Migrant Stories Northern Territory

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Darwin with Amy Smith

We have been up in the Darwin area for 2 weeks now.
We are so surprised at how much we love it up here though. I mean we wanted to visit but never really had any expectations. I hadn’t seen a lot of footage on Darwin and hadn’t really done too much research.
One thing I love is that the kids are experiencing these places at the same time as us, we have never been to any or most of the places we have experienced since leaving Europe. I adore watching them experience new places, it enriches my experience.
Our plans and goals are ever evolving. We have the bug for the ‘free’ life so much. Just the last couple of weeks have proved this even more. But we aren’t afraid of hard work and knuckling down when we need to.
We need to make money to live this lifestyle (any lifestyle), so stopping to work is inevitable at times.
The clogs are constantly turning, we are working on a life of more time freedom. This is our No 1 goal. It’s 2022, anything is possible right.
Our goal of moving to the other side of the world to enjoy the weekends and holidays more, has turned into so much more for us.
When life throws you curveballs, they are there to teach you valuable lessons. Who agrees???
It’s not what happens to you so much, it is how you chose to respond to the situation.

Arriving in Darwin with Amy Smith

What an experience our road trip from FNQ to Darwin was!! Something we will never forget.
We did the bulk of the driving over 7 days, although from start to finish I think it took us 10 days. It was exhausting, magical, humbling and surreal, to name a few of the emotions I certainly felt over the trip!
Almost 3000km (around 1800 miles). To put that into perspective the uk is 837 miles from top to bottom, so drive from one end to the other and back and a bit more and there you have it.
I knew Australia was vast but doing this drive made it really hit home to us!
It felt no where near as remote as I thought it would and was much greener than I expected, but they have a lot of rain compared to usual this year so that may explain that. There was still plenty of red dust for us to see, just not as much as I thought. The roads were great, no traffic so you were covering the distance with no stops and starts (which is what I hate about long drives).
The kids had fun with the CB radios and spotting all of the road trains.
Screen time was unlimited and snacks the same. Add the odd pee stop and scrap in the back and that sums up our trip. In all seriousness though the kids handled it so well and they continue to show us how adaptable and capable that they are.
Aside from the actual driving we had so much fun, beautiful outback free camps, gorgeous night skies, camp fires, homestead and pub stays, walks and swimming.
I keep singing from the same tune, but we feel truly blessed to be doing what we are doing and all of these new experiences are deeply ingrained in my head and heart.

8 weeks in…

8 weeks in, and what’s it like now we’ve been through this intense period of time?

It’s not just 8 weeks though, it’s more like a year to get to this point!
All I can say is that individuals must have layers of resilience that build over time, and mine is thick with layers.
I’ve been through it all. What a mad mix of emotions and heaven and hell!
8 weeks since landing to follow our dream and, well I just know Aussie life is for us. I feel at home here. I love it.
It’s simpler. It’s easier. It’s friendlier. Yes, in some respects you feel like you have stepped back in time, but I always hated how full on the U.K. was.
The kids get to be kids. In school and out. They climb trees at school.  They pet chickens.  They learn swimming in the sea. They don’t get bombarded with homework.
The food isn’t so expensive if you buy in season. It’s a different way of shopping here. Cucumbers can be 90c one day, $2 the next.
The outdoor lifestyle!  Cook most things on the bbq. Spend an hour at the beach at the drop of a hat. Pack a picnic or take some food to cook on the free public bbqs.
Every day I wake up excited for life. So many things to do.
Every weekend is a holiday and an adventure.
I won’t let life become mundane. I’ve made a decision that every weekend we will do something new.
If you come here with your eyes wide open and just allow yourself to experience things and work through your doubts, then another layer will build.

That layer is happiness.

Lisa

Christmas!

This will be our fourth Christmas in Australia, and although still learning, feel more educated about what to expect this year.

A lot of people wind down over this time, and most take multiple weeks holidays.
Therefore, Christmas isn’t such a big deal here. It just kind of creeps up on you. There isn’t the build up like in the U.K.
In fact, if it wasn’t for the odd bit of tinsel in shops, the few hanging lights here and there, or the small section in the supermarket dedicated to roses, quality street etc and decorations you wouldn’t even notice it when food shopping!
Christmas also comes around our longest day here. Meaning the lights on don’t have the same effect when the sun is blaring.
Rather than an opportunity to spend two weeks eating and watching tv, it’s an opportunity to have fun, relax, play on the beach and take holiday.
It’s quite a common thing for people to go on holiday from Boxing Day till New Years.
Christmas dinner can be whatever you want, wherever you want it. Some people do the whole U.K. thing at home, some bbq on the beach, others do a bit of both.

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We eat lighter over Xmas here compared to the U.K.  I don’t feel the need to stuff the fridge full of heavy food. Instead we take it day by day as we get out a lot.
Our first Christmas, we tried being too U.K. and that didn’t work well.
Last year and the year before, we packed too much in. We tried having Xmas lunch at home, then rushed to the beach for the afternoon and eve.
This year will be a little more slow. We will bbq at lunch, but lots of seafood, and have a picky buffet type thing with pavlova of course.   Athough, quite tempted to pick up a KFC (yes it’s a think at Christmas here)…
Then, later we will probably head to a quiet beach and watch the sunset and have a swim.
The fact is, part of settling is finding your own rhythm.  The settling takes time, but year by year you build on experience.

Life in the NT with Amy

Life in the NT is totally different to anywhere else in Australia.

It is majorly laid back, slow paced. Absolutely beautiful scenery and there are way more crocodiles to humans 😂😂. It is hot, humid, so lush and green.

The storms are amazing, the rain cools the temperatures down so much.

It is so common to go buggy riding, most rural properties have a buggy as a way of getting about.

Kids grow up doing rodeos as an after school hobby. The school our kids are currently at is amazing, so much outdoor space and attached to a wildlife park so they do so much outdoor learning.

Amy – Smiths Dream Down Under

4th Year

We are now in our fourth year in Australia and I can honestly say it took me about 3 years to ‘settle’.
The price is just in dollars now.
The weather is just in Australia now.
My mind has stopped comparing, thinking. That door back to to the U.K. is firmly closed in my mind.
I’m too ‘Australian’ now. I want the wide open spaces, the easy lifestyle, the friendliness I have found here.
No longer need to prove the reason for being here. No longer feel guilty about any of it.
Both pretty much always working from home, kids settled and growing the work life balance we craved is here. The stress of juggling everything feels non existent. Lunch time walks and time to talk without kids around is amazing.
Yeah, feel we have made it!

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