Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Topsy Turvy

My little family has been through so many transitions in the last six months. In January we didn't know where we were going to be posted next. Japan, America and Germany were all on the table. We went to Shanghai for a year and ended up staying for four, so I didn't actually believe we would leave. Didn't want to believe we would leave.

Things change and do lives

In March it was decided that my husband would return to Head Office in the UK and so began the end of our expat life, except we are Aussies so still expats having to find our way, none of the perks to help us, no friends or family to lean on. We came to the UK for a visit at the end of March, found a lovely little house to rent, applied for visas and school places then returned to Shanghai for our last few months.

Bright new beginnings

Those last months deserve a post of their own, but in short it was so hard to leave behind such close friends, as an expat, friendships are forged faster and stronger than at home. You become each others support network and substitute family. We had a great lifestyle, fabulous adventures. Shanghai is an incredible and vibrant city that gave so much and China is an amazing country to explore. The goodbyes were emotional, many tears were shed. So hard to take my girls out of their familiar environment and away from friends but onward we must go.

Time to pack up and move on

Was great to be able to go home to Australia while our UK visas were processed. Catching up with friends and family. Enjoying the food and the fresh air. Everything so familiar, comfortable, like being wrapped in a snuggly blanket. Then our visas were done, quickly, we could move sooner rather than later and get settled into the UK before school started. Another round of goodbyes, people who knew us, our long term history, where we had come from and what we had been through to get where we are now. More emotions.

Great to relax in familiar surroundings

We are enjoying life in the UK, we are just not that settled yet. My husband is back in Shanghai on business for a few weeks. Miss him but am slightly jealous he is there and will see my friends and I won't. He's also gets to eat all the foods we miss and I would do anything for a Chinese foot massage with my friends. Hard for him too...He keeps expecting to head back to our apartment and his family after work and instead goes to his hotel.

The girls start school tomorrow, new school, new country. They are scared, I'm scared for them, it's a big change. Different system, meeting new school laptops! I'm trying to get out and meet people, make connections. We say, as expats how lucky we are to have friends all over the world and we are, we really are.  Three friends had a birthday today and I couldn't hug one of them. One is in Australia, one in Shanghai and one in Canada. I couldn't have a glass of champers to celebrate the engagement of one of my best friend's daughters with her. Sometimes skype and email and facebook don't cut it. You just want to physically just be with your friends.


I am not complaining, I have a great life and look forward to lots of happy times in the UK with my little family. This life is just not always as exotic or as exciting as it appears. Hard to be the new kid in town...even as an adult


  1. Transitions are always so hard. We miss you all too! But so many good memories!

  2. Lots of happy memories for sure...many more adventures and memories to come for us all!