Do Expats Get Homesick? (and Interesting Aussie Facts!)

Helllloooo world.

If anyone was stumped by the question posed in the title for this blog post, let me put you out of your misery: yes, yes expats get homesick. Ta da! It’s probably not really all that surprising, but I actually haven’t been homesick for the most part, so this recent longing for Australia has been a bit of a shock to the system. Though it might be supposed that expats moving between Western, English-speaking nations might be less susceptible to issues with culture adjustment, psychological studies have shown that this is in fact not completely true. For me, its the little differences that make it quite challenging to live in the US at times, and it’s the little things that are what I miss most about home.

So, to make this fun and to break up the excessive number of beach pictures I’ve got, I’ve included some fun facts about Australia. Whether you’re based internationally or in Aus, hopefully you can find something fun and interesting in here with which to wow your friends and family.

Incoming storm on QLD’s Gold Coast in 2014.

  1. We’re the sixth largest country in the world, and the largest island, with a land mass of 7.692 million km² (or 2.97 million mi²).
  2. Despite that impressive landmass, our population is only about 24 million people (~2.66 persons/km), the vast majority of whom—close to 90%—live within 50km of the coast. (We like the coast).

    Maroubra Beach, Sydney

    Tamarama Beach, Sydney.

  3. Our political history holds some intriguing mysteries… we’ve had a Prime Minister up and disappear. Harold Holt was the 17th Australian Prime Minister, serving for 22 months from 1966 up until the point at which he disappeared in December 1967 while swimming near Portsea, Victoria. He was never seen again.
  4. Our political history also boasts some great drinkers: former PM Bob Hawke set a world record for sculling 2.5 pints of beer in 11 seconds, and even at 87, he still manages to put away a beer at light speed.
  5. Australia was the second country to give women the vote in 1902—New Zealand pipped us to the post.
  6. We’re one of the only countries that eats an animal on our coat of arms, because we like to eat kangaroo: it’s lean, high in protein and delicious… plus there are so many damn kangaroos around the place that it’s not hard to find.
  7. The Great Emu War was a military operation in 1932 where the Army attempted to curb the emu population with Lewis machine guns and brisk military efficiency. The emus won.
  8. We apparently invented the selfie: who knew?
  9. Tasmania has the cleanest air in the world.
  10. We have some really, really great animals (most of which can’t be found anywhere else in the world):

    Wombats poo in cubes and can destroy a car if you hit one.

    Male platypus have spurs on their hind legs which produce venom (non-lethal to humans) during breeding season.

    If a mother kangaroo dies and the joey survives, the human carer will have to oil its skin as it grows to protect it in the same way that its mother’s pouch would have.

    Typical: roos love a good fight!

    The male lyrebird possesses an uncanny mimicry of an incredible range of sounds.

    A adult emu with two chicks: this is likely an adult male, as they incubate the eggs and care for the hatched young.

    They have awesome blue tongues, isn’t that enough?

    As the name suggests, the Sugar Glider has a ‘gliding membrane’ stretching from their wrists-ankles which enables them to glide from tree to tree.

    Echidnas live in Australia and New Guinea, and are the only living mammal that lay eggs.

    They bring their own costume to any party!

  11. Finally… We love to abbreviate. Almost anything you can think of, we have an abbreviation for it (no matter how ridiculous it sounds to everyone else).

And on that note, we’re off to spend the arvo in OKC and here in landlocked Oklahoma, I’ll leave you with some Australian beach photos to drool over. Have a ripper of a weekend everyone!

— Ana.

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