They say you can take the girl out of Australia but you can never get the Australian out of the girl.
I used to think this was true, until I moved abroad to the Netherlands for 15 months. Suddenly this all-Aussie girl wasn’t so Aussie after all. People always talk about how travel changes you, a way to find yourself, to discover who you really are. Though the difference between travelling and moving abroad is that these changes are more permanent and funny things you notice about people in different countries start to become a part of your daily life and before you know it you’re acting like your foreign friends.
It didn’t hit me until I moved home to Australia as to how much I had changed and developed habits of the Dutch and the European folk. And boy, wasn’t it a learning curve coming home.
Signs You’ve Lived Away from Australia Too Long.
- You hesitate before pulling out onto the road because you’re unsure of which side of the correct is the correct one to drive on.
- You nearly choke at the price of food in the supermarket – $6.50 for orange juice!
- Likewise with alcohol. Gone are the days of the 12 euro bottles of Jaegermeister.
- You’re super cautious walking in bush areas or long grass. Snakes and spiders are damn scary! It just took some time away from the country to realise this!
- You find the buzzing noise of flies literally the most annoying sound you’ve heard. The serenity of a fly-free country such as the Netherlands seems like a distant and quiet memory.
- Thinking you’ve got severe memory loss because everyone you pass in the street smiles and says G’Day. After a year or two of being oblivious in the streets in Europe, these people must only be acknowledging me because they know me, right?
- You’re appalled at the severely limited free Wifi in cafes. What is this??! You want me to talk to my dining companion?
- You go out in the sun for more than 10 minutes without sunscreen and wonder how you got so damn sunburnt.
- You wince walking outside with bare feet. After being cushioned in boots for so long, your baby-bum-soft feet can’t deal with the blistering hot sand or asphalt.
- You’re offended whenthe security guard asks for your ID at the pub. You haven’t even looked at your I.D for months, beer is like water in Europe.
- You’re gobsmacked at sunset. While the polluted haze of the Northern Hemisphere made for mysterious sunsets, the clear skies of Australia are just beyond.
- You’re amazed at the quality of the coffee. Starbucks has nothing on the perfectly brewed roast made in Aussie cafes.
- You’re grateful for the Aussie-ness that surrounds you. It may take a awhile to accustom yourself back to your Aussie self, but once you do, you realise why its the best country in the world.