When ‘big things’ happen – An Expat Dilemma

Living far from home

I often use the phrase ‘living far from home,’ in fact it’s one of my favourite hashtags! However, it confuses even me. I also tend to bang on about ‘home’ being where we are together, where the children and the Mr are. Home for me is where we live, work, play.. so therefore ‘home’ is Melbourne… isn’t it? Ah the Expat existence! Today I’m mulling things over so I thought I’d reach out for your advice.

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Does it matter where we consider home to be?

Probably not. Is it possible to have more than one home? Yes, I think it is. Why am I homesick when I am at home then? Can you see I’m battling with myself?

So many expats are ‘living the dream’ down under, living their “best lives” all tanned and throwing Aussie slang into their convo’s; yet lots of expats live this Australian life of sea, sun, snags, and surfing with…. regret, homesickness and longing.. Guess what! I’m one of them.


No matter how long we’ve been here, it hasn’t got better.

I don’t pine for the UK, I don’t miss ‘Britain’, I’m not craving monster much crisps, or proper gravy. I don’t miss the rain or the M25..  I pine for my friends. Those life long friends, those college friends, the friends I made when I first became a mother. The friends who know me inside and out, the friends I can be my real self with.. The friends I call when things get tough. I’m craving the time spent with cousins, the children really knowing their relatives, their godparents and their long lost friends they left behind.

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You may or may not have heard I lost my beloved Grandfather this weekend. He was a  my absolute favourite human.. *sorry kids.  Losing him has sparked a weird sense of unease about our expat life. Losing this dear, dear man has made us question what we are doing so far away from our loved ones.


This loss to our family has made our house eerily quiet, our hearts truly heavy and our minds dance all over the place. How long do we sacrifice our ‘connections’ to live under sunnier skies? How many years do we want our children living 24hrs away from the people who love them most? How much longer do we miss out on time with our friends? How many more Christmases do we want overseas and not sitting around the fire with a mulled wine and loved ones? Does Aussie life bring us enough to sacrifice so much?

Living on the other side of the world has its perks don’t get me wrong, it’s just every time I try and justify this beautiful life, I find myself saying “yeah but we have that at home” and “yeah but if we were doing that at home we’d be with X, Y and Z.”

I’m forever second guessing… everything!

I’m not second guessing because we are unhappy in Australia, I am second guessing as I can’t help but feel that we have been away long enough, and now we need to be closer to our village. When things go wrong, or sad things happen, I feel a pull toward home. I immediately make overseas phone calls, I send emails and messages across the pond, and right now, it’s making me feel like that’s where we should be. Permanently.

Living as an Expat in Australia, comes with so much adventure, and being in Melbourne, the most liveable city in the world is such a blessing. We have so much more at our fingertips here down under, but is that enough to be giving up all we had at home? Shouldn’t life’s adventures be enjoyed with the people we love, the people who know us best, the people who miss us too?

So, where does this all end up? Who knows. Can we really do the big pack up? Could we really repatriate back to Blighty? Would we even be happy or have I got my rose tinted specs on? Have you done it? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Beach bums

Olivia xx


8 thoughts on “When ‘big things’ happen – An Expat Dilemma

  1. I know what you mean. We have people we speak to in the passing here, acquaintances but not proper friends. It annoys me more than I thought it would that no one gets our sense of humour AT ALL! Can’t really see us back in the uk though, I love the weather, we are just finishing Winter holidays and it has been sunny every single day – 👌🏻. We are very luck to have had lots of visitors in our 18 months here which helps massively. I mostly just feel lucky that we are able to do this. Whenever Scotland has their few weeks sun and everyone is so delighted and happy it reminds me how lucky we are to be outdoors doing what we love, most of the time. None of my best friends were really at the same life stages as me at the same time and we didn’t really get a lot of help/babysitting with our daughter so although of course we love and miss them I don’t feel a sad longing. Our daughter is the only one who has felt homesick so that makes me feel very guilty. I’ve just rambled and not really helped but I do get the “is it enough” thoughts but I really think it is, the uk is shot to sh*t!!


    1. Rachel, I think you are absolutely right. I agree the UK isn’t what it used to be. And I know the last time I went home, I couldn’t wait to get back. Maybe I need a trip home more often so that I can really feel settled about being here. Thank you so much for your kind words xx


  2. So sorry to hear about your grandfather, that must be super difficult and it is just natural that it makes you reevaluate again. I lost all my grandparents pretty young but do have ageing great aunts and uncles x x


  3. I should edit my comment to say we do have acquantainces and friends here, just not the lifelong friends.


    1. I knew exactly what you meant. We have such beautiful friends here, who have become like family to us. I hope I don’t come across as ungrateful. I simply feel very far away and therefore disconnected with my loved ones..


  4. You have made good friends where you are, and unfortunately people we love and care for go through life stages. It is a sorry time for everyone one nobody wants to think of, you are a long way from your loved ones in this country but miles are separated but so many means of communications FaceTime Skype emails and the likes I know it does not make up for hugs and being enveloped in the bosom of the family, what you are doing for yourselves and your family is a great thing seeing the world in beautiful places having a better standard of living with what you go through in Britain with your problems with your body the sun helps you big time, I know you spend more time visiting great places enjoying the outdoors. Life will go on you have memories and your grandfather knew how much you thought of him and you will always have those beautiful memories yes we would all love to see you back in Yeovil but what you have have is abundant memories of what all your family do and again communication is the key social media phones FaceTime and all other means shrink the world enjoy your freedom and life.


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