What is it you Khan’t face?
Welcome to WIIYKF Sarah.
Thanks for your time I may not be able to relate to your story right now as we are not repats but one day we might return to live in Australia . I will assume many of our readers are looking at returning “home’ or have returned home and will find your . The insights you provide will be valuable.
Where were you born and where are you currently living?
Born in Sydney Australia to Greek and Austrian parents. currently living in Brisbane,Australia
Why did you return “home” and how long have you been back?
Returned home due to contract finishing in Mongolia and have been back 3 months
What are the main differences living in your home country compared to life as an expat?
Expat life was spontaneous. Every day was different. Coming back to your home country you relise that everyone is moving at the same pace, same time, very very mundane. Its like groundhog day. You have the same routine.
How have these changes affected you?
It has brought me closer to my children and husband. Before we left Australia we were both working full time, kids were being dropped to school at 6:30am and being picked up at 6pm at night. Weekends were spent food shopping, house cleaning, yard mowing. No family time. Expat life has made me relise that family is the most important thing and I also mean our extended family ( the expat friends we have come so fond of).
What was your favourite part of being an expatmumma?
Making longlife friends. Life is exciting, even though at the time you think it is hard at times, you can always ring a friend for a laugh and there is always a shoulder to lean on when you are having your bad days. I loved the social aspect. The spontaneous G&T sessions, the foulmouth kickboxing sessions, the great friends the kids had made. There is too many things to list.
What other places have you lived?
Just in Australia and Mongolia.Although we have travelled to many countries.
I now speak English, American, 2 words in Mongolian, most swear words in Greek, coming back to Australia, I think a bloody lot of a Australian!
How many children do you have and who are they?
I have two children, Ben and Ethan
What do you love the most about your children?
There kind nature, their cuddles and loves. There ability to adapt to most situations placed in front of them.
What shits you the most about your children? naughty question
The fricken tantrums of my 8 year old. Far out it shits me.
What school do your children go to?
Mitchelton State School (in Mongolia they attended The International School of Ulaanabaatar)
What is your job? If you are lucky enough to be a lady of leisure then what are your hobbies?
I now am full time concentrating on my debt collection business.
What was the easiest thing settling in?
Actually hopping in my car and being able to drive to whereever I want and not taking 2 hours to drive 7 km’s to town.
What was the hardest thing settling in?
I don’t think I have settled in yet! Still not in my house (only 2 weeks away) Yeahhh….. and having to deal with the everyday bullshit that happens here!!!
How do you live your life differently now you have the hindsight of your expat experience? Can you give examples of where you changed habits of “home” to fit your new belief system about living life and family?
Expat life showed me how to chill a little, how that spontaneity keeps you alive. It teaches you how to accept another culture, another way of doing things, different personalities and how to adapt to those personalities.
Materialistic things are not important. I A friend of mine showed me how a cardboard box and a few toliet rolls can entertain kids for hours. Spending time with your children even through the tough times is so important to them. When I was previously living in Australia, we used to drop the kids off at 6:30am to before school care and pick them up at 6:00pm. They never saw me. I think the opportunity we had in Mongolia brought our family closer together. Now moving back to Australia, we spend more time as a family. Making time for your children, making time for your spouse, making time for friends is the most important thing and I have changed the way I think now moving back. Even though Aussie life is very “normal” give me an expat life any day.
Describe a usual day?
Wake up at 6am, make lunches for everyone, make breakfast for everyone, drop kids to school, come back home . Work on my business, pick kids up, take kids to after school activities, come home cook dinner, put kids to bed and then have a stiff drink.
What is the best thing about living in this place?
Can I get back to you on that? I am still living at the inlaws. Move into my house in just over a week. Will let you know after that.
Where would your ultimate expat posting be and why?
Anywhere were I can make great friends. I don’t think it is the place, it is the people that make the place.
What is it you simply KHAN’t Face anymore living back in this country?
Getting yelled at by the lollypop lady at school for not standing behind the yellow line!
Thanks Sarah-Jane. xoxox