I have to admit being back in Australia feels like I’m in a parallel universe!

Why you may ask?

Well, in some ways it feels as though I never left and in other more subtle ways it’s a whole new world that I’m trying to adjust to.

This may sound odd but I remember a specific moment in my childhood when I was fishing with my dad. I was likely around 9 or 10 years old.

It was an unusual situation as it was a Saturday after dad had finished work. This was rare as he always fished Sunday mornings…

I tagged along and he took me to a small lake about 20 miles from home. It was a place we’d never been to before, nor ever again except for that one time.

It was getting on toward dark, you know that half twilight type of time of day in the spring.

The lake was surrounded by a large pine forest, with many trees fallen along the edge of the lake and brambles down to the water’s edge.

It was sort of an eerie experience. It was at that moment I thought to myself that this is what Canada must look like, and half expected to see a Moose emerge from the bush…

That was my first conscious thought of Canada…

Perhaps over the years I’d watched too many episodes (B+W) of the Beachcombers.

By the way, this was one of my favourite TV shows growing up. It was always on the ABC (equivalent of the BBC) after school.

Never in a million years did I think about actually living in Canada until I met Nancy in Europe whilst backpacking. As you do when you’re in your early 20’s. 🙂

I came to Canada on January 30, 1988. And although that marriage didn’t last it was destiny that brought me. Clearly, it was so I could remarry and have my two loves – Zach and Sam.

Almost 32 years away…

As I’ve said before I wouldn’t have contemplated returning to Australia to live unless they both gave me their blessings.

Now that I’m actually here it feels like I never left in some ways. The genuine friendliness of the people for starters. There is a familiarity and warmth that is comforting.

One of the most outstanding things has been the collective support I’ve received from my real estate agent Dianne and Trish and Ben (the couple selling their house to me).

In Australia when you sell your house you generally take your appliances with you – standard practice.

So this left me needing to buy a new refrigerator, washer and dryer.

The easy part was ordering them online, but the delivery was tricky as I was in quarantine and the store was not keen on holding my items until I got out.

This was particularly true given the incredible demand for all types of appliances. But as you know we have a globally stalled supply chain…painful to say the least.

Collectively they stepped in and took care of the delivery and installation for me while I was in quarantine.

It was a generous act especially given I’m a complete stranger.

Now that’s the sort of community I want to be a part of! 🙂

I’ve also had a couple of scratch your head type moments.

The bank I first applied to open an account wasn’t interested in me becoming a customer. WTF?!

Given my age (don’t be cheeky!), no local credit rating and no job I was persona non grata! Seriously!

Me owning my own home without a mortgage, plus having money in my Canadian bank account was completely irrelevant. This all counted for zero.

And of course you need a bank account to apply for a credit card, but to do that you also need to have both a mobile phone number and an Australian address.

To be registered with any government agency (e.g. health care, taxes and drivers license you need a credit card, mobile and address.

The holy trinity of moving to a new country.

I’m so happy that I brought my house in advance.

If I didn’t have this during quarantine my time would have been super slow and likely somewhat boring.

Until I have an Australian credit card there are a few challenges with signing up for local services. It’s seemingly impossible with a foreign billing address.

One step forward, two steps back some days.

The bigger change will occur when I complete my quarantine period and fly to Brisbane.

So I’ve finally arrived in Newport and will fill you in on all the fabulous details in next week’s story.

Until then