“It was during a 2008 ski trip to Park City, Utah for Thanksgiving that I met my Aussie husband, Paul, for the first time. We hit it off straight away. As someone who had grown up thinking my life trajectory needed to go university, career, house, dog, kids, I was surprised by how fascinating Paul’s outlook on seasonal work and traveling was.
Paul opened my eyes up to adventures like doing an entire ski season in Utah and backpacking Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. While I was traveling and seeing so much of the Southern Hemisphere, I was also falling in love.
After spending two months road-tripping from Wollongong to Port Douglas, Paul and I knew we wanted to put down roots and start building a life together. After doing another ski season in Utah, we parted ways while we applied for a De Facto visa. I spent six months in my hometown of Gainesville, Florida while he worked in Perisher, Australia. At last – my visa was approved and on Christmas Day 2010, I landed in Sydney to find my happily ever after.
By April, Paul had been lured to Mudgee, a small town 3.5 hours NW of Sydney to work in a coal mine and I followed suit 5 months later. (Not to work in a coal mine of course.)
I had been dabbling with writing and wanted to write a memoir. One day, I bought a ticket to an event called ‘So You Think You Can Write’ at the Sydney Writers Festival, where people in the audience can pitch their drafts. I purely wanted to go for feedback, but serendipitously, a publisher was in the audience and liked what they heard! That’s how my debut book ‘Summerlandish: Do as I Say, Not as I Did’ got published. A few years later came my second book, ‘I Now Pronounce You Husband and Expat’.
Today, I’m a ghostwriter and am proud to still call Mudgee home some ten years later. Paul and I live with our two kids, two dogs and even my mom, who migrated in 2019!
My mom always had a fridge magnet that read, ‘Bloom where you’re Planted.’ It’s not easy moving to a new town, let alone a new country. But just like a flower that can be moved from pot to pot, you too can bloom where you are planted.”