Thursday, 7 July 2016

Being 'home' in Perth - six months into repatriation.

Six months ago we were in our final days of our two years in Germany, 
our final days of eight years as expats. 
Lots of 'last times' ...last walk in the forest, last meal with friends, 
last chat with the neighbours, before the last drive to the airport. 
Tears were shed but we looked forward to being 'home' to friends 
and the familiar way of life, back to being Aussies in Australia, 
where we wouldn't stand out.

Swan River, Perth Western Australia

We had been warned by other expats who had returned home, 
that repatriation was the hardest move of all. 
We expected it to be tough but had no idea how tough it would actually be.
The Perth we came home to was very different to the Perth we had left. 
We had grown and moved on as had those we had left behind. 
Some friendships had changed. The roads and rules had changed.
Suburbs had sprung up where golf courses had been when we left.
Kids had become adults, some parents, re connections were needed.

Our four years in Shanghai were some of the best years of our lives. 
The girls went there as children and left as young adults. 
We immersed ourselves in the culture, enjoyed the street foods and loved 
everything from the back alleys to the futuristic skyline. 
We adapted to what we could do and buy, the things we missed from home 
became less as we discovered more in Shanghai. 
Shanghai was 'home'
Many memories and friendships made, we all left a big chunk 
of our hearts there.

We made fabulous friends and had many adventures in England and Germany too. 
Friends were part of our every day lives, a huge support when you are so far from 'home'. 
We introduced British friends to the term 'do a u-ey', learned that pants are 
called trousers there and if you are 'fit' doesn't mean that you could run a half marathon. 
We travelled the countryside on weekends, enjoyed local festivals and traditions.
England was 'home',
We introduced German and a few American friends
to the delights of an Aussie Pav!
We had a gorgeous German forest as our backyard.
We discovered countless castles and amazing history on our doorstep. 
Germany was 'home'.
We left pieces of our hearts in England and Germany too.

We are very happy to be home in Perth, the city the girls and I were born in, 
the only place we truly belong. 
We  still find ourselves homesick for China, ecstatic when we find familiar 
foods in our local Asian shop. 
Homesick for England, the history,  the Pints and the Ye Olde Pubs. 
Homesick for Germany, the seasons in our forest...and white asparagus season!
Friends that became family in all three!
We will get over our cultural jet lag but we did leave pieces of our hearts in 
China, England and Germany, places we lovingly called home. 

Home is where you make it..and where you have left bits of your heart!

Perth is a great place to call home...and we can't complain about the weather...
enjoy these photos, taken while I walked the dog on a beautiful blue sky, 
sunny 18C,  WINTER day!

Swan River, Perth Western Australia

Swan River, Perth Western Australia

Swan River, Perth Western Australia

Autumn Leaf, Perth Western Australia

There is no place like home!

Home: the timely July travel link up, 


  1. Moving is tough no matter where you go. We have just moved from the house we built to a small one bedroom apartment on the 11th floor of a retirement community. It doesn't feel like home yet. It will take time.

    1. Enjoy your new home Marcia. I look forward to readig about your adventures!

  2. Oh, the awesomeness and the pains of the expat life... Perth looks great, though! I didn't manage to visit it while I was in Australia, but it's on my list! :)

    1. Reverse Culture Shock is a thing...but Perth is a pretty nice place to have it. Perth is beautiful and well worth a visit!

  3. It sounds like you've had so many cool experiences! I'm sorry to hear repatriation has been tough, but what a place for it. Perth is so beautiful, even though I only visited briefly I'm keen to go back. Especially somewhere that looks that good in the middle of winter! Sign me up :)

    1. My little family have had many cool experiences as expats...and will have many more at home in Perth. It is gorgeous here...and Winter...everyone is complaining about the cold...haven't had to scrape ice off my windscreen yet. Yesterday I was out in the a t shirt!

  4. This is such a lovely, honest post - we also change so much as expats don't we!?

    1. Thanks Emma, change is good. We expect expat postings to be new and different and forget that 'home' changes over time too. Think the world would be a better place if everyone could go to another country and culture to live...even for just a year!

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