From Australia to USA and back again: Xpatriate Games
My name is Sophia and am currently living it up in Canberra, Australia. I am a Free Range Human who loves all things family, food and travel.
Even after living in six different countries and changing school seven times, I still want to see more!
I am forever plotting, preparing, arranging, scheduling family vacations and adventures wherever I can for my party of three (the husband, Tweeny and I). I blog at http://xpatriategames.blogspot.com.au/
1. Why did you move abroad?
We originally moved to Washington D.C from Australia for my husband’s job. We are now back in Australia and I am finding repatriating back into home life as challenging at times as being an expat.
2. How do you make a living?
A freelance marketing and communications pro, I have been able to transport my career to different industries and countries.
3. What's your favorite thing about repatriating back to Australia?
I am trying to take the same attitude and spirit of discovery we had while living the expat lifestyle in Washington D.C to our home life by rediscovering all the fabulous things in our current hometown of Canberra and further afield has to offer.
4. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in the USA?
I loved living in D.C and the worst thing I can say about my time there is that I could not find good coffee!
Anybody who has ever spent time with me, knows that I am a coffee addict and a coffee snob. I average approximately three cups a day and never drink instant and until moving to the states I never used to drink filter coffee… I blame my father. Ever since we were of legal coffee drinking age my father would spoil us with fresh espresso coffee every morning, made lovingly on his pride and joy the LA PAVONI espresso machine. Before he sent me down the aisle and married me off, he made sure I had my very own La Povoni. In fact, one of the saddest goodbyes I said in Sydney before the move to Washington was to the Barista who services the coffee machines and roasts the espresso beans that we used at home; we received hugs and kisses from his entire family (if you are ever in the Annandale neighborhood of Sydney, Australia visit the fabulously delicious coffee at Euroespresso)
Living in the states changed me! I am no longer the coffee snob I once was, I drank whatever I could get there. Whether it was a $4 double strength short skim no foam latte from Starbucks or filter coffee.
5. What did you do to meet people and integrate in the USA?
While in the USA, I did volunteer work and got involved with local community organizations. I t was a great way to find out what was happening in the community and meet some passionate locals.
6. What is a myth about your home country?
I never thought that one of my challenges as an expatriate Australian living in the USA would be that I was mistaken for an Austrian. Due to the broad Australian accent, I was anticipating that Americans would assume I was from England or New Zealand but not Austria!!
It was surprising how many well educated people upon meeting me and learning that I was from Australia would talk fondly about the loveliness of Vienna. I just smiled politely and nodded. Yes I am sure Vienna, Austria is lovely.
Well it seems the good folks in Vienna, Austria also have to "clear up" their fair share of confusion. Many a tourist travels to the beautiful and historic Austrian capital in search of Kangaroos! On a business trip to Vienna, the husband couldn’t resist purchasing an explanatory t-shirt he found throughout various souvenir stores n the capital proclaiming “No Kangaroos in Austria”.
7. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
The cost of living in Australia is much higher than the USA, so this impacts our travel and entertainment budget as a family. We eat out less and take less trips now that we are back in Australia.
8. What advice would you give other expats?
Say yes to as many invitations and opportunities possible whilst living overseas!
9. When and why did you start your blog?
When we first moved to Washington D.C, I would send out a weekly email to my friends and family back home, updating them on our experiences and adventures. My mailing list kept growing as more friends and family requested to be added to the list and soon enough my weekly email update turned into a blog. It was a great way to stay in touch and connect with local bloggers in the states. Now that we are back living in Australia the blog is about rediscovering home and all the travel opportunities in Australia.
Sophia's blog, Xpatriate Games
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