I’ve talked enough about homesickness and such lately. In thinking about what I miss, I’ve pondered my social life abroad vs. at home. I can easily tell you the friend comforts I miss from home: unconditional love, the ability to be myself all the time and a shared history.
But I moved to Australia to do something different with my life. I craved new scenery, new experiences, and yes, new people. And in the 18 months (!) I’ve lived here, I’ve embraced a lot of this novelty. I continue to go to new restaurants and bars, meet new people and travel to different places. All of these things have created a social life that differs a lot from the one I had back home.
New Faces, Always
Whether it’s through Travel Massive or a friend of a friend’s party, I constantly meet new people. Sometimes this gets a bit tiring, as small talk drains me, but it certainly keeps things interesting.
This isn’t a dig at my friends back home. Living in the same place you’ve always lived means you’re going to travel closer to home than if you moved to the other side of the world. The fact remains that people I know in Sydney have been a lot of places. India. Cambodia. Kyrgyzstan. I know of two people who flew to the World Cup in South Africa last year. It’s just a different travel atmosphere.
More “Out” Nights Than “In”
I don’t go out ALL the time, but the weekends here definitely fill up quickly with various outings. It’s rare a whole weekend goes by where I stay in both nights.
Less Talk of Grown-up Stuff
I have two sets of close friends here who are married, one couple has pets, and some of us still own property in the States. Talk of babies and “the future” does come up, but since most people in my circles are still kidless, it means zero-talk of things like breast pumps, prestigious pre-schools and cartoons. In a way, it’s almost like many of us are trying to stay out of this stage for as long as possible.
Patriotism on Steroids
In a controversial post on Brooke’s site, she talked about how Sydney can be quite welcoming to American expats if you look in the right places. I have always been proud to be an American, but you don’t necessarily fully realize the feeling until you’re away from the motherland. And when Yanks get together, we don’t talk about politics or unemployment rates or all the negative stuff plaguing our country. We focus on the good and obsess over how we miss “real” pizza.
What do you think of your social life abroad vs. at home?