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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Kohan

Parakeet of Perth: One American's quest to embrace her inner Aussie

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

My name is Katherine Abel Kohan and I am a travel addict.

My husband calls me a travel princess and my mom thinks I am travel crazy. These are all true statements. Fortunately, I spent eight years working as a management consultant, which equipped me with the ability to push through being tired and lots of frequent flyer miles. I also married a management consulting and established that frequent flyer miles are communal property. My husband and I have recently moved to Perth, Australia and this blog is dedicated to travel and learning all things Australian.

Initial thoughts on Australia vs. the USA

Time passes quickly when you will do anything to avoid writing an update. In work I was never at a loss for words and was well known to need little encouragement to speak up. In a surprising twist, I have been (purposely) slow to create and update this online site.

However, I have multiple hours of waiting ahead of me at the airport as I make my way back to the states for one of many trips to complete the move from the US to Perth, Australia. Just me, this iPad and the white space staring back.

I have four observations so far from my two weeks across Melbourne, Perth, Singapore and Malaysia.

1. When in Australia, I was reminded constantly that I was in the Southern Hemisphere. “South” this, largest in the Southern Hemisphere, ….. It reminds me a lot of how in Texas, everything is “biggest in Texas.” I remember being surprised in college how those not from Texas were surprised at all of the Texas references - I presumed every state had the same level of state specific references. So the Southern Hemisphere references feel right at home to me.

2. Winter is Coming. The weather dips below 60 degrees F (or 15 degrees C as some might say), the majority of Australians that I saw had hats, puffer jackets, gloves and scarves out. Reminded me of Houston when it dips below 60 as well. Again, feeling right at home.

3. No one walks on the left. I am new, but I don’t want it to be plastered on my forehead. I want to blend in. So I thought (wrongly??) that since in Australia and Singapore, driving is on the left, that walking would also be on the left. Incorrect. It is a total free-for-all and I continue to accidentally slow-mo walk into people as I never know which way to go. Even the escalators up/down is not consistent, with most of them having the “up” on the right side. So I get why people can be confused!

4. I took my first Asian budget flight. I flew Scoot from Singapore to Langkawi. The great part about it - since I was in “row 1” I got to board first and look at all that leg room. Boarding is done by row so I was THE FIRST person to be able to board and all for a not too terrible fee I was happy for my husband to pay. It is the equivalent of being A1 on Southwest. Amazing. Four stars.

That's a wrap

Hope you enjoyed reading this Mom and Marsha!

Please feel free to leave comments, questions or feedback and to subscribe if you like what you read. I promise I will not overwhelm anyone with content - at best I am likely a once a month post person.

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