Saturday, June 15, 2013

What I Learned While Living in Australia

What I learned while living in Australia (along with how to knit/surf/sail/substitute teach/blog/speak Australian lingo/etc.):

America is not the best at everything.

Growing up in the United States, I had a very insulated view of our country and how it compared to others in the world. I think the general consensus among American citizens is that the USA is the greatest country in the world, and nowhere else can compete. While that may be true in some respects, I think we could learn a lot from the way other countries do certain things (and not just Australia). I don’t really want to get into the specifics of this point, but it was definitely eye-opening to realize that America is not “perfect.”

Making “couple friends” is like dating.

When Zack and I met and started dating in Denver, he became friends with some of the friends I had made when I had moved to that city and started a soccer team. Though we met a few couples over the next couple of years, we never really had to make any new friends together until we got to Australia. I had never realized how much like dating it would be. You all go out to dinner together or something on your first “date,” and try to present your best self and avoid uncomfortable topics of conversation. The girl has to like the other girl a lot, and the guy has to like the other guy a lot, and the girls and guys have to like each other too (but not too much!). As time progresses, you get more comfortable with each other and discuss more serious topics, hang out more informally, and do things together more spontaneously.  It’s a lot of work, but totally worth it for the great friendships you can create.

Traveling is not that big of a deal.

When I lived in the United States, a three-hour flight from one part of the country to another was a huge deal. That would constitute a major trip, and I wouldn’t do it too often. Now (if the price isn’t too ridiculous!), I’d hop on a flight for a weekend trip without even batting an eye. I think a lot of Americans make a huge deal out of leaving the country, or even their own state or city! After living abroad, I find traveling so much easier and wonder why I didn’t do it more often much earlier.

Anyway, those are the three major revelations I had while living abroad, along with hundreds of other little ones. Can you tell this blog is nearing an end?

This was the first American flag I saw upon landing in the United States.


  1. I would love to hear your thoughts on what countries do what things better and how! I am certainly proud to be an American, but I'm quite honestly becoming less so as time goes on due to a lot of things I think are wrong with our country.

  2. I think America could learn some things from how other countries handle health care, gun control, food additives, and elections, just to name a few things!

  3. Aubree, I have to say I discovered the same thing living in Germany. America definitely does not have the best of everything and travel in not that big of a deal.

    1. Yeah, I wish everyone could have an overseas experience to gain new perspectives!

  4. I need some advice for moving to Australia from Denver, CO.

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