Who are you?
Hello! My name is Katee Blizzard and I am an American who is in the process of moving abroad to Australia.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
I came to Australia back in August 2016 to work as an Au Pair in Burleigh Heads, QLD Australia for what was supposed to be just 4 months.During that time I accidentally fell in love with not only the country but an Aussie. Since then, I have moved down to the Tweed Coast to live with my boyfriend where we are in the process of applying for the Partner Visa.
What challenges did you face during the move?
Since moving to Australia I have found it hard to make friends that weren’t transient. The people I met at first were from all over the world and only here on Work/Holiday Visas which meant many goodbyes unfortunately. (Luckily I have places to stay all over Europe now)
Are there many other expats in your area?
I have only met a handful of expats so far but I am hoping that I can meet some more using the Expat Focus Forums.
What do you like about life where you are?
I love the attitude of everyone in Australia. No one takes things too seriously which makes life here a lot more easy going compared to back in the US.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
I definitely miss my friends and family from back “home”. Although, I don’t miss being there, I just wish they were here with me.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
I love that the people here are paid a living wage and tipping isn’t needed because of this. I feel like everyone has a good work ethic and enjoy what they do for the most part making all of the people I have encountered extremely happy and easy going.
What do you think of the food and drink in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?
I still can’t quite get into having beets on burgers or vegemite but I have started to love Chicken Salt and Pavlova! I’ve noticed most places in Australia are way healthier and smaller portioned than the US which has definitely made me have a healthier lifestyle.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Follow your heart. For me, it was pretty spur of the moment and my life changed in what seems like the blink of an eye. I truly have never been so happy in my life which makes the hard times easier knowing that once all of the paperwork and waiting is done, I can relax and enjoy this gorgeous country.
What are your plans for the future?
I am headed back to the US in August for a bit for my best friend’s wedding and to see my family again but when I return, I will be submitting the paperwork for my partnership visa meaning I will be waiting at least 12 months before returning. My plan is to continue working as a Virtual Assistant so that I can travel to see my family as often as possible since they miss me so much. I am also hoping to grow my blog to help Travelers and Au Pairs make the most of their time in Australia by providing them with the best deals for each destination!
You can keep up to date with Katee's adventures on her blog, The Blizzard of Oz.
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