Tuesday, June 24, 2008

To blog or not to blog...that was the question.

So here we go into the weird and wonderful world that is blogging...I have thought and thought and thought about whether or not to start a blog for a long time now. I had lots of concerns--will I have the time? What will I write about? Who might read it? Will anyone actually care? Lots and lots of thoughts about privacy and the loss of it. I'm not sure I ever answered any of those questions, but I have decided to take the leap and see what I may have to add to this ever growing community of people speaking their minds and sharing their stories. I'm hoping my blog will offer a bit of insight into life as an expat--I'm a Texan living in Australia. I've been here for 7 years. I never in a million years would have predicted I'd end up here one day, but I did.

So here I am and here's the beginning of my story (because y'all need to know how I got here right?)....

I wasn't born in Texas, but I got there as quick as I could! Spoken like a true Texan--see, I've still got it. I spent my youth growing up in one of the larger border communities that line the US-Mexican border. I had no appreciation at the time for how this community, that was a delicate balancing act between two cultures--American and Mexican, would serve as excellent preparation for the road that lay ahead of me. Yeah, who knew menudo on Sunday would be the precursor to a meat pie at the footy? (Both delicacies are on my "No thank you, I'm fine." list BTW) But seriously, it opened my mind to the possibilities of other points of view, other traditions, and other ways of life that were different to my own. Free your mind and the rest will follow...

And here's what followed...I left my comfortable border home and headed off to Uni (that's Australian for University and one of many Aussie words that have now become my own) where my horizons were further broadened by my professors and my fellow students. I did two stints abroad in consecutive summers and really caught the travel bug. I had also managed to finally become proficient in Spanish. When my final year of college was coming to an end, I signed on for Grad school. I wasn't ready to face the real world yet and the job market wasn't ready for me or my contemporaries...things were slow. I knew I could buy some time with Grad school, but what would I do after that? I mean honestly, would I need to go and actually find a job? That seemed so mundane to me. I wanted to travel and see the world a bit. The only problem was I wasn't sure how to fund such an adventure. So I started doing a bit of research and looked into various scholarships that would pay for me to continue studying overseas. Lucky for me, the wonderful people at the Rotary Foundation were offering just the sort of opportunity I was looking for. I applied for their scholarship program, went through several stages of rigorous interviews and was finally awarded the opportunity to continue my study overseas. I got to choose my destination and there were very few limitations. Since I was still working on perfecting my Spanish, I decided a country where Spanish is spoken would be the best choice for me. I chose Argentina. To this day, I can't tell you why I chose Argentina. Lots of people have asked me that question, and I really don't know the answer. But it's a bloody good thing I did...

I spent the most amazing year living and studying in Buenos Aires. There are many tales from there which I hope to get back to at some point (I'm planning on archiving them here at some stage if I can). I had lots of laughs and made lots of great friends and even met someone who would change my life and redirect my trajectory. This life change came in the form of a very handsome and tremendously puzzling Australian bloke--yes I said Australian, not to be confused with the local Argentine variety (who themselves are very handsome, but the Aussie got to me first--sorry fellas!). The Handsome Australian and I met over drinks at a cocktail party at the Australian Embassy in Buenos Aires. I know, I know, such a typical place to meet someone. He was there on a six month assignment with his work. We dated three months (that's another long story of misteps and misadventures for another day) and when he was due to depart two months before my year was up, it became clear to me that my next step needed to be getting myself to Australia. This was not what I thought I'd be planning as my next move. I'd spent the earlier half of the year contemplating what sort of job I should look for when I returned to the USA after my studies in Argentina finished. I had also contemplated extending my stay in Argentina. When something feels right though, it just feels right. Australia had become my destiny--now I just needed to figure out how to get there...

Learn the Lingo
Uni=University

3 comments:

Maddie said...

Hey suzinoz!!! Very funny! Love all the new Australian lingo. Give us more!

trish said...

Read everything in reverse! Still very entertaining! Much love!

stilllifeinbuenosaires said...

Very romantic. I love this type of story.

Though my husband and I didn't visit Melbourne on our trip to Australia, I've heard it's your gourmet capital. Have you been to Adelaide? I absolutely fell in love with the city's fruits and vegetables market.

It's probably best you didn't experience an Argentine romance. I've heard they're full of passion and drama and perhaps more cheating than in other countries.