I often get asked by people whether or not I am happy living here in Poland, especially when compared to living in Australia. The short answer is: Yes. The long answer follows:
Don't get me wrong though. I love living in Australia. In my opinion, Australia is the best place in the world to live. Everything is well organised, there is a good social security system, it is relatively easy for well educated people to find work, bureacracy and government departments are relatively efficient. Oh, and the weather is quite good also.
But the question is: Am I Happy here?
Although I have a small apartment, it is quite cheap to rent. I don't have a well paying job, but I work for less than 20 hours a week. Plus it is often a joy teaching your own language especially when your students want to learn (which is normally the case at a private school). Plus there is very little stress involved in teaching English, especially when compared to accounting.
My ability to speak Polish is rather poor, but I know enough to get by. My Polish is poor enough for people to be happy that I am trying to communicate with them, and it is not good enough yet for people to think that they can correct my grammar (thank goodness).
In the morning I get to spend time with my kids whilst Jola is working. Sometimes we go to the playground, we often go to the shops to buy bread (I don't know why Polish bread has to go stale in less than two days - I'm not going to even comment on the "fresh milk," except to say that I don't buy it).
Here in Poland I exercise regularly (mainly because we don't have a car), and have lost enough weight to notice the difference. It feels good.
However socialising is a bit difficult because we have two children and I usually work in the afternoons/evenings when other people are free. But I have internet, so I can still keep in touch with my friends from all over the world.
In conclusion: If my goal in life was to be happy, then I have attained it. Of course there are so many things in Poland I would love to change to make life easier, more comfortable and to make more sense. But I am happy to live here, and for the time being, raise my children here.