Australia

Whenever you go on an adventure, there’s always someone who misses out. I’m not talking about those that make empty excuses, but someone who really wanted to come. Instead, they couldn’t get their boss to give them the weekend off. They came down with a really bad case of the flu. Both of their cars broke down. The realities of life conspired against them, and so… they didn’t get to experience the adventure.

For these people, my goal has always been to make them feel like they really did go with me. How do I do that? Well, that’s where my brain is at, when I’m writing a letter about a trip. I write my letters like I wish everyone would write to me. I try to fill in the important details (where we went, what we ate), remember whatever struck me as funny (I have a weird sense of humor), and provide pictures of what we saw (pictures speak more, especially when my writing doesn’t live up to the view). I want my friends to GO there, in their minds, if they can’t go there in the flesh.

And then, one day, I found a job in Australia. For a year, as an au pair (nanny) to 5 girls. Talk about an adventure! I mean, seriously, I have four brothers, so I barely knew what girls were like!

While I was preparing to leave, I wondered how many questions I would be asked, by my friends. Would I receive fifty million FB messages, asking me “How’s Australia?”. How many e-mails would I have to write, to fill them in, and would I remember who I told what?

A blog was my answer to this question. My way of telling my friends what Australia is really like to this American who only gets to see a piece of it. But since I was the one who would be living it, I would find out what Aussies are like in real life, not just what you learn about them when you spend two weeks in Sydney. I wouldn’t be in the Outback or in the cities, but I would be getting to know the people.

And learn about Australia and its people, I certainly did! If you are only just visiting my blog for the first time, you’ve probably discovered that the majority of my posts were written in Australia! If you’re trying to catch up, this was originally my “About Me” page, but I’ve made a few changes.DSC_0991 I think people should understand what started this blog, though I’m still in the process of figuring out how and what to write, while stateside.

My year in Australia was an amazing year, where I was blessed by all of my experiences. I discovered firsthand what parents have to deal with, 24/7, with both the delights and troubles of raising children. Though I hope to visit again, many times, over the years, in my mind, my Aussie girls will always be the same age as when I lived there. During my year there, I was also blessed to be part of a wonderful church family, take part in several Bible studies, and become close friends with a wonderful Christian circle. I was so blessed by that experience that I can’t even find words for it.

Yes, you’ve read about my travels in AustrDSC_0364-001alia, but I didn’t see enough of the country, not by a long shot. I have a growing list of places in Australia that I still need to visit, both because I can’t go through life without seeing Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the Great Barrier Reef… and because some of my friends in Emerald are moving! Because of that, Tasmania will definitely be on my list of places to see, when I return to the land Down Under.

A year in another country changes you. I am not the same person that I was when I left, and I won’t be the same person, now that I’m back. I can even get depressed after wandering around a grocery store, not because I miss Aussie shopping trolleys, but because I keep looking for items that aren’t on the shelves here. I’m looking for things that remind me of my girls and my friends, but I can’t fDSC_0230ind them. Vegemite, CheesyBite, and Weetbix are not to be found, and I find I’m somewhat lost without them. Of course, if I could find them, I’d probably have my Bub riding around in the front of the cart, too, and don’t I just wish for that!

My journey in the United States continues, but if you continue to read my blog, you will find many mentions of Australia and what I miss the most. I can’t escape from it, nor do I want to, so at least you’ll know why this place comes up so often. And what do I miss the most? The wonderful Aussie people that took me to heart, made me their friend, and consider me an honorary Australian. Aussie Aussie Aussie!

23 thoughts on “Australia

  1. I have four brothers too so I feel for you! =) (Although I wouldn’t trade them for anything now that we are older) And briefly considered being an au pair – for the chance to live in another country =) Although I wasn’t sure I’d REALLY end up liking it…since I started babysitting when I was 12 and always enjoyed being able to send the kids home at the end of the day =P
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, glad I got the chance to ‘meet’ you! =)

    • No, I wouldn’t trade mine for anything, either! But right after Mom had the younger ones, I was sure a sister would eventually come along. So, nannying five girls is an experience! Well, I may live in, but my family is really good about boundaries and remembering that I don’t belong to them 24-7. I’ve been very blessed with my first au pair experience! Good to meet you, too! : )

    • Thanks! I do love my brothers. I’m sure you helped keep things real for them, and not get too much pink in the house. : ) There’s a lot of pink here, where I look after five girls! : )

  2. Hi! I really enjoyed reading your blog. πŸ™‚ Well I couldnt read all of it, just found the blog on freshly pressed; (congrats!!). I’ve been reading the posts about the kitties and then I noticed that you’ve just shifted to Australia. That made me curious about how you find it there. πŸ™‚ No no, i’m from Aussie but I’ve got this crazy dream of spending a few years of my life there! I’m glad to know that I’ll have to drive on the left side there as well!
    Have a great weekend!

