Monday, September 9, 2013

Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.

We've been in Australia for a little over two years now. When we first moved here, I was a bit overwhelmed—by the accents, by the new currency, by all the unfamiliar words, even by the loud caws of the brightly colored birds.

Fast forward to now and I suppose you could say that we are finally fitting in. Don't get me wrong, we haven't suddenly gained Aussie accents—it's obvious to anyone who talks to us that we are American. (Although, quite a few people ask us if we are from Canada...)

Most days, it no longer feels like we are living in a foreign country. Writing favourite and organise are now second nature to me whereas before it gave me a twitch similar to the effect of nails on a chalkboard.

I can't rightly tell you when it happened, but sometime over the last six months, Australia has begun to feel like home. Perhaps it started with our apartment which is now well lived in. We've accumulated a mass of belongings after having arrived with only 7 boxes. The first month we were here, we didn't have any furniture. It was the cold of winter and I can remember sitting on the living room floor on a camping pad, cursing the fact that Drew was at work in a heated office while I sat shivering in the apartment, waiting for deliveries of a mattress, a fridge, a washing machine, and finally, finally, thank goodness, a couch.

(Now, we have two couches.) 

The biggest change though is that we have found our community. We have lots of friends and social engagements several nights of the week. We play soccer with a fantastic bunch of people. I've joined a writing group. We both enjoy our jobs and our coworkers. Nowadays when Drew goes camping in the bush for weeks at a time for his research, I no longer feel abandoned.

I could tell that we had finally 'made it' when on a recent camping trip with friends, one of the Aussie guys made a comment about "the two Americans in the group". There were actually four Americans in the group—he had forgotten that Drew and I were not Australian.

I'll always be giddy, though, when I see a mob of kangaroos. 

"Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart." - Confucius