Living abroad changes you from the inside and the outside
Coming home from an adventure, you and people around you will recognize things throughout your day and life that have changed. That is due to the experiences in another country. It is fun but also shocking sometimes. It changes your habits, thoughts and actions. YES, you have changed!
The following list is created by me and my experiences during the last two years that I have been back from 6 months Australia. I am sure many out there will find themselves in the following habits/thoughts/actions as well. Usually it is a blast when I recognize the changes.
Have fun :).
Top 10: You have been to Australia if…
#1 My heart stops for a second and I almost scream
But just at the end of the thought, I have a big smile on my face and find myself in a bus in Germany… and all I actually see is fog and a forest. Yeah, I guess fog can actually look like fire though probably only if you have been in Australia long enough and experienced some of the bush fires.
#2 You have been long enough to the laid-back country if you find it strange to have an official contract to your apartment and pay it through your account. YEAH! In Australia it is common that you just move in and pay cash, no signature needed. In Germany, we make even a contracts if you move in only for few weeks.
#3 You are desperately looking for an ATM at the pub. I always assumed that this is part of the business plan of pubs in Australia. Once you got an ATM in a pub/restaurant, your customers may never run out of money and will keep drinking, which would also explain the common over the top drunkenness in Australia.
#4 *wooooohooo* you love going for groceries and shop soooo much back home (except you are used to these prices which may be similar to a country like Sweden) because you can not believe how cheap it is. YEAH, before leaving for Australia everyone knows that this country is expensive. BUT once you get there it still shocks you!!!
#5 Riding a car in your home country (if it’s not on the left side just like in Australia) freaks people out. I was shocked a couple of times when I thought that the person I was driving with was taking the wrong lane. But all they did was taking the right side, this totally freaked me out. I still find myself walking to the wrong side of the car. Coming back and driving the car was quite adventurous.
#6 It is strange to wear shoes all the time when coming back home. In Australia, it is quite common to walk without shoes or any kind of sandals in the city/shopping center/uni. Check out some Australian artists and you will find them barefoot ( e.g. Kim Churchill performs without shoes). The reaction of Germans is always a mixture of thinking it to be funny, impressive and strange at the same time. When I was at a concert of Kim Churchull I could hear a bunch of people saying that it is something extraordinary by the artist that he is barefoot 😀 nope. it’s not!
#7 You wonder where all the surfers and skateboarders are…
#8 Your choice of words have changed which may cause some strange looks 😀 (tomato sauce > ketchup; g’day mate! > hello!; chips > french fries; no worries > sth. like no problems; thongs > flip-flops)
#9 I LOVE COFFEE! Once I was home, I was impressed when I got my coffee under 10 minutes! Australians celebrate the process of making coffee. During the first weeks in Australia, I often thought they lost my order :D.
#10 You totally freak out when you see something tiny black… all you think is SPIDER!!!!
I guess all our travels will leave some traces in ourselves just like all our decisions. Sometimes it seems hard to fit back in my ‘original’ environment. But to be honest, I don’t want to fit in anymore. I am super happy and thankful for all the (life changing) memories. They change us for the better.