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Growing Up As A Third Culture Kid In Australia

Carlie: Hey there, it’s Carlie with the Expat Focus Podcast. A topic that comes up quite often in our Facebook groups is moving abroad with children. What’s the ideal age? Especially if they’re going to need to learn a new language? What about the best time of year to move? And how do you make the assimilation process, from learning new cultural norms to making new friends, as smooth and enjoyable as possible? My guest today is someone who can speak from experience. Sharon Green is the founding editor of online publication SHE DEFINED.

And in 1998, just before she turned 12, Sharon migrated with her family from Durban in South Africa to Melbourne in Australia. Sharon’s going to share her experience of being a third culture kid, and how it has shaped her and her sense of belonging as an adult.

Sharon, I’d like to start by asking how you came to be a third culture kid. So, why did your family move from South Africa to Australia?

Sharon: There were plenty of reasons. As many South Africans who leave South Africa do, this was back in the late 90s, we’d just come off the back of the end of apartheid. There was a lot of political change, a lot of political upset, so that was kind of a reason. My parents were also just looking at the future for us as a family in South Africa and I think they didn’t really see much of a future there for us.

So, they started looking into immigration, and Australia was on the list. I think they also looked at New Zealand, surprisingly, but it was a lot harder to get into New Zealand at the time, so we ended up doing an application for Australia. But yeah, in addition to that, high crime in South Africa makes the lifestyle there really tricky.

Day to day it’s sort of hard to live with. Yeah, and I guess just economically as well. It’s funny, we’re described as “economic migrants” because we’ve moved to a country for better prospects. It’s a different classification to if you’re a refugee or something else. I suppose you could say economic prospects for the future might have been another driving reason for why we moved.

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Carlie: Do you recall when your parents told you you were moving and how long that process took?

Sharon: Yeah, I do. They had a conversation with myself and my brother to, like, kind of nut it out and explain to us, “hey, we wanna move to another country”. I don’t remember, like, the super fine details of that conversation, but we were very young and the process took, like, more than three years. You know, from submitting an application through to doing all the tests and screening, through to getting accepted and actually having the visas delivered.

So, it was a pretty lengthy process and I know people have waited much longer than that. Especially when immigration out of South Africa was exploding, like, sort of, into the 2000s. So, I think we were kind of lucky that we only had to wait three years.

They were very transparent with us about the move, but it was sort of told to us to keep it hush hush, at least while the application process was happening because we weren’t sure if we were going to get in or not. And so of course we didn’t wanna tell everyone, “hey, we’re planning to immigrate to Australia”, and then maybe it fell through. So, it was kind of like our little secret in a way between our family until we knew for sure that we got accepted, then we kind of spoke openly about it.

Carlie: And how old were you when you boarded that flight to Australia?

Sharon: I was just a few months shy of turning 12, so I just say to people I was about 12. I was, like, halfway through grade six, which is the final year of primary school in Australia. And so I ended up only, like, doing half a year of primary school once we got over there. So yes, that’s young, but I think in terms of emotional maturity, you know, I was on the cusp of turning into a teenager. I was sort of in that adolescent phase. I was quite aware of what was going on and definitely felt the impact of the move on an emotional level at that age.

Carlie: You’d be leaving all your friends behind and…

Sharon: Yeah. And pets and family and the whole bit, yeah.

Carlie: Oh, that’s so sad!

Sharon: I remember feeling devastated that I had to leave my dog, but he thankfully stayed with my grandmother and went on to live a long and wonderful life after that. So, but yes, devastating as a 12 year old to leave your favorite pet behind, that’s for sure!

Carlie: Oh man. I hope your grandmother sent you postcards or photos or something.

Sharon: Yeah, she was great. She was really good at keeping us updated, so…

Carlie: And do you remember your first impressions of Australia?

Sharon: I do. I mean obviously it felt very foreign, which might be a strange thing to say, like coming from sort of one westernized culture to another. But we had a very different, sort of, cultural…or strong cultural identity in South Africa compared to Australia. I mean I came into Australia in the late 90s.

It was still quite white back then, like, not as multicultural as it is now. I just remember first impressions were that it was very ordered, lots of rules and regulations as, you know, even from the moment you’re going through the airport and scrutinized by the officers there. It was very clean. And it just felt expansive in terms of the amount of space, like physical space around you. So perhaps not as congested or compact as where we’d come from.

