Living abroad is an adventure, a challenge, which shapes our life and views about the world in a thousand ways. The country that you chose to live in, its traditions, the attitude of its people, its lifestyle, they influence and become part of us almost unnoticeably.
With Australia Day approaching (January 26 is the anniversary date of the arrival of the first British fleet to Sydney Cove in 1788) I kept wondering what are the things that Australia has taught me since I moved here. Here come the five most important lessons so far.
1. First of all there is the attitude of „no worries”, which sprinkles some sunny lightheartedness on the everyday life. And somehow it always reminds me that we should not take ourselves too seriously, because in a way or another everything gets resolved in the end.
2. Then there is the famous Australian work-life balance, which really should become part of the school curriculum everywhere. It is almost unbelievable that life here does not only revolve around work and overtime. In Australia it is as much important to spend time with your family and friends, as well as with doing some sports or having a hobby. And those who consciously demand this are not being looked at in the wrong way. In fact it is rather the contrary, they are being appreciated and looked up to.
3. I have always been amazed by those nations, which are able to cheer and celebrate their country as one person, they are proud of it, and they never miss an opportunity to share this with the whole world. Australia is like this! Now that Australia Day is coming the shelves of the supermarkets are packed with products wearing the Aussie colours and flag. You can practically get anything – from baseball caps, towels, to coolers and lilos and so on – which is needed for the perfect celebration of Australia Day (and yes I did get some removable tattoos!).
4. I have always loved nature, but here all that reached a different dimension. In Australia you cannot choose between creatures that are adorable and that are not that much loveable, because nature many times greets you at your doorstep. There were some animals from which I kept away before I arrived here, and I am not saying that I am not afraid of most of them anymore, but I do feel that I have become more open, adventurous and accepting towards with the miracles of nature.
5. Australia is a bit like a big playground, where there is always something to do. Maybe that is why it is so likely to find people spending time outdoors whenever they can – in the park, on the beach, in the bush or rainforest, on the sports ground, in a campsite, on the porch, in the garden etc. The whole down under lifestyle is filled with the freedom of the outdoors. Of course, we can explain it with the pleasant weather, but I do think that the more time you spend here the more time you will be enchanted to be outdoors as much as you can.
Are you living as an expat in Australia? What were your biggest lessons here? Are you an Aussie? What was the most valuable lesson you learnt from another nation?