IT’S been two months since I moved back to Australia but I’ve already noticed a couple of changes in myself.
One of these is becoming less of a FOMO (someone who has a fear of missing out).
In the past two months I have spent more nights at home on the couch than I did in my two years in London. And that’s no exaggeration.
Despite there being plenty to see and do here, I don’t feel the same pressure to be constantly busy, like I did in London. I guess this goes hand in hand with the slower pace of Melbourne compared to London, and also the fact that this lovely, relaxed, calm country (biased much?!) is my home. It’s where I feel comfortable.
It’s easy for Australians abroad to get caught up in the must-see-and-do-everything-even-if-it-means-no-sleep-and-bankruptcy lifestyle.
For many of us, the move to the UK or Europe is only ever intended to be a temporary one. For this reason life can feel like a race.
It’s easy to get swept up in the buzz of London. You want to experience everything you possibly can during your time abroad.
Another change I’ve noticed is my rediscovered ability to smile at, and sometimes even talk to, strangers.
Anyone living in London will know how unfriendly shop assistants, fellow commuters and waiters can be.
During a visit to H&M, Tesco or any other usual retail giant and you’d be lucky to get a hello out of the person serving you, let alone a “Can I help you?”.
As an expat I forgot about this phenomenon called customer service. At first I was taken aback by the friendliness of my fellow countrymen. Why do you care what I’ve got planned for the weekend or where I bought this daggy old dress I’m wearing?
At first it was a little hard to adapt to the concept, but now I actually enjoy the chit chat.
I’ve even started thanking the shop assistant when leaving the shop. Something which I did very little of in London.
While these are only minor things and will no doubt mark just the beginning of changes that my new life holds, they’re things that only an expat can understand.