So far in my life I have lived 18 years in Estonia, 5 in America, 1 in Germany, 6 in Australia and 6 in the UK. The day after our oldest son turned 1, we left quiet, wide-streeted, cycle-friendly and warm Canberra behind and arrived in London with two roll-up mattresses, a travel cot and a couple of suitcases.
Why? WHY on Earth would anyone move from Australia to the UK? Many have asked me that question 🙂
Well – Australia IS perfect, but it is far, far away from the rest of the world. Travelling anywhere takes a long time and is very expensive. In order for us to ensure that our kids were able to visit Estonia often and learn to speak the language, we decided to settle in London at least until they were in their teens.
In the beginning we hated it – the city was so crowded, dirty and busy, and my husband straight away had to work very long hours. It was hard to adjust to the very different pace of life.
Luckily I quickly met some local Estonian women and after decades of not having any Estonian girlfriends around, it was very nice to have that element in my life again. It was the one thing that helped me through those initial first cold winter months.
Slowly but surely we truly settled in – we got used to the pace of life, my mother moved in with us to help us out with our two boys, I went back to work, we bought a house and all through this we made more and more friends, saw more and more fascinating places in London, travelled around Europe and to America, and always to Estonia for a month in the summer.
I do miss Australia the most of all the places I have lived, but for the moment I love it here – I love all the great parks in this city, I love being able to buy great clothes, I love having lots of multicultural friends, I love being close to Estonia and being able to travel elsewhere in Europe and America much less expensively and much quicker than from Australia.
Who knows where we’ll be in another 10 years, but for now I feel at home here. This city makes me feel young and alive, it makes me feel like I could do anything or go/travel anywhere I wanted to.