Hi, my name is Mitch and I have been living abroad since 2017 with the majority of the time living in India. Before our move, my wife & I resided in sunny Perth, Western Australia until one random day we decided to relocate with our 3 boys to explore other opportunities, cultures and business across Asia. India being our first stop.
There has been many challenges in settling in, relocating, adapting to cultures, new ways of doing business, a completely different lifestyle and one of the hardest challenges for me, A New Routine!
Life back home in Australia
Loving discipline and the weekly routine back home in Perth which for many Aussies was quite common across the board whether you are employed, running your own companies or doing absolutely nothing. Routine consisted of attending the gym at 5am every day in your thongs (Sandals, flip flops are other common terms), Friday 3pm beer o’clock at the local pub until we were cut off, Saturday morning early rises and mowing the lawn, washing the cars, getting out the tool kit and fixing something the wife was telling me to fix for a year, reorganising the shed for the thousandth time thinking we have the holy grail of perfection in the tools displayed like weapons and then finally by 12pm doing absolutely whatever came to mind, beach exploring, car cruises, running amuck in the back yard and most of the time 4wding across the Aussie bush finding mud holes. Back yards in Australia are our own slice of the world and most activity for the family happened in the yard.
The weekend rituals almost made the week bearable. Nothing beats getting up at 5am on a crisp Saturday morning having a few solid espressos and hitting the gym, then after this waiting at the shed until around 7am because the moment I heard another lawn mower or whipper snipper crack off I knew no one could get annoyed at me for the mowing noise so early. Then before you know it the whole street was out mowing the lawn and blank expressions and nods to one another was reassurance we were all on our own personal quest to perfect and get order in the home pre-lunch time! Then came the car cleaning, the polishing, and the standing back and looking at the cars from every possible height and angle to catch any cut and polish we had left on (and to just admire our polishing work and the rims glistening in the sun).
Pics of our Aussie Weekend's!
Then came the first Saturday in India! What the bloody hell am I going to do now??
I was quite lost, no fresh smell of lawn, no cars to polish and clean (people started cleaning our car the first week in) and no 4wding! The hardest part was knowing there are tracks and there are things to do but in India nothing is easy or convenient. Back home within 20 Minutes we could be at the best beaches in the world or in the absolute outback in the mud. Loosing this sense of weekend freedom was hard to accept at first and the important of a new weekend ritual for my sanity was needed.
So adapt I had to! Now Saturday mornings consist of 5am going to the gym in my thongs, heading back up and watering the 5sqm of balcony garden we have created to keep the sense of “outdoors” and “I am gardener” going. Then after common chores are done I will go on a walk to the local beach navigating hundreds of street dogs, burn offs, piles of rubbish and glass on the beach and then finally watch the local fisherman bring in the daily catch. I have found peace in this new routine as the mind needs a sense of home and daily rituals to keep sane while abroad.
Pics of my Indian weekend's!
Take-away from my experience:
I think the first thing to do while abroad and settling into unknown new environments is to implement a routine ASAP. The isolation and the huge change in lifestyle can be depressing and that sense of wanting to return home sets in quite fast. Creating something that gets some normality back does wonders for the mind. If you are living in a similar environment than before than it is a little easier but going from large backyards and nature and freedom to an apartment living in India is a huge shift for the whole family. I think it is important to get out and connect with the locals, culture and the environment of your new place. Smile and embrace it even if hundreds of street dogs are after you!
Now that this is my new ritual and I have to do it weekly, I think waking up cutting laws and washing cars seems so odd now!!
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