Cassie Beardsley

Cassie Beardsley expat stories

Expat Stories!

Cassie is a long time expat, who gives a run down on what life is like as an expat in Kuala Lumpur.

Tell us a little about yourself:

I was born & bred in Melbourne, Australia & will always be a Melbourne girl at heart. I love going places & doing things I’ve never seen or done before; though I happily return to Melbourne to spend time with family & to our house on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia for beach therapy. Giving back to the community I live in is very important to me. I’ve met some wonderful, inspiring people through volunteering; some of them have become close friends. Of course, I wouldn’t be where I am without my hard-working, congenial husband, who makes me laugh every day.

1 Where do you live now and how long have you been there?

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for 11 years.

2 What do you love about where you live now?

My friends; it’s easy to access other parts of Asia; the cost of living is cheap; once you get used to ‘the way things are’, it’s easy to live here; even though KL is a big city, you still feel like you’re living somewhere different.

3. What brought you to this location?

My husband’s work & the cost of living.

How it all began:

4. Where was your first assignment, how long were you there?

Busan, South Korea for 12 months

5 What was your reason for moving abroad in the first place?

My husband was offered to project manage a construction job. Thinking it was a great opportunity for an adventure, we said, “Why not”? We were only meant to be away for six months; that was nearly 20 years ago!

6 Did you travel alone, with kids or with a partner? How would you describe your first experience?

It was just my husband & I. My youngest step-daughter had finished school, so we didn’t have the worry of children settling in to new schools & finding new friends. Living in Busan was a bit surreal. We were the only expats within cooee & lived in a very local area. It was a bit like being a celebrity at first; with everyone wanting to talk to you & have their photo taken with you. We were very fortunate that the Koreans my husband worked with embraced us as part of their family & made sure we were well looked after. It put me way out of my comfort zone, but was wonderful. It made a great impression.

The expat adventure:

7. Where have you lived so far?

Busan, South Korea – 12 months
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 3 years
Singapore – 4 years
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 11 years

Expat life:

8. If you could sum up your expat life in 3 words, what would it be?

Challenging; Educational; Transformative

9. How would you define your experience as an expat?

It’s helped me see the world through ‘new’ eyes.

The Now:

 10. How has being an expat changed you?

My world has opened-up! I’m not nearly as shy as I used to be. I’ve met people, gone places & done things that never would have happened if I’d stayed in Australia & only travelled as a tourist. Sadly, my heart has hardened a bit, having been broken several times – You form attachments and you move on or other people move on… I’ve also become more reflective on what it means to be Australian & Australia’s place in the world.

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