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Five years in Canberra


Lyn
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The kids and I arrived in Canberra five years ago today - never having stepped foot in Australia before - hubby was here for two months without us as he received a job offer from Canberra and was needed here asap.

A journey we embarked on in 2007, after a dreadful hijacking changed our lives forever and set us on a course to Australia. Those days were full of what if's - why's - how - WTF are we doing ? - and many days living in limbo waiting for that PR. Had I had a crystal ball, I would have stressed less.

Around here we call it the roller coaster ride, because that's exactly what it felt like, up and down, twists and turns constantly. But the ride does eventually end.

For those thinking of calling the ACT home - its a wonderful small quiet and peaceful town, easy to live and commute in - has everything you need, and will give you a soft landing - its not a rushed place, letting you breathe and go about at your own pace until you find your feet. I will always thank my maker for sending me to Canberra. I do not enjoy the rush of city life, the noise, concrete jungles - so Canberra has been perfect. I do miss the ocean tho, but that's a pleasant drive to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. And in winter we get to play in the snowfields - if wine is your thing, or you are a foodie, then you will be coming to the right place - just watch the waistline.

In the early days, Canberra can seem boring, but once you settle in and learn what's out there, there is no reason why you cant find something to do to entertain you. And if you have young ones, I believe Canberra is one of the most child friendly cities in Australia.

Five years on, our lives have returned to normal - it did take me a very long time to move on tho, I was very unhappy for at least the first year and a half - my children are now young adults and have lives of their own. I don't have to stress about them being out on the roads at all times of the night doing what young adults do, I don't have to stress about them getting employment because there is work here for them and they wont be discriminated against.

We left RSA for our children, I sometimes felt as if I had given up my happiness, so that they could be happy. But now that I've been here awhile, I realise that I too have been given a great opportunity to live life again in my mid 40s. Hubby and I spend time exploring - we are eagerly awaiting to become grey nomads - something we wanted to do in RSA - but it wouldn't have been a safe way to live - get a van and sleep under the stars.

So just wanted to post, to let everyone embarking on this journey, to say that there may be hard times, but at the end of the day - the good will outweigh the bad. You will miss loved ones and for this there is no quick fix, but you will also make wonderful new friends who will become like family.

Embrace the Aussie way - learn how things are done and join in. If you don't do this, you may find yourself very lonely and feel like a stranger in a foreign land - and then you may find yourself wanting to return to RSA. Never forget your roots, and keep South Africa in your heart. You may be bitter today about having to give up everything - its not worth it. Australia has a lot to offer you and your family - if its what you really want, it will happen for you.

We became Australian citizens earlier this year, and once we completed this ceremony - surrounded my our Aussie mates - I felt I was truly part of this great southern land.

Keep positive, always remember why you left - especially when those down days hit and you think its best to return, I believe if you give it your all, simplify your life - there is no reason why you too will not be happy and blessed living in Australia.

If you are tired of living like prisoners in your own homes, tired of the SA government, Get the visa app in - its worth it !

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Great post! So many folks have said to us - embrace the new country, it's people and it's ways and you will have the best experience. Even in this short while that we have been here, we have met South Africans who have chosen to hang on to their old life and old ways and in the process they have become so isolated and very lonely. We have also met South Africans who still lover their heritage but have chosen to become part of the community by adapting and the are happy here.

So thank you for your post, it re- affirms what we have seen.

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Thanks for sharing Lyn. Your post gives me hope for our new future in Oz after reading a lot of negative posts on other forums last week! :ilikeit:

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Thanks for sharing Lyn.

We are determined to come with open minds and open hearts to our new land.

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Thanks for sharing Lyn. It makes it just so much easier to know that we are moving to the right place, especially for the kids. Do not want the mad rush of life we are experiencing here in South Africa. Ideal also for my two teenagers to settle in. They will be 13 and 17 when we arrive. Hopefully they wont have any problems with settling in.

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Wow Lyn.........5 years. It is a funny old ride isn't it? I just feel so incredibly blessed that we got to do this, there have been good times and rough times, but always something to look forward to in the future................I felt like we were surviving in RSA, whereas here we truly live.

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Hi Lyn,

Awesome post. Heading to ACT in next 12 months. Have a 3 month old son. Applying in next few weeks for state sponsorship, and visa soon after if all goes well. I Do feel "lost" at the moment, not knowing if I'm doing the right thing. I feel empty, confused and scared. Its easy to start the process, but once the process starts working and you actually start progressing its quite frightening....because then it becomes real.

It gives me lots of hope hearing your story, thank you very much!!!

Trev

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Yay Lyn, so happy for you...we have done this roller coaster ride together. So happy to hear how happy you are....We also look forward to the "grey nomad" days...

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Followmylead -

it definitely helps to get to know your new home and its people and culture - no use hanging on to something you left behind. I actually love the Aussies - they are frrindly and helpful. I see you have recently arrived - I wish you all the happiness in your new home.

Stell -

Coco Black definitely - try to get Kurkprop and Toitjie and any other ladies - and gents - together for a meet up. Let us know when you are in town again.

tersiava and Bams

Not good always hearing about the bad things - but not everyones travels are the same, some like to whinge about every little thing - its just the way they are programmed - unfortunately what they say sticks in your minds and makes you think you wont be successful with your move. You will succeed if you stay focused and positive. All the best with your plans.

Marilese -

To be honest we have had a hard time with my son - he was 15 when we arrived - but he is slowly coming around - I think it is hard for some teens, my kids lived a rather sheltered life in RSA, I wanted to protect them all the time, I had to learn to let go - Aussie kids are a lot more out there, doing things. When my son got his Ps I remember thinking, Thank you Lord that my son is driving on Canberras streets and not Durban. I know trouble can happen anywhere, but his chances here, and if he has car trouble, are nowhere near like what he would experience in RSA.

My only 2c, is keep the lines of communication open.

If there's anything we can help you with - please just ask. Look forward to welcoming you to Canberra.

Andrea -

You are right, I felt the same, merely existing in RSA, you don't know this until you look back and compare your new lifestyle. Feels like I have exhaled. Hows that tatt coming along ? Don't forget to post a pic.

Trev -

What you are going through is normal. Nothing wrong with you - but those thoughts and feelings do pass. I wish I had had the brains to come over when my kids were 3 months old. Canberra is a great place, I don't recall seeing you did a LSD, so like us you will be fresh off the plane. If there's anything we oldies can help you with, please just ask.

Jill -

Thank you - you are one of my oldest friends on the forum - it has been a ride - maybe when we get our "van go" we can meet up in sunny QL.

K -

Yes 5 years - I feel so bad that I haven't caught up with you - this darn fibromyalgia is a curse ! We definitely need to plan a get together soon. It will happen !

All the best to everyone undertaking this huge adventure - I believe there are more settling in success stories then failures and returns to RSA. It may take time and energy, but in the end it will be worth it.

Edited by Lyn
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Thanks everyone. It's so awesome to know that there are such amazing people there already always happy to help and lend a hand settling in. Hope to meet you all end Jan 2014! We are so looking forward to our new adventure!

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Your story is so inspiring Lyn - thank you for sharing. I hope I can bring as much comfort to newbies as you have done over the years!

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Agree with Mandy. It just makes the move that little bit easier knowing that at least there is a helping hand that you can take now matter what. And how awesome it must be to pay it forward to newbies! Thanks you are all absolute stars :yourock:

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Thanks for sharing Lyn.

I think once we are there this post will help us look towards the future on the hard days. :hug:

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