Wednesday, January 27, 2016

4th Expativersary

Four years ago I left my home, my job, my family and friends and hopped on a plane that took me to America, where I had exactly 3 friends, no family, no job, no nothing. It was terrifying.

It had always been a dream of mine to live in America for a year - like since babysitters club days - and then I met Megan and figured Kentucky was as good a place as any. Then I met KC and it seemed to all be falling into place. Then of course, it all fell apart when KC broke up with me and I very seriously thought about throwing in the towel and giving up on it all.

I'm the kind of person, though I may not seem like it, that would happily sit in corner for the rest of my life if it guaranteed nothing bad would ever happen to me. So it was tempting to not do the big bad scary thing, and just stay in my comfort zone. But, staying in my corner and being safe from bad things also means I didn't get the possible joy of the good things.

So I decided to go. Screw that guy. It would be great. I would do things, I would stay there for a year and then I would go home or travel some more. It was going to be fine. Plus, I'd already paid for the visa...

I left the day after Australia day and moved in with a friend that I of course liked and trusted, but didn't know super well. I got a job at her dad's restaurant the very next day. I had a place to stay, a job, and friends can be family. Things weren't looking so bad at all.

And then of course, the biggest thing happened that threw a (happy) wrench in all my plans. KC and I got back together, and we got married - the reason I am still here.


But a few other things happened as well. That girl I barely knew that welcomed me into her home is now a huge part of my life, one of the best friends I've ever had, and someone I respect and appreciate. Also, I can text her when I feel like being a bitch and she just gets me.


On top of that, I have grown so much as a person. I'm not miss debbie downer negative about everything hating on myself anymore. That's a huge deal. I'm happy. I always thought I was happy enough before, but now I know that being okay with who you are and your life versus embracing who you are and loving your life are two completely different things.

A lot of that is due to the fact that I don't have any toxic people in my life. I can count my true friends on one hand and that is plenty for me. These girls are a huge reason I stay here as well. You should never underestimate the power of good friends.



I blog which I never could have even imagined being a thing, but it is, and I enjoy it, and all the friendships I've made. I need more than one hand to count the blog friendships, but they are just as valuable to me. I never thought I would meet people online and then go on to meet them in real life and it not be awkward, but amazing. 

I still read a lot. I exercise a bit less. I'm still obsessed with Pride & Prejudice, but not country music. I have 3 cats, and I love them to pieces.


I've done lots of Louisville-y and American things, like the Derby and Halloween. I've lived through winters with snow. I've visited a few American cities. I've been to Europe and I've been home.



And of course, the biggest thing of all - I went from blonde to brunette. Woah.

I'm not going to pretend I have a 'hard' life. I love my life. It's great. Every life has good parts and bad parts. It's not easy to be away from family and my home, but I chose this. I'm not the only person who lives away from family, whether it's an hour or a day, away is away. In some areas, it gets easier to be away as time goes on, and in other areas it gets harder. I know that probably doesn't make any sense.

I have KC, amazing friends, kitties who love me (sometimes), a supportive family who misses me and I'm a part of a fabulous blogging community. Above all that, I am lucky to be able to live here with KC and to have such an amazing home to miss.

I've been to cities that never close down
from New York to Rome and old London town
but no matter how far or how wide I roam
I still call Australia home

I'm always travelling, I love being free
and so I keep leaving the sun and the sea
But my heart lies waiting over the foam
I still call Australia home

All the sons and daughters spinning around the world
away from their family and friends
but as the world gets older and colder
It's good to know where your journey ends

And someday we'll all be together once more
When all the ships come back to the shore
I'll realise something I've always known
I still call Australia home.


Because no matter how far or wide I roam, I still call Australia home.

70 comments:

  1. Aw! So glad that you came any way and that things worked out for the best for you! And super glad all of that happened because it means I got to (eventually) meet you! :) <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. Awe this is so sweet, happy expativerary girl! So amazing how life works out!