    • I’m really enjoying my time here! I think everybody should come over her, but to spend more time than a week or two, if possible. I probably won’t get to see all the sights, like the tourists, but I am finding out what Aussies are really like. Feel free to shoot any questions at me, I’ll do my best to answer them! Glad you came by! I DID have a great weekend!

  3. That’s so exciting! I’m actually doing the same thing right now, but in Belgium. It’s just 2 little boys, but I’m gaining a lot of experience. The language barrier is a challenge, but when I go home I can claim to be somewhat bilingual. When did you start? I’m on the last leg now, I go home Dec. 29 – exactly a year after I got here.

    • Wow! Neat. I arrived in Australia on May 3, and originally planned to go home on the same date. But my cousin’s getting married two weeks before that, so I might leave 3 weeks early. Still debating it, have to talk it over with my Aussie family. No language barrier here, unless you count Aussie slang! I’m loving it, though. When I get home, after a 2-3 month break, I’ll probably look for another nanny job in the U.S.

  4. You are not an extrovert, and don’t like being in situations where you’re on my own? And you got a job in another country as a nanny?? How do you manage that without losing your head? No offence but pls share your tips. I’m an introvert too and the thought of going to a foreign country on my own is so daunting!

    • I’ll have to go look and see how I worded that. I’m not an extrovert, but I guess I’m a more outgoing introvert? I’m not sure, exactly. I can be overwhelmed by situations where I’m required to actually MEET new people, but I’ve been running around in airports and stuff for years, so that’s never bothered me. I’m not getting to know the airport staff, just being polite, like I was raised to be, with everyone. So, I guess it’s social situations, among large groups of strangers that I don’t like. I don’t go to bars, where those who are extremely outgoing like to be. I like to hang out with groups, even big groups of people that I KNOW. So, where does that put me on the intro/extrovert scale? But since I can talk my friends’ ears off, they often think I’m a social butterfly, and I’m NOT. So, I might strike up a conversation with the nice granny lady sitting next to me in the airport, but if a guy my age started talking to me when I’m in line for coffee, I may just look for the nearest exit. : ) Don’t know if that helped, but I don’t completely understand myself, either! : )

      • It takes you so many words but somehow I understand it and really identify with that! I’m trying to be less introvert and less shy and talk more. The Internet and having a blog and facebook helps a lot too! πŸ˜‰

        • Yes, I’m a talker with people I’ve known for a bit, not in social situations. But once someone else breaks the ice, sometimes things improve! But I write as much as I talk, and it’s harder to stop (no one there to shut you up!). I guess I’m somewhere in the middle between intro and extrovert, but I’m still on the intro side. I’ve gotta have my alone time, as well as my people time. Yes, it’s great to have an outlet, on the net! Glad you’re working on being less shy. A bit at a time, step by step. I was a lot worse, 10 or so years ago!

  5. So nice to meet you. The first part of your introduction reminds me of the time my family lived in France when I was too young to really remember. My mom so desperately wanted long letters from home telling her about everything she was missing. Alas my grandmother wrote the shortest no nonsense we are fine letters. My poor mom. I think she was so homesick that she couldn’t enjoy her time in France.

    • I’m glad you dropped by, too! Yes, I understand the longings for letters from home, but my mom is very good about keeping me up-to-date on things at home. And when I was in the U.S., I had lived in PA for 5 years, while my family was in SC, but we kept in touch really well, between visits. But back in the day, real letters were what you lived for!

  6. I feel like I know you! My name is also Rachel, I love volleyball, Jesus, writing, kids, my country, etc. Way to take on the adventure of overseas living! Adorable blog. Keep us posted πŸ™‚

    • Thanks! I was writing letters to my cousins, long before the internet came around, so I’ve always been in the mode of telling people what’s happening in my life. And there’s a favorite conference of mine that I’ve regularly beeing “writing up”, for those that weren’t able to be there. I guess it started there.

      I do love books, but… I like baby animals, but cats and I are just on speaking terms. I don’t know if it’s because they think they’re the stuff or what, but I don’t generally do more than talk to grownup cats. Hope I haven’t crushed your opinion of me! : )

  7. Hello! I’m Sarah- nice to meet you! I work for a digital content publisher called Open Road Media, and I noticed you’re a fan of both Patricia Wrede and Barbara Hambly. Are you interested in reading a galley for Wrede’s “Caught in Crystal” and/or Hambly’s “The Silent Tower” and perhaps sharing your thoughts on your blog? These are titles we published for the first time in ebook form last year, and I’d love to know what you think of them! I can send you the links to these, and more information as well if you’d like! Let me know if you’re interested!

    Take care!

    Sarah

    • Thanks for coming by! I love Patricia Wrede, though I’ll be honest and say that the only Barbara Hambly books I’ve ever read are Children of the Jedi and Planet of Twilight. I think. I’d be delighted to take a look at those books, so please feel free to e-mail me at blueroseofsharon@gmail.com. I googled both of those books, and realized that the only Wrede books I’ve never read are the Lyra novels. Would it help if I’d read some of those first?

      Thanks!
      Rachel

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