Moving to a new country can be exciting, but also challenging. As an Australian expat living in Houston, Texas, I sometimes miss my home country and the things that make it unique. But over time, I have found some ways to ease my homesickness and enjoy my life in the US. Here are 10 tips that I hope will help other Aussies who are living or planning to live in Houston.
Join TANZOT and attend events with fellow Aussies. TANZOT is a social network both online and in person, that connects you with people who understand what it’s like to be an Aussie or a Kiwi in Houston. You can find and join groups and events that match your preferences. Whether you are looking for playgroups, coffee mornings, book clubs, golf meet-ups, seasonal events, family events or the delightful Dogs Day Out, TANZOT has something for everyone.
Go to Aussie brunch cafes or Aussie style cafes and have avo on toast. Nothing beats a good breakfast with a familiar taste. Luckily, Houston has some great cafes that serve Australian-style food and coffee. Some of my favorites are Bluestone, Citizens of Montrose, and Travelers Table. They have delicious avo on toast and flat whites. It’s like a little piece of home in every bite.
Watch Aussie movies and TV shows. Sometimes, I just want to relax and watch something that reminds me of home. That’s when I turn to Aussie movies and TV shows that I can stream online or rent from the library. Some of the classics that I love are Crocodile Dundee, The Castle, Muriel’s Wedding, Kath & Kim, and Summer Heights High. They always make me laugh and feel nostalgic.
Listen to Australian podcasts. Podcasts are a great way to stay updated and entertained with what’s happening in Australia and around the world. There are so many podcasts to choose from, covering topics like news, sports, comedy, culture, and more. Some of the podcasts that I listen to regularly are The Betoota Advocate, The Squiz, Hamish & Andy, Conversations, and The Signal. They keep me informed, amused, and connected to my roots.
Attend events at the Australian American Chamber of Commerce. The Australian American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) is a non-profit organization that promotes trade, investment, and cultural ties between Australia and the US. They also organize events and programs that cater to the Australian community in Houston and beyond. I have attended some of their events, such as networking sessions, seminars, luncheons, and socials, and found them to be very helpful and enjoyable. They are a great way to meet other professionals, learn new skills, and support the Aussie cause.
Phone home. The time difference between Houston and Australia is not too bad, so I don’t mind calling my family and friends back home whenever I can. It’s always nice to hear their voices and catch up on what’s going on in their lives. I use apps like WhatsApp, Skype, and FaceTime to make free or cheap calls over the internet. I also send them photos and videos of my life in Houston, and they do the same. It makes me feel closer to them, even though we are miles apart.
Cook or order Australian food. Sometimes, I crave for some of the foods that I grew up with, like meat pies, sausage rolls, vegemite, Tim Tams, and fairy bread. Luckily, I can either make them myself or order them online from some of the Australian stores that deliver to the US. Some of the websites that you can use are Aussie Food Express, and The Australian Food Shop. They have a wide range of products that satisfy my hunger and nostalgia.
Read Australian books and magazines. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, and I love reading books and magazines that are written by or about Australians. They give me a glimpse of the Australian culture, history, and lifestyle that I miss. Some of the books and magazines that I have read and enjoyed are The Dry by Jane Harper, Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton, The Monthly, and Frankie. They are entertaining, informative, and inspiring.
Listen to Australian music. Music is another way to connect with my homeland and express my emotions. I have a playlist of Australian songs that I listen to when I feel homesick, happy, or anything in between. Some of the artists that I love are Spacey Jane, Lime Cordial, Tame Impala, and Flume. They have some of the best tunes and lyrics that make me sing along and dance.
Plan a trip back home. Nothing beats the feeling of going back home and seeing your loved ones and your favorite places. That’s why we try to plan a trip back to Australia at least once a year. It’s something that I look forward to and cherish. It also helps me appreciate both countries and cultures more, and realize how lucky I am to have two homes in the world.
These are some of the ways that I deal with homesickness as an Aussie in Houston. I hope they will help you too, or inspire you to find your own ways to cope. Remember, you are not alone, and there are many resources and people that can support you. Being an expat can be hard, but it can also be rewarding and enriching. Cheers, mate! 🇦🇺🇺🇸
How do you navigate homesickness or stay connected with your roots when you’re away from your home country? Share your strategies or experiences – I’d love to hear how you make a home away from home!