It was exactly ten years ago today that I arrived in Australia for the first time. I had had a long internet relationship with Elsha and we had moved onto 'phone calls and had even met up in London for 6 weeks so by no means was I coming to Australia blindly.
Unfortunately, it is also the date that Elsha's mother passed away, so its not something that can be celebrated. We've since moved our anniversary to the 15th of February, the date we first met in London, simply to avoid celebrating a date that has such horrible connotations.
Ten years ago, I spent months at Elsha's home watching Tv, reading books, playing computer games and looking desperately for jobs that might come my way. I did land two jobs, one with Home Building Society and the other with Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital - both of those have left me with co-workers who became friends.
Ten years on, and I'm now living in Australia permanently. I've met those guys but equally I've made new friends and have fit in to the social network - enough now so that I get the regular invite to the pub for a few drinks and to chit chat about work and home life. And of course, since they invite their friends and co-workers, its a great way to network.
One way in which this has paid off for me is that I'm leaving my current job and moving to a mining company; a friend mentioned my name in passing and I got a call for a job interview. The friend will be working with me so he of course gets a referral fee and since he's currently working there, I have backup in terms of dealing with sticky jobs (and it makes meeting up for drinks easier!).
So this is how ten long years have changed me from the guy who lived in London to the guy who now owns a house, is learning to drive and is in the process of getting a top notch job.
Bravo! - (even if I do say so myself)