So, certainly I think that was a reflection of the small population in Australia at the time. And I would say that that’s still the case today, especially when you compare it to countries, you know, in the northern hemisphere that are far more populated, that are far more dense. So yeah, those were my initial impressions.

Carlie: And how long did it take you to settle in and make some friends and, you know, feel at home at school and in your new neighborhood?

Sharon: Oh, I want to say it was quite quick, because I think as a child you’re very resilient, you’re very adaptable. I was thankfully put into, like, some circles of friends, especially in that final few months at primary school and people kind of opened me with really, you know, welcoming attitudes and that was so lovely.

And then I got to at least take a few of those friendships with me through to high school because I went to a local high school, so it wasn’t like I was starting high school, you know, completely alone and not knowing a single soul. But yeah, I don’t know the point at which it felt like home and I still don’t know if it feels like home even after 20 plus years.

But yeah, I think probably after about a year we’d assimilated quite well, or at least my brother and I had because we had school that allowed us to integrate really easily. And, I don’t know, I think we kind of just got absorbed into it a lot faster than, say, my parents did, because of the factor that we had school to go to when we were surrounded by other Australian kids and we had activities and things to integrate us into the day-to-day life and so on.

So yeah, I want to say like about a year, but it was probably realistically more than that to feel really, kind of, like, “okay this is the new place we’re living in now, home so to speak”. And yeah, I don’t know, I don’t have a distinct memory of when it felt right or like a fit per se.

Carlie: When I speak to you, I don’t hear a South African accent. Do you remember a point at which you lost your South African accent and really, you know, absorbed the Australian accent?

Sharon: Yeah, I lost my accent very quickly. So did my brother. I want to say within the first 18 months it was probably completely gone. Definitely by the first two years, because I remember being in year eight at high school and telling some people that I was from South Africa and they didn’t believe me.

They thought I was having them on and making a joke because I was so convincingly Australian with my accent and everything else that I had to actually be like, “no, I’m serious, that’s where I’m from and you can come and meet my parents and you’ll hear their accent, I’ll prove it!” You know?

So that was quite funny. But yeah, I don’t know, I…my, the inflection of my South African accent comes out from time to time and currently I’m spending time in the UK and I’m noticing little moments where my accent kind of comes through because the British inflection is kind of similar on certain words to…

Carlie: …to the South African, yeah.

Sharon: Yeah.

Carlie: What about your parents? I find that really interesting because I would think for children with two parents with the same accent that it might take longer for them to lose it or they may not lose it at all because your home life, I’m guessing, was still heavily South African culturally influenced…that’s not the right way to say that!

Sharon: No, you’re right. We did still have, like, a South African influence at home. We certainly still, like, ate all the traditional foods as much as possible, like, where we could get our hands on the right ingredients. We always spoke English at home, that was always our first language but you know, we would often make jokes or say funny things in Afrikaans, which is quite common. Even in English households in South Africa. Zulu as well, which was another language that we learned.

But yes, it is interesting when you’re surrounded by two people who’ve still got a very thick accent, why is that not still rubbing off? But it’s funny sometimes when I spend a lot of time with my parents and then I come back home, my husband always says to me, “you’ve just been to visit your parents, haven’t you?” So he can hear it kind of coming through a little bit.

So, it’s funny, I think my accent comes out when I hear it reinforced around me. Like I know that when I visited South Africa for the first time after leaving and I spent a whole month in the country and when I came back the first thing my mum said to me (because she didn’t come on the trip with me, I went with my dad), she said to me, “oh you sound so South African, I can’t believe it!”

And that was only after spending a month in the country just being surrounded by that accent. So, it’s funny what happens to the ear when you hear things and then you just kind of start slipping into talking like that again.

Carlie: I’ve been in Europe for a good 10 years now and my French partner says my Australian accent has softened quite a lot, but when I am drinking or when I’m really tired he’s like, “you’re suddenly a lot harder to understand!” So I must get a bit Australian lazy in my pronunciation. How old were you when you went back to South Africa for the first time after you had immigrated?

Sharon: I was 19, I had just turned 19. It was always my number one goal after finishing school to just focus on saving as much money as possible to get back over there. So, that’s essentially what I did. After turning 18, I spent the year just working part-time jobs and just saving for that airfare and some spending money and it was always a huge yearning for me to go back and see it for myself, especially as an adult, or with a more adult mentality.

