Aussie Lifestyle, American Mind Set

Having just returned from visiting my family over the holidays  in Adelaide, South Australia, I discovered how Americanized I’ve become in my thinking. Not a bad thing. Just different from how I grew up in this Down Under city of one million people.

Over the Christmas and New Year period  Adelaide’s shopping malls and supermarkets were closed a total of  seven days. My immediate thought was that would SO never happen in the US of A! It was meant to give the retail employees a decent break and enjoy a vacation. Nice for them. For me – not so much. I found myself irritated by the inconvenience, impatient to shop ’til I drop at the huge holiday sales. Whazzup with this?

It raised the question about a major culture difference between Australians and Americans. As a native Aussie having lived in Houston, Texas since 1982, I realized it’s about life style and what your priorities are.  Nicole Kidman stated on the week long Oprah show filmed Down Under recently: “Australians work to live, Americans live to work”.

Perhaps it’s that mindset that made these United States a major global power? Add to that the huge difference in population – Australia has 22 million to America’s 300 million – in the same size land mass. Americans work alot and live life at a fast pace. Aussies work hard but take time to stop and smell the Starbucks (coffee shops down there on every corner!)

If you lived  near a beach like the one pictured (Glenelg, South Australia)  would you want to spend more time at the office or feel the sand between your toes?

Regardless of whether you live near a beach the point is to consider making more time to play, lighten up, chill out. It’s cheap therapy. Recharge your battery and de-stress your system by carving time to get out and do something to clear your mind, relax and unwind.  Result? You’re much more productive when you get back to work because your mind has had a chance to declutter and reboot.

Hint: Put another shrimp on the barbie and I’ll be right over.

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2 Responses to “Aussie Lifestyle, American Mind Set”

  1. Melodye Martinelli Says:

    Really enjoyed your article. You know me love everthing Austalian.
    I was a little surprised that you did not mention the biggest National Holiday Jan 26th and the Australia week celebrations and recognition that Houston does and the bonding relationship of Austrlia hdqtrs here for oil and gas industry. I send you big hug and best wishes as in your own mind you celebrate Australia day wed Jan 26th. We are going to do our best to come by for a little toast to our favorite Aussie in Houston.

    • theresabehenna Says:

      Thanks so much for your comments Melodye! You raise a good point about Houston’s bond with Australia in the oil & gas industry however my article was to get people thinking about work-life balance. I’ve found people want short & succint these days.
      Look forward to seeing the Dancing Queen soon…

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