We first moved to Australia 3 years ago, in search of warmer weather, more exciting work opportunities and a bigger pay check.
And Australia delivered on those three promises – and more. We really enjoyed living in Sydney but couldn’t quite decide whether to stay in the city centre (Pyrmont), move to suburbia or even try a longer commute and live in the ‘country’ along the coast somewhere. So we stayed put and chose to wait until we were sure what we wanted before trying to buy a property. With the property prices in Sydney being obscenely high, we didn’t mind waiting a little and seeing how our work life and friendships developed here.
Along the way we considered moving to Germany to be closer to my family but then decided to stay in Australia just because it would be so much easier for Paul to work and support a family further down the track. Not that you can really live on a single income in Sydney though…
And then my parents came to visit and offered Paul the opportunity to run their business in Germany (holiday accommodation), which actually made the option of moving there a viable one. So we decided to give it a go.
Fast forward 15 months and I am sitting in Bangkok by the side of the hotel pool as we enjoy a 3 day stopover on our way to Germany.
Was it difficult to leave Australia? I had a lot of people ask me why on earth I would leave a country with the best beaches, great weather, the outdoors and such a high standard of living. But for us this isn’t about how much stuff we can buy, how big a house we can build and about focusing on the material things. It’s about family, about being close to my immediate and extended family and about having our own eventually. So no, it wasn’t difficult to leave. but I had 15 months to prepare for it, so I enjoyed the hell out of it and did all the stuff that mattered to me while we were still there.
Now is the time to say thanks to Australia, because the past 3 years have been pretty awesome…
First up, I need to thank my husband Paul. Thanks for going on this adventure with me, for finding us a cool place to live (so cool in fact, that we stayed in the building for 3 years). Thanks for the travelling, weekend trips and for supporting my career development and my triathlon ambitions along the way!
Secondly, thanks to my first boss, Scott, who saw my potential and mentored me while we worked together so I can go and do cool stuff. I owe you a lot, Scotty, especially the confidence I gained and the technical skills I was able to develop while working with you. Thanks also for getting me into Triathlon, who would have thought… After never being particularly sporty, I have actually found a sport which I’m not half bad at.
Thirdly, a big thanks to the cool folks at Tableau Australia, who always made me feel welcome and helped me become part of the wider community. I learned so much from you guys and ‘Tableau is Why’ I now have exciting career opportunities ahead of me wherever I go :-).
A big cheers also to the Sydney Vegan Club, which held the events which resulted in a lot of friendships for Paul and myself here in Sydney after a pretty lonely first year.
A special mention goes to Mohit, Sarah, Stuart, John and Marcin!
Thanks to the Balmoral Triathlon Club who helped me overcome my crippling fear of swimming in the ocean, more than a few meters from the shore. Also for introducing me to so many passionate triathletes and for inspiring me along the way.
At this point a massive massive thank you to my coach Craig for all his support and for helping me get on the podium and prepare for any race as best as I can. You are an immensely inspiring guy and I am looking forward to continuing my triathlon journey with you. Hills are my friend!
And a big thanks to my friend and former colleague Zac and his wife Amanda. Not only have you become great friends of mine but you also introduced me to Craig and let me hang out at your place in Melbourne 🙂
Parag, thank you for being a constant training companion on those long and hilly rides! I have enjoyed them all. I think we’ve explored all the interesting routes around Sydney and eaten our fair share of vegan lunches afterwards. Cycling wouldn’t have been half as much fun without you and I truly appreciate that you were always willing to go along with whatever session my training plan dictated :-). And you helped me overcome all those mechanical issues and the odd flat… 😉
While we’re talking about Triathlons, a big thank you also goes to my swim squad, both the Mon/Wed and the Tue/Thu groups. You guys probably have no idea how much you have helped me progress.
When I first walked in in October 2014, I sucked at swimming. My technique was rubbish, my aerobic fitness was laughable and my swimming attire was depressingly practical. With your help I can now swim for quite a while, I’m actually getting somewhere and my stroke is much more efficient. Catching up with you several times a week made it fun, even when the set was anything but. A few special call-outs have to be made at this point:
- coach Paul: Thanks for fixing my technique and for relentlessly pushing me to get better. In the beginning you probably wanted to cry because it seemed hopeless, but you didn’t give up on me. (In the end it was probably me who was close to tears as I cursed you underwater because you believed more in my abilities than I did and you didn’t make it easy for me 🙂 )
- Vincent: Thanks for being a great friend for all this time, for coming to Balmoral, for encouraging me to sign-up to ocean swims and for believing in me 🙂
- Thomas: Thanks for never letting me win when I was wearing fins. And for telling me “You don’t aim for top 10. You aim for first!”. I haven’t forgotten that advice and it will stay with me forever :-).
- Ana: Thanks for talking to me all those months ago and for becoming such an awesome friend! You’ve made my life so much richer :-). Can’t wait to see you in a few months 🙂
- Crystal: Thanks for pushing me by being faster and for never taking stuff too seriously :-). It was great having another girl around!
- Felix: Thanks for injecting a bit of extra ‘German-ness’ into the mix. It was fun to swim with you and inspiring to see you race and win in Coogee! You’re a lion in a field of lions!
- Jacques: Thanks for the many good chats and for being so interested and open-minded about everything :-). Best of luck for your start-up(s) and your wedding!
Last but certainly not least: Thank you, Tridant! Thanks for taking me on for a year, for giving me amazing opportunities, challenges and for letting me work with such freedom on my client projects and various ‘Eva projects’ along the way :-). It’s been an absolute pleasure to be a Triton and I look forward to seeing how the Tableau practice continuous to grow and make waves.
And now I just need to say thanks to Sydney for being a really cool and enjoyable home for the past 3 years. After 8 years in Wellington I was looking for something bigger. Sydney certainly was and I loved living there. It is probably the most beautiful city I know, the harbour and the landmarks making it a very special place.
Thanks, Sydney for providing a stunning backdrop to every adventure. Swimming, Cycling, Running, commuting, everything is accompanied by immense natural beauty (despite some architectural disasters, but they exist everywhere).
Thanks for showing me the fast pace of life in a big, vibrant and modern metropolis.
Now it is time to slow things down a little. I didn’t think I would, but I am looking forward to a slower pace, about 4.2 million less people, less traffic and less stress.
I will miss your beautiful beaches, parks, the ocean, the sunshine and the amazing swimming pools.
Let’s wait and see what I can find instead… 🙂