The Beginning of the End

19 Sep

I haven’t been blogging much for the past few months and I’ve recently decided to wind down this blog. This might not be my last post ever, but I definitely won’t be writing again for a while.

When I started blogging, I had just moved to Australia and everything was a novelty. I was also pretty lonely and didn’t have much to do or anyone to talk to.

While I’m still on my expat journey and probably will be for a long time, my desire to write about it has waned and the time I have to devote to it has dwindled. I now have work, volunteer, and family commitments to keep me busy.

I have also found that the longer I’ve been here, the less happy I’ve become. Australia is a great country with a lot to offer, but I don’t fit in here. Combined with my personal depression and a lot of bad circumstances, I don’t feel that I have a lot to say that is very positive at the moment.

Now, this is my space and if I feel like writing about all the things I don’t like, that’s my prerogative and anyone who doesn’t like it can suck it up and leave. I am not now and have not ever written this blog to please anybody else. If you want a happy expat blog filled with cupcakes, rainbows, and dancing unicorns, look elsewhere.

Some comments that I have received (and not published– that’s my prerogative, too) have been very nasty because apparently some people are upset that my blog isn’t upbeat enough for their tastes or they can’t accept that not everyone thinks Australians are the greatest creatures on earth. I don’t know why people feel compelled to say they hate my blog and are going to go find another one that suits them better. I don’t care one way or the other and I’m not sure why an announcement is necessary or why some people feel it’s appropriate to direct cuss words and name-calling at me when making their announcement. But I’m not going to publish or respond to comments like that. As I said, this is MY space.

I think it’s important to remind people that not every expat experience is a positive one. There’s nothing wrong with that. Every expat has good days and bad days, and some people have more good days while others have more bad days. There is nothing wrong with not gelling with a new host country or culture.

I think there is far too much snobbery among expats with this subtle expectation that if an expat can’t adapt, there must be something wrong with them. This is why I don’t hang out much with other expats and why so many expats keep it to themselves when they are unhappy.

In any case, I’m here for the foreseeable future, since I do need to get my citizenship. H is unlikely to get US citizenship and doesn’t want it anyway (can’t say I blame him!). As we do need at least one country where we both have citizenship so that we don’t face any problems in the future where one of us is no longer allowed to live or work in the other’s country, the best option is for me to get my Australian citizenship and probably for all of our kids to be born here, as well.

It’s not that I think America is the greatest country ever, because I don’t. In fact, I deeply hate America in a lot of ways and I’m not sure I really want to go back there, either. I think some people may have the impression, after reading one or two posts, that I’m some uncultured redneck who can’t deal with anything different. Since I’m actually very well travelled and I grew up in a non-redneck state in a white-collar family, that assumption is pretty far off the mark. My dissatisfaction with Australia involves a lot of complex factors, most of which I have never mentioned on this blog, because they are private. That’s another reason I’m not going to acknowledge some of those comments– they are woefully uninformed.

So I’m going to keep muddling along in my own way and probably not sharing much of my journey anymore. I’ve left up the relevant and popular posts. I may occasionally come back to make a post on the immigration process (since I’ll be doing PR in a little over a year) or something similar that other expats may find useful as a resource. And I’ll probably keep reading other people’s blogs that interest me. But otherwise, I think I am pretty much done here.

I’ll leave you with one last expat tip: There is a new-ish store in Prahran on Greville Street selling USA products called USA Milkbar which is similar to USA Foods, but smaller and a bit more conveniently located. Check it out.

Thanks to everyone who has followed my blog for (nearly) the past two years.

12 Responses to “The Beginning of the End”

  1. julesdownunder September 19, 2013 at 3:27 pm #

    I’m sorry you won’t be blogging anymore, though I certainly respect your reasons. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and following you on your journey here. I can understand the issues you are facing- I too have been feeling deeply unsettled for the last few months. Anyone who thinks a person can pick up and change countries/cultures without issue is ignorant of the emotional complexities such a move entails.

