Aussie expat has tears in her eyes


Aussie expat cries. Happy tears this time.

I get a bunch of emails a day to my blog account, most of them are people asking questions about where to go in Croatia, how to get from one place to another, where to stay. Lots of people ask about how to become an expat & get a visa, what is the process to open a bank account – that kind of thing. I answer them all, even if they take me a little while.

Sometimes I get the most heart melting emails. Words on a page, that makes me cry. Complete strangers send me advice, well wishes or to tell me that we’ve inspired them to make a change in their lives. I scan these type of emails looking for the catch – and I am delighted when there is not one. It’s just someone reaching out across the globe to another stranger with kind words.

Just like these kind words. This is an expert from an email I received last month:

I know it would be hard to leave everyone behind, especially the conveniences we’re accustomed to – but like everything in life, it’s a trade-off and you have to go with what’s “right” for you and your family. I applaud your courage!!!! Especially not knowing the language and having your husband away at work for such long stretches. Hang in there girl, you are an inspiration to us ‘fraidy-cats out there.

Seriously, I cried. Even now as I re read her kind words, I have tears in my eyes. Thank you.

aussie expat dream quote by walt disney

I took this photo, when we drove from Sydney to Perth to start that new adventure, way back in 2007.

It’s also more than an email. I was lucky enough to met one family this summer who have read the blog for a year. They came to visit family nearby, so we arranged to meet over beers by the beach. We sat down and chatted like old friends. It seems like strange behaviour when I write this, but it was not strange at all. No dark alleys, no weirdness. Just normal people talking. Chatting about everyday things, their family and how short life is, so you must take it by the proverbial and do all you can to make it your own.

You might say that was a lucky one off, but it’s not. This Aussie expat has plans to meet another family next month, that are Croatian and live in Zagreb. They have a weekend house in Privlaka, just down the road from me. I’ve been invited for coffee. Isn’t that sweet? 

Why am I telling you all of this? Well because, as I was just making plans to meet a fellow expat blogger who will come past and say hi in my home town (see, it’s not a one off) it reminded me that my life is somewhat strange. Unusual. Kind of offbeat. Don’t get me wrong, I like it that way, actually, no I LOVE it this way.

Isn’t it nice to know that people can be nice to one another? Especially expatriates, who I think face the toughest times.

To share a kind word, be encouraging or offer advice to a stranger has to be one of the nicest things you can do. Have you ever done it?

Ohh, and how can I forget, it’s not just the face-to-face liaisons or the emails in my inbox that that bring a smile to my dial each day. It’s the comments on the blog from you all, so thank you for listening.




    Leave a Reply

  1. Not A Scottish Lass says

    What a nice email message to receive – and they were right. It does take a lot of courage. You’ve certainly got my respect.

  2. Satu VW says

    Lovely post, I agree! I’ve also made so many “real life” connections through blogging (my Finnish blog has been going on for 4,5 years now), and that was something I never even imagined when I first started writing online in order to keep my friends up to date of our whereabouts, but was too embarrassed to tell anyone about my little hobby… 🙂 If you are ever headed to Slovenia (or Norway, but I suppose Slovenia is closer), let me know, we have a home in the mountains in Slovenia and try to spend bit of time there when we can! Oh and on a different note, I tried to comment on your capture the colour post but couldn’t!! Secret ploy also….? 🙂

  3. Globalmouse says

    Well I for one absolutely love reading your blog, love being inspired to visit Croatia and love following your adventures – and we have never met! It is funny how you can feel connected to someone you haven’t met before but I think that’s the best thing about blogging. So please, keep doing what you’re doing!! 🙂 x

    • Natalie Gibson says

      I think one of the best things about blogging is that it’s easier to stay connected to a person that you know blogging.

      It’s amazing how it goes both ways 🙂

  4. says

    Love this! I always like reading your blog, but I love this. I am a total “frady cat” when it comes to any part of travel or moving and you are helping me slowly overcome my fear. So thank you for sharing 🙂