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MOVING TO AUSTRALIA: Two Texans Down Under by Robert L. Hill

MOVING TO AUSTRALIA: Two Texans Down Under

by Robert L. Hill

208 pages
This guidebook, wrapped in the story of two Americans who flew away to Queensland in 2005.
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Category: Travel
About the Book
"Walk left, look right, walk left, look right" two nervous and excited Texans repeated mentally one morning in June 2005 as they moved along the sidewalks of Brisbane, Australia. This mantra helped keep Robert Hill and Kristi Heesch, half a world away from home, from colliding with other pedestrians or stepping out into speeding traffic.

They knew exactly one other human being on the continent, and Southern Hemisphere strangeness was all around them. The cars were on the "wrong" side of the streets, and the winter-time sun was in the "wrong" part of the sky. Had they been wise to abandon a settled life in Oklahoma, USA, so that Kristi could begin a new job as a researcher at a university in Queensland, AU? They couldn't be sure.

Everything was new. They didn't know a wallaby from a billabong, and they were amazed by "paper bark" trees that had greeted cooler weather by shedding foot-wide strips of bark while keeping their leaves. Their ears were getting a workout as flocks of brilliantly-colored parrots screeched by and, from inside tall trees, other birds sent out peals of raucous "laughter."Soon their taste buds would be sending them messages of delight about jackfruit and puzzlement about a salty brown paste Aussies like to spread on buttered toast.

Begun within a fortnight (fourteen days) and completed many months later, Moving to Australia: Two Texans Down Under tells the story of their struggles and adventures while offering insights and tips about living in "the Land of Oz." Drawing on Kristi's monthly email reports to family and friends they'd left behind, Bob recounts the facts, figures, and "what it's like" feelings in a tale that can prepare others planning to move down under, tantalize those wishing they could make such a big leap, and entertain the friendly and helpful Australians for whom rainbow lorikeets, kookaburras, and Vegemite are as ordinary as robins and apple pie are to Americans.

Since their first mornings of jet-lagged bewilderment, these two Texans have looked, listened, and tasted their way to a comfortable life as home-owning "permanent residents" who plan to apply for dual US/Aussie citizenship as soon as they are eligible to do so. They've navigated their way through jungles of bureaucratic paperwork, walked in rainforests full of giant ferns, seen Tasmanian devils, and visited Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Hobart. They've visited museums, hiked through national parks, enjoyed lush horticultural gardens, and begun to understand Australian English, customs, and sports (but not cricket).

This amusing and candid book is about modern-day explorers too timid to hang glide or bungee jump but brave enough to "have a go" at a brand new life. They made mistakes you can avoid, but they know now that they were right to take their first Qantas flight southwest across the Pacific Ocean toward kangaroos and koalas. They want to tell you why.



About the Author
Robert L. Hill is a former farm boy, newspaper reporter, editor, minister, and denominational executive. He enjoys learning and blogging about Australia and its people, politics, and history with an eye to how it is the same as and different from what he understands about the United States.



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