I think it’s hard when you leave a country as a child because you kind of have this very childlike view or perspective of what you’ve left, and then going back you see it through another lens because you’re looking at it from a different level of maturity and life stage as well. So, in saying that, I’d love to go back again now that I’m even older because 19 is super young. I still had very limited life experience at that age, but I wonder how I would view it now with all the knowledge and responsibilities of being a proper adult now!

Carlie: Do you remember how that felt at 19? You said you had such a yearning to go back to South Africa. Did it scratch any kind of itch for you at 19 to go back and see where you’d come from and did it reconcile anything for you?

Sharon: Yes, it…in some ways didn’t stop the yearning but it stopped the desire to be going back or wanting to go back to South Africa specifically so much. I think the funny thing that’s happened for me is because so many of my South African friends have moved to the UK, I’ve now transferred that to wanting to come to the UK all the time.

So, when I come to London specifically, there’s a huge South African expat community here and loads of my friends are here and so I connect with them whenever I come to London. And so coming to London is almost like coming home, in a way, because I get to see all my people.

South Africa’s a complicated country for me to keep going back to, not only because there’s emotional baggage but I wouldn’t say that it’s entirely safe to travel there on your own as a woman. And I do a lot of solo travel. You know, I can go to regions like Europe by myself and feel completely safe and comfortable traveling alone, but I can’t say the same thing for going back to South Africa on my own.

So that’s always a huge consideration when I’m thinking about my next travel plans and how would I logistically coordinate that. And I’ve got a bit of family that is still in South Africa that I could go and stay with and they could help me out, but they’re only in one region and so going to other areas might be a bit tricky and whatnot. I mean people do it and they’re fine.

But I think because I’ve been away from that environment for so long and haven’t been learning how to, kind of, operate within that environment, and I’m talking about having day-to-day street smarts and understanding, you know, the particular areas to avoid or how to behave in certain scenarios, I kind of don’t have that as like a default reaction anymore because I haven’t been living in the that environment. I think it might be a little bit harder for me to go back as a solo female traveler to be honest.

Carlie: And what about your parents? I’m curious after their immigration, have they ever expressed a desire to maybe move back to South Africa in retirement? I’m sure it’s a very different country than the one they left, you know, decades ago.

Sharon: Yes, it is a very different country. There were parts of it I didn’t even recognize it after going back, and I went back only eight years after we left. My parents have no desire to go back. I think because they made the choice to move, they’ve kind of really owned that decision and taken full, sort of, responsibility in making the choice to put roots down in Australia and making that their home now.

It’s funny you asked that question because it was in (I can’t remember), it was earlier this year when we marked our 25th anniversary of being in Australia and my dad and I do this thing where we message each other on the date and we say “happy however many years in Australia”. And I said to him, “does it feel like home yet?” And he responded back and he said, “actually it does”.

And I thought that was interesting coming from him, and I thought that was so lovely because it’s nice to know that they’ve settled there and feel like it’s home. Yeah, maybe I’m a little bit jealous, because I’d love to feel the same way. I don’t feel quite as settled there as they do. And I think part of it has to do with the fact that I had no say in the choice to move there in the first place.

Carlie: Looking back at how your parents handled that move and I know, you know, the fact that they had to wait three years was something really out of their hands in terms of the timeline, do you think (and I know it’s really hard to judge your parents on this decision), but do you think they did the right thing with the right timing for you and your brother? Like, do you think they handled it as well as they could for their kids?

Sharon: Wow, how do I answer that question?

Carlie: Here’s a grenade!

Sharon: I can go both ways and say yes, they made the right choice but maybe they didn’t on all aspects of making that choice. And I guess I can share some reasons why. I think ultimately the decision to leave was the right thing to do. We’ve had incredible opportunities in Australia, you know, education and work-wise, safety-wise. I mean we have certain freedoms in Australia that we just wouldn’t have in a country like South Africa.

You know, something as simple as going out at night and feeling safe, being able to drive in your car alone and not feel like you have to keep looking over your shoulder because you might get hijacked. Gosh, I could list so many different reasons. And once you start to learn to live with that freedom, you realize how unnatural it is to be living in a place like South Africa where the crime rate is so high all the time and you’re living on your nerves and you’re living on edge every single day.

I don’t know if the timing of our move necessarily suited me that well, I mean my brother’s never complained. He was a couple years younger than me so he managed to integrate a little bit better being younger and also he entered the schooling system, kind of like, midway through primary school, whereas I was in and out of three schools in the space of 12 months due to the move. And I look back on that and I think “wow, that’s a lot for one person to handle”.

