Ex-Pat Adjustment

For two months in Canada, I was an ex-pat.

And then I came home. I started university, I caught buses again, I ate vegemite on toast. I saw friends, I saw family.

I wore a jumper in the morning and felt the sun on the nape of my neck in the afternoon. I got over my jet-lag.

And, what’s more, I know I’ll go back to Canada very soon.


I’ve read a lot of blogs that told me about having to adjust to somewhere that isn’t your home, about learning a totally different culture, acclimatising, adjusting to the weather, to the time differences. But what nobody mentions is what happens when you come back.

You miss wherever you’ve been. I miss Canada. I miss my wife.

I miss cowboy towns and dust, and enormous utes (trucks) and hockey, even though it wasn’t in season. I miss bagels and coffee and doughnuts and American processed foods, I miss the best chai tea I’ve ever had, and I miss proper poutine. I miss the little corner of beach where I could see snow-capped mountains in the distance. I miss eating sushi every other day.

The problem with having the best of both worlds is you can’t actually have them both at once.

I wonder, sometimes, if my family and friends in Canada understand my Australian anecdotes, and I wonder, sometimes, if my family and friends in Australia understand my Canadian anecdotes.

I know I’m very, very, fortunate to have two families in two places. I feel lucky every day.

But there’s a special brand of homesickness that only an ex-pat will have. A homesickness between worlds, really.

But I’ll be alright. I’ll adjust.

And I found a deli down the road from me that does bagels – so it’s not all bad.