Meet Kim, an Australian living in New York who keeps on the sunny side of NYC life by practicing her Aussie slang at F45. AWNY spoke with Kim about her performing arts background and the things she misses most from home.
Hello Kim, what do you miss about Australia and New Zealand?
Oh boy, too many things! Overall though, the lifestyle. Everything is so easy and accessible— you can just hop in your car, grab your groceries, pick up a matcha latte, walk down by the beach. That’s considered a big day in Oz! Very different to my lifestyle here. I also miss my family and friends, it’s now coming on two years without seeing them. Hopefully I’ll get back soon, fingers crossed!
What bits and pieces, curiosities and comforts do you bring back with you from home that you are running scarily low on?
An absolute must—Vegemite! I know it’s cliché but I just cannot do breakfast without it. I’m still working on getting my American mates to enjoy it. It really is something we grew up with and I think trying it as an adult is very different. I also really love Johnson-Johnson make up wipes LOL. They honestly are the best and I cannot find anything equivalent.
What are some ways you stay connected to Aussie and Kiwi life here in New York?
I am really lucky, my day job is Head Trainer at F45’s Lower East Side and DUMBO locations, which is an Aussie company. Therefore, it’s a little taste of home, plus half the trainers are Australian. We get to laugh at each other for all of our Aussie mannerisms, such as the saying, “She got paid out”. My American friends have no idea what I’m talking about (it means making fun of someone ;)). Otherwise, connecting to home is usually over regular zooms and sending goodies back and forth for holidays.
What are your go-to Aussie and Kiwi spots in NYC that you visit when you’re in need of a taste of home?
I love brunch, as most Australians do, so that’s really where you’ll find me. The best Aussie spots in the city are Good Thanks, Banter (you’ve got to go if you love halloumi), Two Hands and Ruby’s Café.
Has your day-to-day life changed much since the pandemic, and how do you stay “on the sunny side of life”?
I work as an artist in the performing arts industry, that’s why I moved to New York. The day Broadway closed I wasn’t sure whether it was time for me to pack my bags and head home. However, I do believe that Broadway will come back bigger and better than ever. I had vocal lessons via Zoom, took dance classes in my living room and kept my body in shape so the day we come back, I am more than ready! My life is a lot slower—but in a good way. I used to teach fitness classes at 5am, race over to an audition in Times Square, where I would wait for 5-6 hours to be seen, race back to work and teach the night classes. It was not sustainable. I believe I have now found a balance in my home/work life due to the pandemic and have learnt to take some time for me when I need it. I have a vision board up on my wardrobe that says “I will book Chicago, The Musical”. That alone, keeps me motivated and on track to what I want to achieve here.
What advice can you give to fellow Aussies and Kiwi’s who are desperately missing home right now?
Take comfort in those that care about you here in New York. There are a lot of people out there who are also in need of human connection— so now is the perfect time to make new friends— join a community group, learn something new about someone else. The more we are surrounded with people of similar interests, the more it starts to feel like home. Oh, and order a box from Dinkum for your Aussie treats, it’s a little slice of heaven.
What does it mean to you, to be an Aussie or Kiwi woman in NYC?
I am proud to be one of the Aussie women who live in New York City. There is something special about us. We have an easy going, laid back Aussie attitude combined with a drive and determination to make even the most impossible things happen. We sacrificed our family, friends, great healthcare, the ease of living in Australia, cheap rent and Allen’s lollies, because we wanted something even more—a dream or goal that only New York could offer.
How do you stay connected with the Aussie and Kiwi community here in New York?
Australians in New York on Facebook is a great page to hear about local businesses or anything that may be helpful to living here. I also find a lot of Aussies on Instagram when looking at Australian businesses or events.
What foods and items help you stay connected to Aussie and Kiwi culture?
Arnott’s Monte Carlos, Allen’s Red Frogs and Strawberries and Cream, Shapes, Tim Tams, Burger Rings, Smith’s Salt and Vinegar Chips… the list could go on. They are nostalgic for me. They may not even be the best treat, but each item reminds me of a memory back home. Whether it be the Burger Rings that I would get from the school tuckshop, Strawberries and Cream lollies that my mum would buy me when I was sick, or a night in with the girls and some Tim Tams. They all have a story and that’s why Aussie’s crave our home foods so much!
How do you like to celebrate Australian and New Zealander public holidays in New York?
Americans actually love Aussie holidays, so usually my friends will put on a BBQ or rooftop drinks to celebrate. I once taught a bunch of my American friends a step-by-step guide on how to make and eat the infamous Sausage Sanga. They responded, “So it’s just sausage in a piece of bread?”
Connect with Kim
Thank you Dinkum
This sunny interview series was made possible thanks to Dinkum. And to spread more cheer, Dinkum is serving up a 10% discount code for the AWNY community to help you access your favourite Aussie products! Use DINKUMAWNYSEPT10 for 10% your next order*. If you’re looking for a taste of Australia, Dinkum is the perfect antidote to homesickness for anyone yearning for a sunny slice of Aussie life with over 1,000 favourites including Tim Tams, Vegemite, and Milo featured on its online store.
*10% discount is valid for use at getdinkum.com until September 30 2021.