It was 9 years ago today that we set foot in Adelaide as permanent residents.
Seems such a long time ago now but I can still remember the excitement and anticipation of the challenge and new life ahead.
We came for a new life,something different to the natural course our lives would have taken in the UK. We could see ourselves stagnating in the UK and just taking the easy course with everything mapped out.
So we came,left our comfort zone,faced new challenges and became Pozzies (Pommie Ozzies - our Ozzie friends love that)
I suppose it was different then,the financial climate was very positive,we were the first of this current stream of UK settlers. So many people here asked why we had moved to Adelaide - as though there was something terribly wrong with the place or as if it were a secret!
Disregarding what you see on the surface - we have had some tough times - but as the Aussies say "Toughen up" - and we did!
Our friends are a real asset here,it takes a while to find the "true" ones with many a slip on the way.
The Aussies and their attitude are one of the main reasons we moved here - they have not disappointed.
We do have lots of good Pom friends as well I hasten to add!
I think we have changed a lot - or adapted.
Life here is so different - but that's why we came!
You just CANNOT expect this land to be similar to the UK with sunshine!
I fully realise it is a lot tougher financially now but quality of life and your children's future is a big part of the move here.It's not for everyone ,I realise that.Some people have to come and experience this land for themselves to find the "true" picture.Some have to Ping - Pong to find out. Whatever it takes - this place can really get a hold of you and you need to satisfy that curiosity - rather "What if?" sitiing in your mind for the rest of your life.
Our Little Tyke is a proper little Aussie now and recently said "Thanks for bringing me here" - quite a reward to us!
We revel in the smaller and joyous moments - such as a walk around one of the many parks spotting Parrots to people offering help with no expectation of reward.
I think you can tell we love the Aussies many are still very open and have quite old fashioned values such as true "mateship",sometime seen as naive but that's not the case.They just have values that have been sadly lost in other nations.
Never judge a book by it's cover here, we have Aussie mates ranging from a millionaire to blokes with 2 Bob in their pocket - they look very,very similar!
I think that this will be the last generation of "True" Aussies now - unfortunately Globalisation is creeping in with a huge American influence showing itself - nothing wrong with America but a shame that a national identity will disappear.
Once you have been settled a few years and set yourself up you find there is a lot to do here - but you have to go out and find it.
From regular nights out with our local mob of mates to volunteering .
Volunteering is a huge thing here - the country would grind to a halt if it were not for all the selfless people giving up their time and energy to help others. There are certainly rewards for doing it, we have met so many lovely people since joining Sea Rescue.
Our latest mad venture is fishing and boating as most of you know.
This has been a huge challenge and learning curve with so many fantastic and sometimes dangerous experiences - but that's why we came.
I've been "adopted" by some of the very knowledgeable local Aussies who are only too keen to help and share.This hobby is fully of etiquette and good old fashioned "Mateship" - which we extend to others now.
I wish everyone all the best in their journey and settlement here and hope you can share some of the fortune and experiences we have.
Even if Him Upstairs - or will it be Him Down below? calls me today---------------
I can say "Mission accomplished" ......Thank you Australia.