Living in New York is exciting. It’s full of ups and downs. And there’s nothing quite like it. I always tell friends that living in New York is like opening a Pandora’s box of excitement and adventure. Once you open it, you can’t close it. Living in America made me appreciate that despite the wonders of technology, Australia is still quite isolated.
Over the Summer I had a coffee with a friend, and she said that she felt she was ready to come home. Then Melbourne was named the most livable city in the world yet again. Americans are always asking me, “Why would you come here? I’d love to live in Australia, it’s so beautiful.” So I asked myself, would I ever be ready to come home? Should I go home? Here are three things to consider on this topic.
#1 Missing out on major life events
Living overseas means missing out on the big life events of your friends. A couple of years ago I Skyped into my cousin’s wedding, we’re the same age and had grown up together. While it felt like I was there, it wasn’t quite the same. I wasn’t in any of the pictures and the weeks leading up to the wedding. I kept on dreaming that I would arrive last minute and surprise everyone. One of my best friend’s is engaged, and I know there’s a good chance I’ll miss her wedding too.
#2 ‘Nothing changes’ is a myth
One of my favorite haunts on the Upper West Side is Earth Cafe, they serve Toby’s Estate coffee, and more often than not I bump into Aussies looking for decent coffee. One expat, I bumped into had just returned from a visit home. I asked about her experience and she said, “nothing changes.” But things do change back home, and sometimes in a sad way. The question is, do you want to be 22 hours away? My grandparents have aged rapidly this year, and it’s been hard not being able to lend a hand when I can. I worry that one day my parents could need me to be there.
#3 When it’s no longer fun anymore
Moving to America with very little family means giving up my well-established support systems and networks. That was abundantly clear when, as an exchange student, I found myself alone in the hospital. But right now New York is still fun. I’m meeting new people all the time and seeing more theatre than I ever did in Melbourne. Plus, I’ve just been home for Christmas! But it’s also hard, and I’ve always told myself that if it isn’t fun any more than maybe its time to come home.
I’m always flexible to reassessing my situation as it changes. Right now I just try to live every day, one day at a time. It’s very easy to get caught up in the what if‘s. And when that happens I remember that none of us really know where we’ll be in a year – I certainly never dreamed of coming to and living in New York City, and yet here I am…
About the author
Taryn Silver is another Aussie transplant who has been living in New York for over two years. Taryn recently graduated from Columbia University with an M.S in Strategic Communication and now works as a Senior Account Executive at Orangefiery, a communications consultancy. Taryn is also a classically trained Soprano with a Bachelor of Music from the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and is still loves sharing her passion for music with anyone and everyone. Connect with Taryn on Twitter @vegemitecheese or on her website www.vegemitecheeseburger.com a place where Aussie and American culture come together.
Caz Little started Dashing Hounds 4 years ago in Melbourne and 12 months ago, she moved herself and the business to New York.
Dashing Hounds is a one-on-one personal shopping service originally for men but now also women which I call Dashing Dames! It’s a service provided to New Yorkers who are time poor and need help to find the right wardrobe pieces for work, pleasure or a special occasion. I help people with everything from red carpets to weddings and anything in between. As well as finding them the right outfit for their occasion, I save time by pre-shopping and pre-arranging discounts and/or champagne service in stores with my inside connections! Some of my services include a New York lunch and a pampering session such as a hair trim or wet-shave!
How long did you have the idea for this business and why did you decide to start Dashing Hounds?
Dashing Hounds is a business I began 4 years ago in Melbourne. At the time I was a denim designer and had been working in the Australian rag trade for over 12 years. I also have a diploma in Fashion Design. I designed menswear for some of Australia’s best known fashion companies like Lee Jeans, Austin Group, Elwood and RES Denim. During that time, I also taught fashion students at RMIT. I decided it was time to help men shop rather trying to redesign the wheel.
You get to go shopping and play dress up every day – It sounds like a dream! Is the reality as great as our visual?
Helping people is something that comes naturally to me. As a kid, I was always down for playing dress ups. I loved going through my parents’ clothing and trying on everything. I’m always looking at how I can tweak someone else’s outfit to help improve their look. Since moving to New York I’m steadily building up my clientele. I hope to be helping people every day of the week because this is my dream job for sure!
Do you think men in New York are more style conscious than their Australian counterparts?
Hmm? That is a good question. I think Aussies make an effort in their style most defiantly! We have and export some of the best designers in the world, so there is no excuse! The one thing that I think is different is perhaps the enormous brand offering here in New York compared to Melbourne. There are way more people in New York and so many great brands to choose from.
The weather plays a huge part in style also. Layering for below 0 temps and having more options for textured and warmer fabrics, as well as different silhouettes suitable to the climate. They are investment pieces which are not normally needed in the warmer Australian climate. I personally will never do a Melbourne winter again without my Uniqlo heat tech thermals!
What has been your ‘Ah Ha’ / ‘I’ve made it in the USA moment’
For me I don’t ever feel like I have ever had an “I’ve made it” moment. It’s an ongoing life goal. Happiness and being content with what you have is making it. Though the other day I had an “I’m a New Yorker” moment when I told someone to get out of my way…..I have never done that before.