What we leave behind when leaving Australia
When we arrived in London three months ago, we became aware, very quickly, how far we truly were from home.
By Haylee Slater
WHEN my husband and I decided to pack up and move to New Zealand three years ago, we were caught up in a whirlwind of excitement and nerves. Living life in such a beautiful place with many similarities to Australia was easy. We were able to visit our relatives in Adelaide every six months and felt more like we lived interstate than overseas.
In contrast, when we arrived in London three months ago, we became aware, very quickly, how far we truly were from home.
Spending our first Christmas away from family was far more difficult than we had imagined. Watching our family open their Christmas presents over Skype was comforting, but in some ways it felt like we were observing the tradition as outsiders.
Missing our family has never been more of an issue than when we found out that my husband’s brother and his wife were expecting twins.
Overjoyed and brimming with pride, discussions quickly turned to all the amazing moments the family would share in the coming year. For us, this joy was quickly followed by the unwelcome realization that we would miss every single one of these experiences.
We knew that we would be involved as much as we possibly could be, even from over here, but there would be no cuddles, no babysitting and our first experiences as aunty and uncle would most likely be via video chat.
For the first time in my life, the excitement of travel had been severely overshadowed by the fear that we had traded a full and happy life for a much lonelier one. Could there ever be enough good experiences overseas to justify such a trade-off?
I spent the week that followed the news, obsessing over every status update made by my family members. I was so worried that I was going to miss out on important moments in my family members’ lives, that I stopped living my life here.
I felt like I was stuck in limbo.
As with all things in life, I decided that the key must lie in balance. All we can do for now is make the most of the time we have here. We can gather stories to share with our niece and nephew, and learn the lessons that we might hope to teach them one day.
While we are living our busy lives in manic Britain, we can feel steadier knowing our hearts still beat to the steadier rhythm of home. I am already feeling calmer knowing that we won’t be changing nappies or entertaining screaming babies any time soon.
What do you miss from home? Tell us below: