He said / She said: The first 72 hours

making progress

He said:

Want to know what we did for our first 72 hours in Australia? It’s really simple: We learned.

In that period of time we ate nine meals, slept in someone else’s place, dealt with our expectations set against a much more deliberate reality… we’ve had setbacks, breakthroughs, made mistakes, and mistakenly made some amazing choices. We’ve exercised more while consuming less, paid more for better tasting food of smaller volume… Set up our banking, healthcare and cell phones… we’re close to securing an apartment, but we need to buy furniture, set up our public transit access, and buy a BBQ (required, I think?), and more.

In 72 hours I’ve learned to appreciate things about home – California. We haven’t been gone long, but the thought of not seeing family and friends from California is disconcerting. I wouldn’t label myself as homesick, but it certainly does shock the system to think about. Always being available caused me to take things for granted. I’m learning to value the people and location I’m in… starting now.

In 72 hours I’ve learned to appreciate things from my new home – Sydney. We haven’t been here long, but we’ve used all available time exploring the city, trying to get a pulse on how we fit in here… and how we need to change. I’m excited to learn about the city, the country, the surrounding countries… and to decide in three years if Australia fits into our long(er) term plans.

In 72 hours I’ve learned that immigration in Australia is a tricky thing. The switch from a “White Australia” policy to their current form of open immigration must have taken a long time and have been contentious. Due to its relatively recent implimentation I’ve learned that, at least for me, living in Australia is very different that BEING Australian… something hard to conceptualize as the “native” in the US. Yet all the immigration to Australia recently seems to have made for a very interesting and hard working, although stratified society.

In 72 hours I’ve learned that Rema and I have what it takes to make a move like this. It was something I had always suspected, but was difficult to verify… how do you know? Simply put, we know because we’re doing it. Our strange mix of strengths and weaknesses seems to have what it takes to get through any problems we’ll face on this journey.

Finally, in 72 hours I’ve learned that I’m intrigued by what Sydney seems to offer. I’m a little hazy on exactly where this is going, or what I’ll feel like a few months/years from now… but I’m here, and I won’t waste that.

She said:

When I stop to think about it, it’s kind of amazing – if I do say so myself – how much we’ve gotten done in our first 72 hours of being Sydneysiders. We set up our bank accounts. Activated cell phones. Went on apartment inspections. Decided on preferred apartment and hustled to submit an application. Scored keys to said apartment and lo and behold, we are pretty well established!

I’m indebted to Scott for much of this progress.  He was the driving force of productivity, and although part of me knew it was probably the right thing to do, couldn’t we just walk around the Opera House one more time and maybe check out the Royal Botanic Gardens first?

Anyway, here we are, less than one week into this adventure, and we’re moving into our first apartment – more on that in another post. Tonight, our Friday evening is low-key: a few glasses of wine and some Kindle time (I’m reading this).

Come Sunday, we’re planning to check out a free concert at Prince Alfred Park.  It’s part of Sydney Christmas programming going on around the city.  There will be fireworks!

P.S. I took the very scientific Buzzfeed quiz: “How Sydney are You?” and scored 40% (!) A fair effort.  I can definitely build on this.

Update: There were no fireworks.  There was, instead, a pretty spectacular rain and lightening storm. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

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