But, you know, we didn’t discuss it at the time, I just did it and got on with it because you had to. But yeah, I had started part of my school year in South Africa. We left halfway through, did my final six months or so of grade six in Australia and then I was in high school by the following January at a new school in Australia.

And I just think maybe that’s part of the reason I’ve never really felt that settled because it started on such unstable foundations when I first…that first year of moving there. So I would say yes, ultimately the decision to leave was correct and the right thing to do and the best thing for us, but maybe the timing of it wasn’t the best for me personally.

Carlie: It’s an interesting question. I’m always curious about the answer to this question because it’s a topic that comes up quite a lot in the expat focus community groups on Facebook especially: “oh I want to move my family from, say, the UK to France. How old is too old for my kids? How young is too young? Will they adapt? Will they struggle? Will they just be sponges and be fine in six months?” Which is a lot of the answers that people seem to receive is “don’t worry about it, they’ll be fine”, you know?

And I’m really curious about what the reality is of that, especially for someone like yourself who’s been through it. It sounds like it’s not so black and white.

Sharon: Yeah, I mean some people could argue that no time is the perfect time, but I think if you can consider the, sort of, schedule of the school year and, like, when enrollments happen and take that into consideration for how that might play out for your kids, I think that would be such a great way to help them adjust even better.

So if you can start them, you know, at the start of a school year or a semester or something like that, that will help them to integrate a lot better. I wouldn’t recommend doing what my parents did with me, like, especially if you’re in that transition period between moving between primary school and high school.

I would say if you can delay it to let them finish off that year of primary school and then move countries for them to start in high school or however it works out, I would say that that would work out better in terms of allowing them to adjust and integrate a lot better.

So, for me personally, I would’ve loved to have had the opportunity to finish my final year of primary school in South Africa and then move to Australia and start the new school year going into high school. I think I would’ve much preferred just starting high school fresh, not knowing anyone, than having to, like, say goodbye to friends, make new friends, but only know them for a few months, because after primary school people all go to different schools for the most part.

And then starting again a few months later at a new school where you’re having to, like, remake new friends and learn new systems and the whole thing. So, I think maybe there isn’t always a perfect time, but I think certainly around like the school year, if you can make that work as best as possible to start them at a moment where it’s going to be easier for them to integrate, I would definitely highly recommend that to to parents who are considering the immigration route.

Carlie: Speaking of new friends and new systems, is there a memory from early in your move to Australia that really stands out where you had a bit of culture shock or or a cultural confusion, I suppose?

Sharon: Oh…

Carlie: Because I know us Aussies have, like, some very specific ways of saying things and… I discovered just the other year that the nut bush that we do at weddings, the dance, is not something that everyone does around the world at weddings, it’s actually really specific to Australians!

Sharon: I mean I think there were heaps of things, especially the particular use of words for particular objects. Like, that was always pointed out as something that was a bit weird or a bit different when I first moved over. And you just, kind of, discover them day to day, like, such as if you’re in a classroom or…it’s going sound like such a silly, kind of, insignificant example but you know, for things like Wite Out, we used to call that Tipp-Ex.

So, I would turn to my classmate and say, “can I borrow your Tipp-Ex?” And they’d be like, “what are you talking about?” And I’m like, “that thing over there”. And they’re like, “oh, that’s called Wite Out”. And we would call sneakers…or runners, they call them in Australia, we used to call them tekkies, which is, like, a weird word, I get it. And it’s not universal but, you know, we just had different names for all these sorts of things.

And I remember my dad saying that when he started his job he asked if he could borrow the bucky, which saying that now sounds really odd, but they were like, “what are you talking about?” And he pointed to the car and he said, “that thing over there and they go, “oh, that’s a ute,” you know? So, we had to learn to let go of a lot of these, kind of, everyday words that we used in our language, which some of those words were a mixture of slang.

They were Afrikaans or Zulu adapted words, like, we have so many of them integrated into the English language in South Africa for, like, everyday descriptive things. And I would say, like, that’s probably been the saddest thing about immigrating is having to, like, let go of those little pieces of language purely for assimilation purposes.

Because I feel like being able to have that in your day-to-day language is kind of the things that keep you connected to your culture, but when no one understands you, you know, the only choice you’ve really got is to, kind of, let them go and absorb the new language or the new words for those things.