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  3. This is so beautiful! I completely understand when you say that some things get easier, at the same time some things get tougher. For me, saying goodbye gets harder but building my day to day here in Slovenia becomes easier. Your life does sound beautiful!

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  4. Home will forever be home, I'm very glad you are here in your second home though. Wow, 4 years, what an adventure. I'm so happy you are happy, that is so key in this world. Happy friends are some of the best friends out there. And no matter how long you stay here, it will never be easy missing your family!!!!

    PS.com blonde to brunette, whoa! Great job joining the fun side ;)!

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  5. Such a great post - I still think you're so incredibly brave for making such a big, bold move! And of course, so glad we got to hang out during your NYC trip!

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  6. Home is always where the heart is :)
    ... good for you not giving into loving country music. I still can hardly tolerate it - even growing up in KY.
    Yep... true friends should only be counted on one hand.

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  7. Look how everything fell in to place over here, America decided hey this is a cool chick how can we keep her around?! :) It takes a lot of courage, strength and confidence to move to another country and I am glad that decision found you so much happiness!

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  8. What a sweet celebration! Sounds like you've made quite a home for yourself everywhere you go! That's pretty brave!

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  9. You are so much braver than me. I couldn't even pack up and move to Tennessee after college like I had planned.

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  10. this post! all the feels. what a great way to celebrate :) everything really happens for a reason and you have just a beautiful life with so much love. yay for all of it!

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  11. So fun! What an amazing 4 years you've had!

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  12. happy expativersary to youuuuu!! loved reading about your experiences and how you've grown and changed since then!

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  13. This was such a fun little trip down memory lane and a good recap of how and why you came to America. Totally understand why Australia is still your home though. There's just something about the place you grew up that makes it like family. :)

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  14. Happy anniversary!! I'm so happy you made the move and I hope to meet you IRL when you come back to Boston!! So happy you've been able to experience so many wonderful things here and I mean KC is a gem too! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  15. This is a great post!! Its amazing that you had so much courage to move so far away from home and make it work. I love reading about all your adventures!

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  16. awwww, happy 4 years! What an accomplishment. "I can count my true friends on one hand and that is plenty for me." <---well said :)

    Your lovely life is sweet and beautiful.

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  17. You crack me up girl, I went to brunette from blonde ;-) I love seeing all your hair transformations. I also love your snaps when I can hear your accent!

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  18. Happy Anniversary!! What a beautiful post. You were a GORGEOUS Bride.

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  19. Kristen! This made me a bit teary eyed. What a lovely tribute to your spirit and your country! I think it's absolutely amazing that you left the comforts of home to adventure to a new country. I thought I was cool for switching cities, much less hemispheres! And look at your fabulous life . . . things have a way of always working out like they are supposed too! So glad to "know" you and share in your life. I know you said you used to be negative, but I think you are a shining light in the blog world!

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  20. Happy anniversary <3 <3 I'm so happy to took the leap that you did, and that it led you here to this lovely life and, of course, it led our paths to cross! xoxo

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  21. Aww, I love this! Such a huge leap of faith you took and look how it paid off!! Happy 4 years! Do you think you guys will ever make the move back to Australia?

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  22. Happy 4 Years! I love that you came AND started a blog. Think how different and sad life with be if you had not come here AND never started a blog?! Way sad. Here's to 4 +100 more years!

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  23. I know it can't have been easy...and probably still isn't easy some of the time, but I'm glad that you've found happiness, and had so much fun over the last 4 years!

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  24. I love this post and I love hearing about how happy you are. I totally get how you can move somewhere new but always still keep your "home". Happy anniversary!

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  25. Happy expativersary! Keeping away toxic people is always huge! I'm happy everything fell in place for you, and even though Australia is always home for you, you've made a good life over here in the states.

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  26. Such a great post and so interesting to hear more about your story!

