... when you're constantly on the move, few things remain unchanged.

The places I've called home

Monday, November 11, 2013

The scariest thing in the world to many people is moving away from their family and friends.  I’ve moved to completely new cities – where I knew no one and started my life over, completely from scratch, four times in my adult life and five altogether, if you count moving from Kazakhstan to Australia with my parents when I was 5. 

Honestly, it IS hard and scary and lonely and completely, gut-wrenchingly depressing at times.  There are times when I weep for past lives of mine that lived happily in places where I was whole – with friends, family, a job, a car, stability, purpose.  Sometimes it seems that the moment I have it all together, I leave.  Sometimes I’m desperate for a permanent home; a piece of land somewhere in this world that belongs to me, where I can spread some metaphorical and physical roots (I love gardening).

I want to give a shout out to all the places I’ve called home, places within the city limits of which parts of me are confided, like Voldemort’s horcruxes. 

Almaty – Kazakhstan (yes, the place Borat is from)
I was born and lived here until I was 5. Although my recollections of it are scattered, the memories I do have are very powerful and are mainly of a family that I have long since become estranged from; but I think love is the strongest emotion of all and those feelings and faces have remained with me throughout my life.

Brisbane, QLD Australia
School, work, church, family, growing up, first friends, first fights, first unforgivable circumstances, first love, first kiss (Chris Lokteff - I get to brag because... well google him!!), first disappointment, first designer handbag, first everything I guess… it all took place here in the beautiful capital city of Queensland, Australia.

Sunshine Coast, QLD Australia
Although I never technically lived here – every school and family holiday, as well as many, many weekends were spent at various beaches here on this breathtaking shore.  Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Nambour, Noosa and the mountainous hinterland all left huge footprints on my existence.  Kings Beach at Caloundra has remained my meditating center: the spot I always go to in my head when I need to feel at peace.

Gold Coast, QLD Australia
Same as above – although not the family holiday part.  Once high school was over, my friends and I spent many weekends along the shores of this part of the world.  Southport, Surfer’s Paradise, Burliegh Heads and Coolangatta were always my favorites.

Rockhampton, QLD Australia
My first solo adult move. I came here for university and a boy, neither of which worked out.  Instead I found my truest and bestest friends.  Friends that have withstood time and heartbreaking distance.  I miss this place (and Yeppoon) so much that I get chocked up when I think it.  I lived here for almost 4 years and undoubtedly left the biggest chunk of my heart here in this small town.

Scarborough Beach, WA Australia
My next solo move; but during this one, I became tied to Will and we have traveled together everywhere else since.  Although we only lived here for 6 months, it was an incredible experience.  Truly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen.  I spent a lot of time in the capital city Perth, which was a short train ride away from me, in Fremantle, on Scarborough Beach and neighboring beaches.

Yeppoon, QLD Australia
Will and I got married here and then stayed for a while before moving to the US.  This small town is only half an hour away from Rockhampton and it’s where many of my friends live.  It’s the unofficial beginning of Australia’s iconic ‘Great Barrier Reef’ – amazing, awe-inspiring; life changing experiences were had here. 

Atlanta, GA USA
The lonliest I’ve ever felt, moving to Atlanta was a culture shock, a test of my marriage and friendships, yet another growing experience and the single most self-altering 3 years I’ve ever had.  I spent the first year being heartbroken and homesick for Australia, completely determined to hate the city and not assimilate at all.  But it’s seriously impossible to hate Peidmont Park in the fall, Centennial Park at Christmas, Stone Mountain any time of year or Midtown where we lived.  Eventually, after meeting people, figuring out the public transport and getting to know Will’s family, this city became another home with many more people I’ve come to love.

Austin, TX USA…

Doesn't feel like home yet but… Stay tuned!  After a month here, I like it a lot.  In many ways it reminds me of Australia! And now that I’m no longer homesick for Aus every day, it’s an ironic and almost painful reminder of how far I've come but now have to start again! The attire of shorts and flip/ flops and the wildlife, nature and environmental consciousness are all very reminiscent… expect that here it’s deer, raccoons and squirrels abounding the streets instead of kangaroos, cockatoos and possums.  I think moving here will turn out to be a good thing, eventually. The people are very welcoming and genuine, shouldn't take too long to assimilate.  For now though, it's back to homesickness and loneliness.  


  1. Replies
    1. Don't let m&d hear you call me that! 'Capital offense!'
      Love ya mate - thanks heaps for reading. x

  2. Funny how it works... I never miss Kazakhstan, but sometimes I miss Europe so terribly, it's like a heartache. I'm pretty sure I'll miss America when I leave. There is something about realizing that this stage of your life is over and will never come back that makes you miss places.

    Anyway, I'm sure Austin will work out for you! Just be yourself, and people won't have a chance of not loving you =) And this "gypsy" life also has some beauty about it. You've experienced so much! The majority of world population would never visit those places you can call home.

    P.S. Don't say Borat is from Kazakhstan, some people do think it's true :P

    1. Haha Rita: your comment made me cry at the start and then laugh aloud in the end!! I know you disapprove of the Borat mentions, but I think it's funny - and if people really are that stupid, then that's even funnier!
      Thank you for reading and sharing your experience too. It's good to know that someone else feels that physical 'heartache' when missing a place. It's like Holly's mother from 'PS, I love you' says: "if we're alone, then we're together in that too."




About unwavering me

Sharing my stories of migrating from Australia to the US | travel adventures | married life | furry kids | new experiences | lessons | and loving life despite always missing home. xo.


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