Where am I?

aliceI feel like I’m living someone else’s life.

I am being present in all that I do. I have been “working” on making friends. I am involved in our new community. I have a job. I do all of these things, each and every day.  But each action feels inauthentic, like singing the lyrics of a song I don’t understand.  Like someone else’s life.

Some days I find myself walking down the street wondering “how did I get here?” “Where am I?” It’s like I’ve gone on vacation from my real life. I often wonder when will I go home and get back to the life I am familiar with. The answer is that I won’t. That life doesn’t exist anymore and it would never be the same even if I could return. This is the life of an expat.

I love the thrill of being thrown into the unknown completely or else I wouldn’t be here. It’s like I’m playing a game only it’s real, it’s my life. I must figure out how to thrive in a new culture and understand the language of its people. You may laugh to yourself at that one but “Australian” is its own language I promise you.

Finances. How much does it cost to live in a place? Learning the price of foods, fuel, taxes, my children’s public school education. It’s all new and seems outrageous when I hear it in dollars. I am constantly converting to British pounds to see if the numbers make sense, which in itself seems insane as London is so expensive. So picture the cost of everything in the UK and double it, wow!

The climate is a constant unknown. It was freezing this morning (not really but it feels that way). It is autumn and it’s May. Everything feels backwards. I’m playing along but it keeps my mind on alert as my instincts fail me. Perhaps it’s more intense this move because of the hemisphere swap? I’ve literally been turned upside down….it really is an alternate version of my life. So I am Alice and I am dreaming.

I’ve done this before so surely I could answer this question of “when will I wake and this will all feel normal?” I cannot say when but I do feel that it’s a very fine line to be crossed and without knowing. One day it will all feel very comfortable and I will know because I will be plotting our next destination.

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