Posted by: dsduffy | March 28, 2011

What Australia has taught me

That good food is really good. Fresh produce, local meats, wine from vineyards I’ve driven past. Packaged foods that don’t have preservatives, high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils taste so good and just knowing they aren’t full of crap makes them taste even better. Rocket salad with goats cheese and fresh tomatoes. Portions that are just the right size, where I can walk away from the table and not feel like I’m going to explode.

That a lot of people are living far away from their families. So many people I meet have families overseas and they only see them once or twice a year, if that. They keep in touch via Skype and email, packages and phone calls.

Coffee. A nice strong coffee is good.

I don’t have to stock my pantry with enough food for the next 4 years. I go to the grocery store often enough and can always get what I need.

How to stop and smell the roses. Or look at the ocean. To slow down and enjoy the here and now.

That sparkling wine isn’t just for New Year’s Eve.

I have been saying my name wrong all along. It’s not Dan-yell, it’s Da-knee-elle. Who knew?

Apparently it is easier, when repeating a phone number, to say “double two” instead of “two, two.”

To slow down. Speed cameras are abundant, and for good reason. Victoria has numerous graphic billboards on the highways regarding the dangers of speeding. They are also big on staying awake while driving and have set up free coffee stations along long stretches of monotonous highways.

That petrol (gas) in the US isn’t as expensive as it is here – we pay $80 to fill our tank and we drive a 4 door sedan. 

That my kids are resilient and can adapt to most any situation. And so can I.

That for a lot of Aussies, their view of Americans is learned from what they see on tv shows and movies. When I say I am from New Jersey, immediately they ask about The Jersey Shore, Jerseylicious or The Soprano’s, yea – scary.

That I can make a home anywhere. Everyplace has its pros and cons, and I am learning to just accept things for what they are, and celebrate the things that make Australia Australia.

And one last thing – to enjoy my time here,  because one day this will all be a distant memory….



  1. the double 2 thing always surprises me.

    I am from New Hampshire and no one knows where that is. LIke at all “is that near wisconsin?” Which basically means i’ve learned that the US has three areas: NY, Los Angeles, and Wisconsin/michigan/chicago.

  2. Very well said. I feel like I have learnt so much about myself through the experience of being an expat.
    And I’m giggling about the 3 areas of the US mentioned by Deidre. So true!

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