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  27. Aw I loved reading this! I bet it's cool to look back and see how things/yourself has changed and grown. Happy 4 year anniversary :)

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  28. It is so amazing that you went so far out of your comfort zone coming here! And then building this life here too. That poem at the end made me emotional haha. I think it's because I miss Australia (I was only there for five months, so obviously it's not where I call home...but you know) and also I love the pride for their country Australians have! I mean Americans have it too but it's just obnoxious most of the time...especially since we're kind of a shit show of a country, in my opinion.

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  29. Happy Expativersary! You are way braver than I would ever be by moving to a new country but I'm sure glad you did!

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  30. Happy 4 years! Sounds like you have a lot to be thankful for which makes being away from your family easier to handle. KC is a great guy!

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  31. This post just makes my heart happy - I'm so glad that everything fell into place for you and that you continue to be happy with the decision that you made four years ago. America gained a fabulous human being! :) P.S. you look stunning in your wedding photo.

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  32. Happy expativersary (from another expat in the US who is soon leaving again).

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  33. I definitely don't think that I could ever be that brave to move somewhere that only knew a handful of people! So glad that everything ended up working out and you ended up staying here, even though I know you miss Australia like crazy! And I would personally rather have 5 great friends that I know always have my back than 20 ok friends that really aren't great for me. Heres to many more expativersaries!

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  34. Yayyyyy Happy Expativersary! So glad everything worked out with living here and with KC. And of course that I got to meet you guys while you were in Orlando :-D
    Green Fashionista

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  35. This is a perfect way to commemorate 4 years! I'm so happy for you that everything worked out.

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  36. Happy Expativersary! I'm glad you've had such a great experience :)

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  37. Wow, what a journey you have been on!
    Kelsey
    www.thepeacockroost.com

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  38. Aww, happy anniversary. What an exciting move and so many great changes that came your way!

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  39. You were blonde?! I need to see this :) I have to know -- have you lost any of your accent? I have to be honest, I'm totally obsessed with Australian accents! Hehe. I guess to you its not even considered an "accent" ;) anyway -- happy day!!!! Glad you left your comfort zone and came to America!

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  40. Happy Expativersary! It's amazing all of the things that can happen in four years :)

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  41. Cheers to new things and getting out of your comfort zone!! (:

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  42. Happy Ex-Pativersary! I lived overseas for a little bit less than a year and loved every second of it, but I know it can be hard! My husband and I really want to leave the US for awhile, but it's actually really hard to convert a pilot's license internationally, so it may never happen for us, but I love how you've embraced the US and done so many wonderful things here and YAY you get to go home this year!!!

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  43. Aw so sweet. I'm glad you have such a good life here, and reasons to still love home. It's not the worst thing, though of course it might be easier for you if you were a leeeetle bit closer to visit more. Still twice in less than 10 years seems great to me! :) I love the song (?) the lyrics are great. :) Happy Expativersary! Glad to call you a blog friend. XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  44. What a lovely, perfect post!

    This: "It's not easy to be away from family and my home, but I chose this. I'm not the only person who lives away from family, whether it's an hour or a day, away is away. In some areas, it gets easier to be away as time goes on, and in other areas it gets harder. I know that probably doesn't make any sense."
    You do know that makes perfect sense to me.

    Uhm. I've seen several wedding pics of yours. How is this the first time that I've noticed how beautiful and unique the hydrangeas look and how perfectly they match KC's eyes??

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  45. Wow what a story! You are so brave!

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  46. Awww happy anniversary! Wow, talk about gutsy, girl! You're so brave and amazing! LOVED reading your story. I'm sure it's definitely not easy being away from family sometimes. And amen to not having toxic people in your life! It was such a relief when I finally cut one of them out of my life a couple of years ago.

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  47. Best 4 years ever!! I'm so glad you came, I'm SO GLAD you stayed, and I'm so glad I have you!

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    1. awww Jenni you are the bomb. Basically, I stayed for you.