Carlie: I have a friend whose parents are South African, she grew up in England and has moved to the Netherlands and she said, “oh, I really wish my family had spoken to me in Afrikaans because it actually would’ve helped me a lot with Dutch, now that my home is in Netherlands.”

Sharon: Yeah, a hundred percent. I actually love going to the Netherlands for that reason. I can understand street signs and menus and not necessarily the language as a whole because the languages are quite different. Like, Afrikaans is more of a dialect of Dutch. But you can definitely pick up a lot and I think if she had to learn Dutch she would’ve had a great foundation knowing Afrikaans.

I know there’s a huge South African expat community in the Netherlands and I wonder if they’ve, kind of, been able to use that language to help them integrate a bit better. I mean not that you need it in the Netherlands, they speak excellent English. But I’m sure it helps on some level.

Carlie: So, we just talked about it a little, but I’m curious, having been through what you’ve been through and obviously analyzed it a lot in your adult life, what would you do differently if you were immigrating with your own kids today? Hypothetical!

Sharon: That’s a…very hypothetical. Because I do not have kids, so I don’t know…I’ve never had to think about how my own choices might impact someone else or other human beings. I think just definitely around that school piece that we spoke about earlier, I would really do my research on that and make a far more calculated decision around the timing of moving.

I know it’s not always possible, like in my case my parents were just desperate to get out of the country and start a new life straight away because they knew that was the inevitable anyway. And things like they sold their house really quickly, like, far quicker than they expected. They put it on the market and it was sold within six weeks.

And so then it was like, “okay, we thought that might take a few months and now we don’t have a place to live, so I guess we’ve just got to get on with it”. And so therefore they booked in the movers and we ended up staying with my grandmother for, I want to say like a good month or so before we left. Just because there we had to, like, have a bit of time before we…

Carlie: We had no home!

Sharon: We had no home! But yes, I would definitely consider the timing of schooling and when children can be enrolled in schools and trying to make that transition a lot more seamless if possible. I mean, like, it’s always going to be hard because starting over is hard. But yeah, I would definitely pay attention to that.

I guess there are so many different sets of considerations depending on where you want to move as well. Like, for my parents moving to the northern hemisphere was not really something that appealed to them, even though the UK was definitely a route they could have taken, because I’ve got UK ancestry and my family and it probably would’ve been easier from them…sorry, for them from an immigration perspective to get visas and whatnot to the UK. But they just didn’t want to have the cold winters, have the seasons reversed.

And so that’s why I think Australia and New Zealand were quite appealing. So, I don’t know, they just wanted to maintain having, like, a hot Christmas, for example and starting the year in January, not in September like a lot of schools do in Europe and whatnot. So, those are a few things to think about perhaps.

Carlie: And what about how your parents worked to keep you connected to your cultural identity? Did you have a lot of South African traditions maintained in your home? You said you kind of had to give up some colloquial South African language.

Sharon: Yeah, I personally would’ve liked a stronger, I guess, connection or practicing the culture a lot more strongly when we were in Australia, like, kind of, having a bit more pride around that. I think my parents were just so focused on assimilating in a new country and I definitely remember, like, my dad’s attitude was like, “we’re in Australia now, we’ve got to act like Australians.

We’ve gotta abide by the Australian rules and let’s just do our best to fit in and play by the rules here”. And not that I think that there was a distinct correlation between “we need to assimilate, therefore we need to reject our South Africanisms”. But I think it was more that the focus was placed more on “let’s integrate”, instead of focusing on “let’s keep celebrating where we’ve come from”.

But for me personally, I would’ve liked to have maintained a stronger connection to that. Like, I would’ve loved it if we could have kept speaking a bit more Afrikaans in the household so that I could keep up that language. Like, I’ve lost so much of that language and I’ve tried to, like, reconnect with it in my older years by, like, listening to podcasts and TV shows and it’s so hard, especially because, like, I’ve lost a lot of that grounding with the language.

So, but yeah, in terms of the things we did do to stay connected to it I would say it was largely around food. I mean, it’s such a food-based culture, as many cultures are, and especially as more South African shops opened up in Australia and were importing the food items that we’d love to eat, you know, we definitely celebrate a lot more in that way. And often when it was, like, someone’s birthday we’d request a traditional dish from home just because it was something special and something we could enjoy and, kind of, remember about where we’ve come from.

Carlie: My last question, Sharon, is if you feel Australian or if you feel like a foreigner all these years later?

