• Dacoda Maddalone

Travel That Has Shaped Us, Part 5: Moving to the Other Side of the World

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

This piece is part of an ongoing semi-monthly series in which we will explore how travel has shaped our lives - who we are and how we see the world. We will include multiple voices in the course of the series, and we welcome YOUR submissions.


When we look over our lives, we can see milestones and events that have shaped us along the way. We can observe the ways they’ve shaped our world-views, our sense of culture, our characters, and shaped the way we look at others who are different from us. Our team is exploring the traveling we've done over the course of our lives so far and how those travels have shaped who we are up to this point. Our hope is that this multi-part series will prompt you to reflect on your own experiences and discern how your life has been impacted by your adventures and journeys.


9,500 miles away

I read a journal entry recently that I wrote from just a few weeks before my first move from East Coast, USA to Sydney, Australia…


“25 days until I board a plane and move to the other side of the world. (who’s idea was this again?) JK, I’m feeling a whole lot of emotions, but eager is certainly at the top of the list.”


Reading that back gives me the feeling all over again. At 18 years old, after finishing my degree, I decided to make a faith jump across the Pacific Ocean to pursue deeper studies. I didn’t know anyone in Australia, nor had I done much research about their nation. I just felt a “nudge”... so I followed it.


Moving to another continent came with many, many excitements - like stepping off the plane at Sydney International Airport and hearing an Aussie accent rather than an American accent directing the masses over the intercom. (It’s my preference, I will admit!) Driving on the left side of the road with the steering on the right side of the car was another fun skill to learn. I thought it would be harder than it is...well, I did bump the curb more than a few times at first, but I’d say I have it down now!


I grew up in Upstate New York, surrounded by suburbs and mountains, so visiting the ocean was a once-a-year road trip for my family of 7. When I moved to Sydney, I couldn’t get enough of it!! Beach trips happened every single day that it possibly could. The coastal views here are absolutely BEAUtiful.


figuring it out

Moving across the world from everything I’ve ever known came with it’s difficulties as well. I had to learn to be flexible, have grace for myself and always be okay with learning something new about society and culture, as if learning for the first time!


I didn’t have a car for the first 2 years of living in Oz, so I had to get very comfortable with knowing the train, bus and ferry schedule. Public transit was my way of life and I exercised these walking legs quite a bit!

Another adjustment for me was the time difference between Sydney and East Coast, USA. It ranges from being a 14 to 16 hour difference depending on the time of the year. Finding the time in my busy schedule of work, studies, and social life to connect with family and friends back home was NOT easy. I often found myself awake at all hours of the night or early morning just to make time for those important relationships. Some weeks, I’d go without talking to them at all.


The culture in Australia is much slower paced than New York. It took some getting used to at first, but I learned to love and crave it. After I finished my studies in December in 2018, I moved back to America. I was only there for a year until I found myself returning to Australia for more adventure and beach life! I made amazing, life-long friends and met my true self in ways that I never knew I could.


Australia, you’ve amazed this girl and awakened her heart to the spirit of adventure. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oi oi oi!



No matter where we go, travel shapes us in ways we could not predict or imagine. The world is so big and full of limitless opportunities for growth and the expansion of our minds and our hearts. We share these stories to inspire you to reflect on how you've been shaped by your own journeys. And what about tomorrow's adventures? How might your future travels develop you, your family, and your circle of friends into the people you want to be? We'd love to hear from you about how you've been shaped by your travel experiences.


Join us in two weeks for another installment of our series, "Travel That Has Shaped Us." If you'd like to submit an autobiographical piece for our series, please contact us.


More from this Series:

Part 1: Traveling with my Hubby by Christie Costello

Part 2: Building Relationships Cross Culturally by Christie Costello

Part 3: How I Fell in Love with Travel by Monga Abila

Part 4: Growing Up a Traveler by Christie Costello

Part 5: Moving to the Other Side of the World by Dacoda Maddalone

Part 6: Missions Travel by Christie Costello

Part 7: Fam-cations and Friend-cations by Christie Costello

Part 8: Bali & Growing in Gratitude by Dacoda Maddalone

Part 9: The Culture that Opened my Eyes by Anna Fowler



#travel #travelmore #livewelltravelwell #wanderlust #adventurer #moving #internationalmove #crossculturaltravel #Australia #Sydney #OperaHouse

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