What do they think they are?

  • I’m often asked if The Little Travellers are confused about where they’re from. It’s a popular question, particularly when being interviewed about the blog and our expat life. “Is it confusing for them? What do they think they are?”As a parent it’s very hard not too sound defensive when answering “What do they think they are?” 
    The Little Travellers were all born in different countries and have a variance of vague to incredibly strong ties to all of their previous “homes”. Each has a favourite house, a fondly remembered best friend, favourite park, local pool and ice-cream shop. They all carry Australian passports (some of them are on their second edition) one of them has 2 passports – we call him our little Canadian. But he’s not. He’s Australian. 
    They’re all Australian. And there’s never been any confusion on the issue.

    “How many sleeps until we go ‘home’ to see Granny”

    “Are we are going to go ‘home’ for Christmas?”

    “If we have a bath and brush our teeth really quickly is there time to watch McLeods Daughters/Masterchef before bedtime?”

    “I need new ugg boots – maybe Granny could get them from ‘home'”

    “Can I take ‘Dougald the Garbage Dump Bear’ to school to read to the class. I have to take a book from my country”

    “Can I buy 20 koala key rings for the class? Everyone always asks what a koala looks like”

    “Toot toot chugga chugga big red car”

    I often wonder if The Little Travellers think about their “Australianess” more than the average Australian kid. When you attend an International School “Where are you from” is a regular question. Lunch rooms and playground walls are adorned with murals of maps and international settings. I listen to them talk about Australia to friends in a way that would have you believe that they had personally been appointed by the Australian government to act as mini ambassadors. They love to brag about how they’ve sat on the Opera House steps, seen the socceroos play a game and how last time at Granny’s the kangaroos jumped straight through the backyard. “Seriously! They did!”

    Henry hotdog has three Australians in his class and one across the hallway, each of their lockers currently has a “mini me” in national dress with their name on it. Have you ever tried to do national dress as an Australian? We did an Australian shirt with shorts but the surf life saver and the akubra with moleskins were the definite winners.

    There are 74 flags in the school cafeteria acknowledging the 74 nationalities that are represented at the school and I’m sure that each child in that cafeteria could proudly point you in the direction of their own.  I watched them playing a game the other day, it was tag with a twist, you could untag yourself by answering a question “how do you say hello in Spanish” someone would ask or “how do you say the number 7 in Arabic”. I could see the Third Little Traveller’s mind working overtime on what question he could ask from home “how many eggs do you need to make a pavlova” he giggled.

    If you were to ask me what I thought they were, the answer would be lucky.

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