Ten years of being in Australia! I can’t believe it. February 21, 1997 I arrived at the Brisbane Airport to be with my future wife. Such an adventure to leave South Florida behind and move to the land Down Under. I remember getting off the plane and thinking how hot it was. Even though I knew it was summer in Australia, I didn’t think it would be much different from South Florida in winter time. The flight itself was killer. I flew from Miami to LA to then hop through Sydney to eventually land in Brisbane. Based on layovers and flying, it took 24 hours to get into the car in Brisbane. Everything was out of sync with night being day and day into night. Seasons were flipped and it would take me almost a week to adjust.
It didn’t matter.
I was coming to Australia to meet my Australian girlfriend. The plan was to stay in Australia for 8 weeks and then go back to Florida. I never left based on that plan. In fact, I did not return to America until 1999. I stayed in Australia on a visitor’s visa until August and then started working then under a temporary resident visa. I was offered a job to stay with Citrix in April 1997 as a systems engineer but I declined. I started working as a systems engineer at a local reseller in Brisbane. I stayed there with that reseller until they went out of business in 1998. I then when to another reseller and stayed there until 1999 when I decided it was time to work for Citrix again. By that point Citrix had an office in Sydney (North Ryde) and there was development work in the Advanced Products Group. Being in Brisbane made this impossible before until the policy changed to allow remote workers for engineering.
I live near a small town in the country with 2 acres, 2 dogs, 3 great kids, and a lovely wife. I live a very lucky life.
I wanted to share some insights into Australia and Australians. First of all, their spirit is great. They are so proud to be Australians and yet they respect humility. Become too proud of yourself and you become a “tall poppy” and you deserve to be taken down a notch. They are willing to help you in a crunch and the common thought is that we are all in this together. The country contains roughly 20 million people and most of these people reside in or near capital cities throughout the states and territories. Canberra is the nation’s capital and due to a dispute between Melbourne and Sydney, it is in-between the two cities and essentially in the middle of nowhere. The culture of Australia is heavily entrenched in being surrounded by water. There is a strong beach culture and also an intense love of sports. I thought America loved sports but Australians have them beat. They might not have as many people but they make up for it in the true belief of the power of sports. If there is an event that has Australians competing, you can be guaranteed that there will be a contingent of Australian fans there as well. Look for the green and gold and the chants, and you will know.
There is so much I could say about Australia. Fortunately for you it is getting late and its time to shut down the house.
I call Australia home!
I love it here. I’m glad that the beauty of Australia is still mostly a secret. I hope that others don’t catch on too quickly. 🙂