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Both and Neither

Now that I’ve spent nearly an entire day trying to work out how to set this blog up, I suppose I should generate some content. 🙂  I’ll start by introducing myself and explaining a little about why I started this blog.

My name is Kareena. I am an American by birth. I was born and raised there. I was born in a tiny town in northern Washington State near the border of Canada. Reportedly, we had a hippy commune nearby where they all lived in tipis (a fact that I find hugely AWESOME) and our nearest neighbour’s house was so remote he came home to find a mountain lion eating his cat on the front porch (a fact that kind of freaks me out). We didn’t stay long after I was born. My father is from New Jersey so my parents packed myself, the puppy, the kitten and all their worldly belongings in their VW Beetle and drove across country to New Jersey. Yes, I said VW Beetle. They obviously didn’t own much at that point.

Most of my childhood was spent in various locations around South Jersey with a few years in Virginia. When I was 14, my parents split up and my mother packed myself, my brother, two dogs and a cat up to move back to Western Washington where she grew up. I admit, it pissed me off at first. But within the year, I grew to love that place so much it nearly hurt. I didn’t love the tiny town we were living in so much as just the area (the Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful places on earth in my inexperienced opinion) and the people. I made close friends and, for the first time in my life, I felt like I fit in. I wore flannel shirts and Dr Marten boots and revelled in being a “weirdo.” I was home.

Then, in my senior year, a friend of a friend came to visit from Australia. His name was Chris. He had a crush on me. It took me that entire summer to decide I felt the same about him. Bam! First love. He went home, I went to UW and we both pined. I got a job, saved up and went to Perth for a visit. Then I came home, dropped out of school and proceded to save up for The Move. To make a long story short, I moved to Perth, at some point we got married, I finished uni here (totally different degree from the one I started at UW) and now we have a house and kids. The last time I was home for a visit was Christmas 2001 (the first Christmas after I moved). I missed friends getting married, having kids, holidays, birthdays, deaths, etc. I even missed my 10 year high school reunion which I had always vowed I would go to come hell or high water. All this has added up to a big, whopping case of homesickness.

Now, I could wallow (and I do). I could descend into a depressive state of hating everyone and everything to do with this place (I have, occasionally). But I don’t want to. I want to try and like where I am for my own sanity. So, I started this blog. Yes, I will bitch and moan about things here in Australia. But I will also talk about the things that are good here. I will bitch and moan about the stuff that sucks about back home. But I will also talk about how much is good about it. I am snarky, sarcastic and critical. I make no excuses for that. All in all, this is an attempt to be lighthearted about my situation and, hopefully, a chance for my readers to get an idea of what its like to be a stranger in a strange land. Ausmerican, both and neither.

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