam with a shark, roadtripped to Canberra and saw a real life wild Wombat, gone on a long weekend trip to New Zealand, and oh my gosh so many more things!!! 

So much has happened and I've done so many amazing things I can't list them all, but it's been a roller-coaster of emotions and experiences. I've learnt so much about myself, what I want from life, where I want to be, what I want from my career, and how I am capable of so much more than I originally thought.

Although I'm pretty intelligent, I can be a bit blonde at times and often speak before I think, and so countless times throughout my life people have called me dumb, or stupid, or told me I'm not capable of certain things. A lot of the time people say these things in jest and to just have a laugh, but actually those words always effect me quite a lot more than I let on. And so this past year I've proven to myself and everyone else just how much I can do alone, and that I can succeed all by myself. #independentwoman

Despite the good times, there have of course been tough times too. Missing people never gets easier, but I've managed this by keeping myself busy, enjoying every second of the time I have in Sydney, and looking forward to the next time I'll see my friends and family. And it's the people back home who have made me realise that although I love Australia, I don't love it enough to stay here forever and be away from them all. 

When I moved here a year ago I knew that this entire move would either get my Australia obsession out of my system, help me move on, and make me appreciate 'home', or I would want to stay for good. I was open to either option when I moved a year ago - I've never been focused on living in Australia forever, I just felt I needed to finish what I started all those years ago. I was forced to move back to England before I was ready, and I honestly feel like I just hadn't finished learning more about myself. 

But the discussion about how moving abroad shapes you, and provides you with the opportunity to grow and learn more about yourself is a different - and lengthier - discussion for another time. 

Anywho, for now I'm still loving Sydney and I'll likely be here for another year or so, but I now feel peaceful knowing that it's temporary and isn't forever. And when the time comes for me to move back to London, I'll be able to leave Australia with a smile instead of tears. And when I land at Heathrow airport, instead of wanting desperately to get back on the plane, I'll wrap my arms around my family, feel a wave of relief and closure, and I'll be home for good.

But until then, there are lots more adventures to experience ;) and remember; never, ever, give up on your dreams, no matter how many people tell you it will never happen. I am living proof that you should ignore everyone who tries to bring your dreams crashing down.

Read my leaving post
Read about my leaving party
Read my Australia posts

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4 comments

  1. Where does time go C. Such a heartfelt post...and when you return we will have to go for a drink.

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  2. I've never lived abroad so it's really interesting to follow the journey of someone who has. So glad you're still loving it!

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  3. Love this post Catherine! I moved abroad for 15 months and at the time I thought I needed a change of scenery and to get away from London but what I really needed was a change in career (which I did this year). Moving away taught me so much about myself :)

    I’m glad that you’re enjoying your time in Australia and like you say it isn’t necessarily forever and when the time is right to leave, you’ll know xx

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  4. Has it really been a year?! It feels so long ago yet the year was over in the blink of an eye - I can't believe 2017 is almost over! What a year it's been - here's to another of more self-discovery and adventures! x

    20 Days, 20 Cities, 6 Countries - Part 8: Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina - Posh, Broke, & Bored

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