Posted by: dsduffy | September 14, 2011

From America to Australia, 3 years on

When Craig first asked me the question “What do you think about moving?….To Australia?” back in February 2008, the first thing that came to my mind was “Wow that’s far away.” I then truthfully answered, “I’m not saying no.” And here we are, living in Melbourne 3 years later.

There is no possible way I could have known what my life would be like, 3 years later. Especially since initially we were only meant to be here for 2 years. I just had no idea, and here I am, head over heels in love with a city called Melbourne.

We left the airport in Boston with an 18 month old and a 3 and a-half-year old, 8 suitcases, 2 carseats and a stroller and embarked on the longest journey of our lives. Fast forward three years and those boys are 4 and a-half-year old and nearly 7, who eat Vegemite sandwiches and “barrack” for their favourite footy teams, each morning discussing which team is on the top of the ladder.

We’ve embraced Aussie culture, lingo, coffee, sport, driving on the left, a slower paced life and healthy foods.  We are no longer poisoning ourselves with foods filled with partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. I no longer wander the aisles of the grocery store searching for items that just aren’t there.

Three Years. 1095 days. 36 months. 12 seasons. Enough time to feel completely at home here. The chicken guy at the market knows me by name and that Jake goes for the Magpies.  There are at least 3 cafes where the baristas know my order; a regular soy flat white with one sugar.

But to say we completely blend in isn’t true. I doubt we ever would, no matter how many years we live here, my American accent is here to stay. I still get asked weekly, sometimes DAILY how long we will live here and where we will go next. My newest smart-ass reply is “I’m here today and I’ll be here tomorrow!”

When I look back on this block of time in my life I am sure it will seem like such a short time that we lived here, but I know that it means so much, we have all adapted so well and learned more than I could ever imagine. We have grown so close, our little family of four, and learned that as long as we are together we can do anything, anywhere.

The idea that my boys probably won’t remember living in Australia makes me sad. But at least they will know, by me telling them and through photos, and that will hopefully instill a sense of adventure in them. I hope that if they ever get a chance to travel the world or live in another culture, they jump at it and set out to see all there is to see on this beautiful planet.

Three years sounds so long since it is more than half my boys’ lives, but only a tiny fraction of mine. In three years we have learned so much, seen so much, as well as missed so much. But it is three years I would never change and will always cherish.


  1. Three years went bye so quick.. and it has been an adventure and you are so true we learned and saw a lot. Three years also since we met and I am so happy to have you in my life and would not want to miss a day of it!!

  2. Yes, you never know where your kids will take you! Three years ago I wasn’t even sure where Australia was and now, after three trips there, I have learned so much about that beautiful country. Here’s hoping Cameron & Jake will lead you & Craig to many wonderful places …. ya just never know!!

  3. Well written as always. We love you – Ted, Stephanie, Jason & Jared

  4. I think they will have memories of it. It will just be part of their childhoods rather than singled out “experience of living in Australia”.

  5. I had always thought you’d been here longer than me! But I came to Australia in January 2008. It’s been nearly four years for me…

    You have a son that barracks for the magpies! Oh no! 🙂

  6. Congratulations on three wonderful years! I think the expat life is such a gift. xx

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