InterNations Featured Blog
Yvette: My Life and Musings
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Australia, etc.
Hi y’all! My name is Yvette. I’m originally from Louisiana. I’ve moved around the US (Arizona, California and Connecticut) after graduating high school and marrying my husband. We moved to Sydney, Australia in February 2012 on a 457 Visa.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
Before we made our move, I found myself searching the internet for others’ experiences in Sydney, especially people who had come from the states. I found a few blogs that I followed for a few months before we left. I realized that keeping up communications with my family and friends was going to be a challenge. Starting a blog would give me a creative outlet and let everyone keep up with me. And if someone else contemplating such a move could benefit from my experiences… even better!
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours (please insert URL as well)?
That’s like asking which is my favorite child. LOL! I guess the post, We Needed More Stuff, would be my favorite. Every time I think of that day at Bunnings when we were searching for a trash can I break out into an ear-to-ear grin.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Australia differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I remember thinking that moving to Australia was going to be great because I spoke the language. Little did I know that the English spoken here in Sydney was so different from the English I spoke back home. I feel like an idiot at least once a day trying to analyze what people are saying to me. Ordering lunch can be a challenge! I have never had so many options just ordering French fries. It’s definitely culture shock.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Australia? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
No, I wasn’t prepared. I’m not sure you can ever be prepared. The distance from family and friends can be emotionally draining. Having to start over (credit-wise) is difficult when you are accustomed to living a certain way. But I think this is a very subjective question.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
I walk to work and back home across the Harbour Bridge every day. I go to Starbucks every morning for coffee on the way to work (old habits die hard). I’m still not accustomed to the humidity in the morning, so by the time I get across the bridge I’m pouring sweat. Literally. So one day I get into Starbucks and the barista takes one look at me and says, “Is it really that hot out???” Everyone turns to check me out. I was mortified. You might have had to be there.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Australia?
- Relax and take time to appreciate the opportunity you have.
- Save as much money as you can before embarking on your journey. You just never know what kind of credit limits may be imposed on you or deposits you may need for apartments with no references in a new country.
- Start a blog!
How is the expat community in Australia? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
Well, I joined InterNations before I moved to Sydney, but I haven’t taken the time to attend any of the functions yet. Of course, I’ve only been here two months and I’ve been a bit busy trying to find an apartment, find a job and join a gym! I don’t think it would be hard to find like-minded people or fellow expats.
How would you summarize your expat life in Australia in a single, catchy sentence?
Just a Southern girl making her way Down Under with an accent of her own.