Courtney: Alkeks Abroad
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Brisbane, etc.
I was raised an expat kid, moving around every few years for my dad’s job in the oil industry. My family finally settled down in Texas before I started high school. Fast forward nine years, it’s 2014 and my husband’s job in the oil industry brought me back to expat life when we moved to Brisbane, Australia.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I decided to start blogging once we moved to Australia. I knew that our friends and family back home would be curious about what was going on in our lives over here — so I figured a blog was the easiest way to keep everyone updated.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
I loved Home Sweet Brisbane: Neighborhood Tour because I loved showing everyone our adorable neighborhood we have fallen in love with.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Brisbane differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
One difference in our daily life is that we walk or take public transportation most places, as opposed to Texas where we drove everywhere. We have a car here but it is mostly used for weekend trips. I wouldn’t say we experienced culture shock. At first glance everything looks and feels similar to the US but we have picked up on cultural differences as we have lived here longer. Australia has a much slower pace of life and that can take some getting used to.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Brisbane? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I began researching Brisbane as soon as we found out there might be an opportunity for us to move there, so I do feel I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. We also had a lot of assistance with the logistics so everything went smoothly.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
I was relief teaching (substitute teaching) the other day and not five minutes after I opened my mouth a student began a “USA, USA” chant. I always have to allow the first few minutes of class for them to ask me where I am from and correct the way I am saying their names.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Brisbane?
- Don’t compare everything to your home country — things will be different and that is okay.
- Embrace the culture and explore your surroundings — take advantage of the awesome quality of life in Australia.
- Get out of your comfort zone and meet new people.
How is the expat community in Brisbane? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
There seem to be people from all over world living in Brisbane. I have met expat and non-expat friends through work out classes, my husband’s co-workers, and other friends we have made.
How would you summarize your expat life in Brisbane in a single, catchy sentence?
Life is great in the Sunshine State!