Returning after visiting Australia

My son and I recently visited Australia together. It was my second trip since May 2022 and was my son’s first time visiting another country. It was the trip of a lifetime for my son. He got to experience walking in a rain forest, seeing koalas and wallabies, going to cafes, riding Puffing Billy, going to Gumbaya World theme park with family friends, learned to make Pulla (Finnish cinnamon roles) and driving on the left side of the road, just to name a few things. I got to visit and spend time with dear friends who have become our Australian family. It was a wonderful trip!

There is something about Australia that makes me, my husband and my son wish we could live there. The lifestyle is much different than here in the US with things being a bit more relaxed and the people are extremely friendly! Where here in the US things are rushed, work is stressful, and people can be rude depending on where you live. My son said he has a 5 year plan to save up to move there permanently. The country side with it’s rolling hills full of cows and sheep are absolutely breathtaking! It’s a different way of life there. Australians agree to disagree and respect each other’s opinions. We have not felt so safe while being out in a long time. We were not worried about a shooting happening in the shopping centers or fights breaking out anywhere. It is much different than life in the USA.

We turn on our tv’s here and hear about mass shootings on a regular basis or we hear about other violent crimes that took place, drugs and corrupt politics. We were not stressed, we were calm, we were not depressed or anxious. It was a feeling like we have not experienced in many, many years. Life in the US is much different than it was 30-40 years ago. Sure you expect change as time marches on but you don’t expect the country you grew up in and have loved your entire life to turn into what it has become. I’m at a stage in my life where I want peace and calm. People can say, well you were on vacation. Yes, that’s true but I also worked a few days while there and with as many projects as we have going on at work, I was not stressed in the least. It was so different to my day to day work life in the US.

Now, we are back and reality has set back in. I’m missing my dear friend and the peaceful lifestyle that Australia offers. Unfortunately, we will not be able to move there. Australia does not allow anyone over 45 to migrate there unless you can find a job with a company willing to provide sponsorship. And the healthcare system is a bit different. My husband who is 18 1/2 years older than I has a few health issues and is not in a position to wait 30+ days to see a specialist. So, we are staying in the US for now but will visit Australia often to visit our Australian family and enjoy the laid back lifestyle even if just for a little while.

Things we took away from our time in Australia….
Take some time for yourself and your loved ones. Spend time out in nature away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Look for the little things that make your heart happy and put a smile on your face. Smile and say hi to others as you walk past them whether you know them or not. Slow down when driving and don’t be in such a big hurry to get nowhere fast. Go for a walk or a hike with family or friends. Visit a cafe (and I don’t mean Starbucks) and enjoy a cuppa with your better half or your closest friend. Enjoy life to it’s fullest and try to find some balance.

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