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Expat Experience: Home for the Holidays

Seasons greetings pilgrims!

So if you read my last post you know that Christmas 2019 was the first time that I had been home since I decided to live abroad.

It was such a good trip overall. Three weeks blew by. My goal on this trip was to really enjoy it as I haven't been here in so long and I don't know when I'll be back. See all the people, do all the things and eat all the food.

Landing in America I hit the ground running, jet-lag be damned. One of my best friends, Danni, was getting married and I had the privilege of being in the wedding. She and our friend Mikyba picked me up from the airport (Three hours later than anticipated because of a missed connection and a lost bag but we are focusing on the positive). The ceremony was beautiful, the love was real, and I got to see a bunch of college friends as a result.

After the first weekend I headed home to South Florida. It was a really good experience to be back. It was hard to believe that I haven't been back in almost two years. It was so easy to fall back in to the fold of things. For the first time in a long time I barely used GPS to get around. I knew shortcuts, I recognized landmarks, and had a general sense of direction.

I did notice home had changed a bit and also so had I. Initially I was reluctant to borrow a family car just thinking 'let me try public transit for once'. During one hangout with my friend James, he lives in Miami while I live in Palm Beach County. We decided to split the middle. I'd catch the Tri-Rail and we'd hang out in Ft Lauderdale. I would preface this to say: at home, I always drive. So being okay with public transit is a big sign of growth-- 2017 Pella would never!

I rock up to the train station and expect to home on the next southbound train.


I'd missed the last train by 15 min. And the next wasn't for another hour. The only local train rain only once an hour. That's when I remembered why I never did public transit back home🤦🏾‍♀️.

I used to think I didn't have a big family but when I realized how many people I wanted to see while I was home, I had second thoughts...I have a big family. To not run myself ragged while there, I organized a 'Taste of Australia' party. The small carry-on suitcase also known as Sampson was full of souvenirs.

I hosted a small get together and gave out souvenirs of Australia, brought staple snacks from Australia and New Zealand, as well as party games and story time. It was a fun, easy,and efficient way to see multiple people, fill them in on what I'd been doing in the year and a half I've been away.

I have the title of 'Coolest Cousin' which isn't to be confused with 'Favorite' which is a title I also hold. (Sidenote: favorite includes but is not limited to: child, grandchild, niece, cousin, sister, and aunt. To all my family members who are reading this. Don't @ me). With these titles comes great responsibilities that I take seriously. Since I am often away, I have to make my visits count.

I took two of my teenage cousins on a weekend roadtrip to visit a couple of colleges. While in the Road trip I was able to see a dear friend of mine, Daneen, who happens to Work at UF and took us in a personal tour of the campus. We also stayed with extended family in the Ocala. At this point I feel like a world class multitasker.

All of this in addition to the normal holiday hoopla. There were the performances for Christmas parades, decorating multiple Christmas trees, and of course the contribution to Christmas day.

Ugh! It was so good to be home. It was a nice recharge just in time for the New Year. I have a lot to consider. And now I have a fresh perspective to consider.

Until next time,



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