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The Expat Fog

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I want you to think back to when you first arrived in Australia. What emotions and memories jump to mind? Excitement, a new adventure, a new start, but probably also cultural confusion, anxiety about the great distance from home, your family, your friends, and uncertainty about your status, your job, and in some cases, your identity.

In large part, this is why the AWA as a structured social and support group exists. Its mission is to help members navigate the initial transition phase, and to later evolve into an ongoing social and charitable hub. 

In that initial transition phase, the present reality is greatly skewed. There are often periods of loneliness, fear of the unknown, concern about finding a job, and sometimes, little understanding of the local cultural nuances. Even though you have relocated to one of the most desirable countries in the world, there is often an initial phase of self doubt and, perhaps, regret. 

From the fruitless search for the favorite cereal that you used to buy back home, to figuring out how to make sure your child has a friend at school, to finding friends that can understand that despite all the good things around you, you are still not quite settled yet. We have all been there. We can relate to the situation and understand that it is not "whining"; it is a very difficult adjustment.  

The good news is that once you emerge from the expat fog, the sun will be shining and you will experience a new world of beauty that you could not have imagined. You will grow as a result of the experience, and become more compassionate towards your fellow newcomers. For our association, the aim is to help those newly arrived expats move through the transition phase as rapidly and smoothly as possible, reducing the time it takes to experience the sunshine that awaits them.

Being an active part of our network does require sacrificing some personal time to extend a hand to those in need. The rewards are not financial, but are often far more valuable; seeing a happy smile, watching frustration melt away, and establishing contacts that develop into friendships. For us to be as helpful as possible, we need to ensure our network remains strong and becomes more creative and robust than ever before.

Please volunteer to help us in any way you can. We need you. Stay tuned for our volunteer opportunity announcement.

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