    Best of luck to you and fingers crossed for a smooth approval of your PR status. Cheers.

    • housewifedownunder September 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

      Thanks, Jules. I have also enjoyed your blog and will continue to check in to read your posts. Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling unsettled, too. I hope things improve for you soon!

  2. Megan September 19, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    Sad to hear that you won’t be blogging anymore. I’ve been reading your posts for over a year now and always enjoy reading about your experiences. I’m an American and spent a year living in Sydney several years ago. I too struggled emotionally and spent part of the year feeling very lonely and out of place. It is disappointing to read that people left you nasty comments. Just know that for every meanie leaving you those messages, there are lurkers like me who have never posted but have enjoyed getting to know you immensely!

    Wishing you the best!

    • housewifedownunder September 19, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      Thanks, Megan. 🙂 I’m trying to work through my negative emotions and find other outlets. A couple of fellow expats (one American and one South African) both told me recently that they still struggle and they’ve each been here for 6 or 7 years. I hope it doesn’t take me that long!

  3. julitownsend September 20, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    I think settling in a new country is one of the greatest challenges out, and I don’t think it’s something that simply gets better magically. I suspect there will always be an element of yearning for your country of origin, but hopefully, those sad moments get less and less powerful, and happen less often over time.
    Good luck. I hope you feel better in general, soon.

  4. Kimberly September 22, 2013 at 8:06 am #

    Thanks for you rhonestly. I have followed your blog for about a year now as my Aussie husband and I am considered relocating to Australia. I appreciated you telling me your side. I have felt that some blogs only showed what picture-perfect side of epat life, but there is no way it can always be rosie. So thank you for telling your story in such an honest and open way. Best of luck to you.

  5. Cosette September 22, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    You and other commentators have already expressed my thoughts. I just want to add my voice in support; I sympathize. Hang in there!

    • housewifedownunder September 26, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      Thanks, Cosette. I hope to keep following your blog, even though I won’t be writing anymore myself. I’ve been pretty active lately with several volunteer organisations and while it’s not a cure, it’s a good distraction and can be fun. Maybe if you’re still struggling with loneliness and isolation, that could be a good option for you to fill up some of your spare time.

  6. RG October 8, 2013 at 12:00 am #

    Just saw your blogs for the first time and enjoyed reading them! I can relate to how you feel as I am an expat as well! Thanks for the info on the USA millibar too! Good luck in your endeavors!

  7. Marie October 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

    I’ve nothing constructive to add as the others have pretty much summed up what I wanted to say. But I’ll add that I’m a lurker who has read and enjoyed your blog. I hadn’t commented before as I don’t have WordPress (I use Blogger) and I couldn’t work out how to comment (computers are not my strong suit!).

    I enjoy your honesty and recognise that dilemma of “Hmmm… why do they do it like that here?” I’m an Aussie who relocated to Sweden 13 years ago and many of the feelings of isolation and loneliness you feel resonated with me. I’ve seen several expat blogs that read like fairy tales and which I know must be heavily edited snapshots of their life, with all of the negatives carefully photoshopped out. Yours was a breath of fresh air and I’m sorry to see it end. But I can well understand your feelings. I hope you find the balance you are looking for.

  8. Krystle M. October 29, 2013 at 10:13 am #

    I am sorry to hear you won’t be writing here anymore since I only just found your blog. I am from California and moving to Melbourne in January to be with my fiance. I wanted to start a blog when I move there too. I know it won’t be unicorns and cupcakes, but I need to remain positive. Truth be told I never, ever had any interest in even visiting Australia as a tourist. And now here I am moving permanently. I hope you do contribute here sometimes, at least to tell me about more new markets like the on in Prahran. Good luck to you!

  9. KJoy December 2, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    I just came across your post today (I had bookmarked your blog several months ago), and I respect your perspectives as I am also here in Australia from the States on a spousal visa. I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster since my move exactly one year ago. I agree volunteering helps (I wish to be working but seems they’re not interested in hiring a TR!) Just want you to know you have my sympathies!

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