Keeping Australia Close

Memories are like salt: the right amount brings

out the flavour in food, too much ruins it.

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho has some wise quotes in his writings and much can be learnt from the lessons within them. I agree that the right amount of memories bring joy to our life and getting fixated on it can taint your current experience. It’s not unlike wearing rose-coloured glasses when looking at the past and that in itself can set you up for disappointment when you find the way you remember things is not the same as what you experience. We have been homesick for quite some time and although it isn’t ever present it does rear its head now and then, so we have had some strategies to keep Australia close. I see alot of expats talk about their favourtie things from home, anything from telvision shows to favourite snacks.

Of course what we miss most are our family and friends, in fact Mackenzie says what she misses most is her sister since she moved back in early 2021, and we endeavour to keep in contact, share our lives, and look forward to seeing them again soon. Although home is where the heart is, it is a struggle when your heart is in two places.

Television Shows

We are lucky to have access to quite a few shows from Australia and we have worked our way through many of them in the last three years. Home and Away: The Early Years has been such a flash back to watch and if I am honest, just a little bit cringe. We only had access to the first two seasons but it brought back so many memories of my childhood growing up watching it from the very beginning Pilot, and Mackenzie is now hooked. Who can forget Lance, Bobby and Fisher and of course the most widely famous Alf “Ya flamin galah!” I will add that we have now completed the entire series of Blue Heelers, McLeod Daughters and more than once Kath and Kim – dont judge.

We have also watched almost every available episode of The Block and its reassuring and a little amusing with some very “Aussie” characters in the show. Our favourite part is seeing the sunrise at the beginning of every episode which may seem silly but there is just something about the golden colours found in an Australian sunrise, not to mention the sound of the early morning birds that sing to welcome the day. It was also very evident about the coffee culture on this show with the signature McCafe van onsite for early morning coffees.


YouTube has been a great place to research future travels but also a great place to keep up with what is going on at home. Its been wonderful watching some YouTubers who are either Australian, living and exploring Australia, and even a few that used to live in England and have moved permanently to the Sunshine Coast. It has allowed us to see the transformation of the coast and how it has been impacted by recent events.

The Bamfamalam is a family from Kent who moved to the Sunshine Coast with their family a while ago. They share their life, their tips for living in Australia, and their experience of moving abroad. With 3 daughters of various ages their story resonates with our own journey the opposite way with our daughters, and they have alot of sage advice about how to settle in well when moving abroad.

That Johnston Life is a family from England who moved to Queensland Australia to build a new life. They too share their tips for living in Australia, and their experience of moving abroad and have a unique perspective as they moved during the pandemic with a little one. It has been great seeing their journey and they are soon to be expecting an addition to their beautiful family.

Little Grey Box is Phoebe “with Matt behind the camera” and they share incredible travel videos exploring not only some great overseas locations, but at home in Australia too. Phoebe has a similar palate to me so I love seeing her reviews on delicious healthy food inlcuding some “pretentious breakfasts” I miss from back home.

Beth And Paul are a local Sunshine Coast couple who are just delightful and share a real and positive view of both the Sunshine Coast and the places they travel. They have shared their journey of their property, their cute chickens, and great Tesla advice. We really enjoy their down to earth approach to the content they share.

Flying The Nest is couple Stephen and Jess (and now baby Hunter) who spent their 20’s travelling the world together, had baby Hunter and did van life around Australia, and are now travelling with Hunter around the world. They are such a beautiful family and in their travels around Australia we now have some more items on our bucket list for when we return home.


We have really enjoyed the experience fo UK radio and I know our eldest daughter developed a love for Grime which I can’t say the rest of us have developed a love for. I didn’t realise the significant difference in music between the two countries and there are many artists we just don’t know. To get a little taste of home we have our Aussie songlists on Spotify, but we also use the Radio Garden App which allows you to listen to music live from almost anywhere around the world – my favourite is Hot 91 FM and Liquid Radio from the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. In fact I am listening to Liquid Radio whilst I am writing this blog post.


There are the little things that also make us a little less homesick that we enjoy and one of those things are sunrise at the beach. Kevin and I really do enjoy getting a coffee at sunrise and walking along the beach, its something we have enjoyed doing together since we first met. We also really like forests and mountains so we do that as often as we can to stay connected to the outdoors, and when we can drag our teenage daughter Mackenzie out we try to explore as much as we can. Doing this has led us to bluebell forests, local fields, and many other gems.

Mackenzie has done really well with the food differences here considering her significant sensory processing challenges, but we do try to make some of the foods from home or import some things we love:

  • French onion soup mix – we boil cubed potatoes and mix this in with butter. This is my best friend Shelleys recipe and we love it.
  • Tim Tams – perfect for Tim Tam slams and although similar to the UK Penguins, tast much better.
  • Continental sour cream and chives pasta – great side dish for a main meal but Mackenzie has always wondered “why is it called continental if you cant get it all over the world?”
  • Bertie Beetles – this is a beetle shaped chocolate that has rice crisps in it I believe and is a must from the Queensland Exhibition (EKKA). My mum has sent this over every year for us since we left and used to buy this show bag for the girls every year.
  • Arnotts shapes – this is a little savoury biscuit that Kevin absolutely loves and is often something we import for his birthday and Christmas.

I know that we will likely feel a similar way when we return to Australia so in the meantime we are going to try and make as many wonderful memories worthy of missing whilst we are here. The important thing is to balance reminiscing about your fond memories of the past and being present in the memories you are making now.

Cheers From Kent, Tams

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