Sharon: Yeah, it’s interesting. And it’s very interesting to answer that question while I’m currently in the UK because this is neutral territory for me, right? I’m neither in South Africa nor Australia and I’ve met a lot of new people while I’ve been in London this time. And of course the first thing they ask me is, “where are you from?” And I always say to them, “that’s a really hard question for me to answer.”

And I said, “how much time do you have?” And so I begin to tell them this story: “well, I was born in South Africa, lived there for, you know, fair chunk, grew up there essentially, then moved to Australia, been in Australia for 20 plus years, but I’ve done a stint in London for like 18 months and then I’ve been coming back and forth to the UK for the last 10 years on and off.” So I’ve done a few stints here and I keep coming back here because I feel that connection to home, as I mentioned before.

How do I identify? I think I definitely identify first and foremost as South African. I still feel South African in me, like, when I think of my cultural identity and the foundations of what built that up. But then it would be really tough for me to say that Australia hasn’t influenced me and hasn’t shaped who I’ve become. And you know, this is something I struggle to explain to people.

And my husband asked me one time (and he’s Australian), and he said to me, “you can’t tell me you don’t feel even a little bit Australian!” Like, he just found it so hard to conceptualize it after living somewhere for so long, and from his point of view, I seem to have integrated so well to then not feel like I identify at all as an Australian. So, I suppose in some ways there are aspects of me that do.

But I definitely think that because I formed the foundations of my identity in South Africa, that’s always going to be a huge part of how I self-identify, I guess. A little bit of both is maybe the answer to that question. I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking about this question a lot at the moment and maybe it doesn’t have to be a clear cut answer because to be honest with you, I don’t really feel like anywhere it feels like home.

And I guess being a permanent expat means I’m always going to, kind of, feel like a little piece of me is scattered across the world no matter where I go. So yeah, I don’t know. It’s a weird one. I’m sitting with that question for the moment. So, to be continued…!

Carlie: Definitely sounds it. And especially, you know, something that came to me as you were speaking is, well what does the future hold? Do you see yourself maybe spending more time in the UK, more time in South Africa, basing yourself in Australia?

Sharon: Oh gosh…

Carlie: Maybe there’s a fourth country in there!

Sharon: I don’t know! Wouldn’t that complicate matters? I really don’t know. All I can say is that I’m open to international experiences. I guess I view myself as very international and so therefore I’m very open to having experiences abroad. I mean, and I don’t know if you do this as an expat, but I can never travel anywhere now without looking at it through the lens of “could I live here?”

Carlie: Could I live here? Yeah, absolutely. Would I move here? What’s this neighborhood like? What would it feel like to pack up and start again?

Sharon: Every time I visit a place, I’m never just there thinking, “oh, I’m just visiting and this is nice.” I’m always looking at it from the perspective of: “is this a livable place? Could I see myself living here? What are the pros and cons?” Like, it’s just going on and on in my mind and I think I’ll never be able to be rid of that because of the life experience I’ve had.

And so I don’t know what the future holds. I mean the UK is certainly…has a very strong pull for me. I’ve got a lot of connection to home here, so I’m sure I’ll be back here in some capacity or another in the future. I’m not sure if that will be more permanent or not. But in saying that, I think Australia’s also a really great country to live in. I mean, we have, you know, excellent amenities and facilities and a good lifestyle there.

So, yeah, I don’t know, it’s sort of hard to completely abandon one country for another because they all come with their pros and cons. I think it’s about finding that happy medium for yourself. And this is also another thing I’m exploring, especially while I’m in the UK and I’ve got a fresh perspective.

I have actually been missing a few things about Australia since I’ve been here, which is hilarious because I’m like, the whole reason I came back to the UK was to have a break from that environment and get away from all the things that annoyed me about it! And here I am missing certain things.

Carlie: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Sharon: Yes, it’s a weird perspective to live from, is all I can say.

Carlie: Well Sharon, thank you so much for coming on the Expat Focus Podcast to share your experience growing up as a third culture kid and your connections to Australia, South Africa, and the UK.

Sharon: Thanks so much for having me. It’s been a great opportunity to share my story and I hope people find it useful.

Carlie: That’s it for this episode. If you’d like to hear more on this topic, roll back through our podcast archives to my chat with American, Rachel Jones, who talks about raising her three children in the Horn of Africa. For free access to lots of really useful resources to make your move abroad easier, head over to expatfocus.com and sign up to our newsletter. I’ll catch you next time.