We arrived in Tasmania eleven months ago today. At what point did it all become so familiar?

We ensured our rental apartment felt homely, right from the beginning. But when did Hobart change from being an extended holiday place to home?

~ When we could drive around town without using a street map and got our Tasmanian driving licences.

~ When I started recognising brand names and knew what to choose in the supermarket.

~ When strangers stopped me in the street and I could give directions and information.

~ When I recognised dolphins and seals swimming in the Derwent estuary from our lounge window and balcony.

~ When I chatted to people who had been in Tassie less time than I had.

~ When I began to identify local flowers, trees, birds and animals.

~ When my route to the local doctor was a walk along the beach. And I could walk on the sand without collecting shells every time!

~ When we had visited most of Tassie’s top locations, places and attractions.

~ When I could leave the cinema after watching a UK based film and not be surprised to find myself in Hobart rather than London.

~ When I went away for a week and felt the return flight was “coming home”.

~ When annual bills arrived in the mail. Renewal notices for car registration, car insurance, home content insurance.

These past eleven months have transitioned from gap year, non-working, time exploring our new surroundings, to part time work for Aussie Mate and online study course for me.

We need to change gear again and experience “normal” life here with both of us working full time. I’ve dragged my midlife gap year out as long as possible. Initially a year off work, which expired last September. Then a full calendar year, 2015. Now as a year in Australia approaches, I must get back to reality and earn a living again.

We’ll renew our lease for another six months as we haven’t got bored of this view yet.