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  48. Happy expativersary to you. Time always goes by so quickly, doesn't it? I really love your brunette hair. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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  49. It's awesome that you're loving it here (though I'm sure Australia is pretty great too). Hearing about your experience after 4 years makes me excited about making some local friends and finally being allowed to get a job lol. It's good to hear that you don't have any more toxic people in your life, that must be a relief! And YAY for blog friends :)

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  50. Congratulations! 4 years is a way long time. I'm all kinds of impressed with the life you've built for yourself when you started from almost scratch. I think there are non-ideal things about anywhere anyone can choose to live, it's just a case of picking the trade off that works best for you. Sounds like you've got a good balance :)

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  51. So cool how everything fell into place and this is now your "second home" :)

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  52. Really great read and I'm so happy for you. Honestly, above all us, what stood out to me was that you are HAPPIER. Can you argue with any better reason to be where you are geographically and in life? So amazing. And good for you for stretching your wings. Also, your cats make me want a cat at lightening speed. So cute!!! Happy Anny!

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  53. I feel like I've been through that, too, although yours was definitely way farther than my travel! I moved from South Carolina to Delaware to move in with my husband, and it was totally scary trying to find a job and not knowing anyone else. I can imagine it would be amplified when moving from a different country. You guys are awesome, I'm happy you decided to stay!

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  54. I double love that wedding picture of you -- you are so gorgeous! And I still love that pic with your friends where you are laughing -- you look so happy!! Happy anniversary -- I know America is glad to have you here!!

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  55. Awe! Such a lovely story! I love hearing happy stores like this!

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  56. I seriously can't even imagine the kind of guts one has to have to move half a world away from their family, friends, and everything else that makes home home. Seriously, I can't, and that alone makes you one of the strongest people I know. You've lived more in 4 years here than some people will in their entire lifetime. I'm so, so glad you decided to stay and, of course, to start a blog! ;)

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  57. Happy expativersary! Sounds like that big scary move ended up being the best thing that ever happened! Such a great reminder that it's ok to take the scary leap sometimes!

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  58. I love this post! Happy expativersary!

    I've done the scary moving to a place where I only know a few people (or, in a couple of cases for me, NO ONE) thing a few times. I've obviously never moved as far away from home as you did, but the idea is the same: sometimes making a major change in your life can lead to a great adventure.

    That being said, I completely understand what you meant when you said this: "It's not easy to be away from family and my home, but I chose this. I'm not the only person who lives away from family, whether it's an hour or a day, away is away. In some areas, it gets easier to be away as time goes on, and in other areas it gets harder." I feel that way a lot. I've built a life 1000+ miles from my family and many of my close friends, and I chose to do that. But sometimes it sucks being away, and it's okay to feel that way too.

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  59. Yay, I love your story and your journey from Australia to here! It really shows the importance of good friends and how sometimes taking a leap can literally change your life!

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  60. Such a crazy wonderful journey of yours! Happy 4 years stateside!!!

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  61. You have grown and changed so much over these four years and wow look at you now! I love that you have embraced life here even while you still miss home. And hearing how you've chosen a positive attitude is so on point. I know we've talked about this before, but I love hearing it again. Happy 4 years, girl! I hope incredible things continue for you here! :)

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  62. ahh! i loved this post! it's so funny how when things are unfolding upfront of our eyes they look so scary and intimidating, and then looking back we realize all of the dots actually do connect in some odd way. :)

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  63. Awwww... this was so sweet! I'm so glad you decided to go out on a limb and take a leap of faith! :D

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  64. this is one of your best posts, hands down. i love the honesty and i esp love the courage you had to just up and leave your comfort zone!

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  65. Happy ex pativersary! I loved reading this post! So agree on the big difference between being ok with ourselves vs. embracing ourselves. I've been working on a post about that too...growing up can be great!

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  66. Isn't it amazing how much life can change in just a few short years! Love the colors of your wedding bouquet. And you're right, how we perceive life plays a big part in how we live it.

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