WHAT IT'S REALLY LIKE LIVING OVERSEAS
Living in Australia
Despite being so similar to the UK in so many ways, it is very different. if I’m completely honest I adjusted so easily to life in Australia. I did made the mistake of assuming that winter in would be like would be like summer in the UK – its not its still cold. It turns out you still need a coat here.
One of my biggest tips for anyone moving countries is not to comparing everything. Prices, time zones, different names for things. All you’re doing is highlighting the fact that you’re away from everything you know and it makes it feel different.
Making friends in Australia was tough. Because it was hard to get in with actual Australians, they already had their friendship groups so you made friends with other working holiday visa people which meant they moved around a lot and a lot of them left. It was this constant churn and burn of friends. It also meant that a lot of the friends we were making were as a couple so we weren’t spending a lot of time apart. It wasn’t until I started making work friends as social connection that I really started to get any form of independent social life. I made some epic friends. Again still not a lot of aussies for the first few years. My best friends were and are English. I also has kiwi and swedish best friends. It wasn’t until I started making friends at the gym that I got myself some Aussie friends and moved around at work.
Finding a partner who is Australian changed things again for me. Its funny how you end up on these paths that lead you to the life your supposed to lead that is most in line with you.
How life has changed since living in Australia
I feel like I am the exception to the rule with how life has changed. Most people find that No matter how long you’ve lived overseas, you always have this weird sense of confusion when it comes to where’s really home. There’s a quote about travel that says:
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
This doesn’t really resonate with me. I feel home here. I feel like this is where I was always meant to be. Even more so now that I know the person I will be spending the rest of my life with is also aussie. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss the people. Of course I miss my family. I am incredibly close with my parents and grandparents. I got lucky my brother moved here too. But when I miss my family. I don’t say I’m homesick. Because I’m not. I don’t want to be in the uk. I want to see my family. If I could I would pick them all up and put them all back down here. So I call it family sick. I get family sick and more so than ever during covid. But I will get to that in a minute.
Australia feels like home. I love the lifestyle. I love the beach, the sun the outdoors. I love my job, the people. My friends, my partner, my family that I have in Australia. And of course the perks of summers that last longer than 18 minutes, high minimum wages and a slightly less severe overpopulation problem that means you can actually get a table for brunch on a long weekend. This is the life I was supposed to live. I feel every part of that alignment.
Moving to Australia was one of the riskiest, most expensive and challenging things I have done in life to date. But it is also the BEST decision I’ve made.
The most challenging part are emergencies at home.
Living overseas means you have to live with the constant reality that disaster could strike back home, and you’ll have to plonk down a whole lot of money for a last minute flight – and then sit on a flight for 27 hours not knowing what’s going on. Equally it can mean making a challenging decision of not flying home for your grandparents funeral and feeling guilt that you wither put on yourself or is put on you by other family members.
That’s not easy.
Traveling Back for Visits
Aside from emergencies, and pre covid I would travel back about once a year and my parent would come here once a year. Often that tends to be guided by who’s getting married and when!
You girls know me. I am a planner. I plan my trips well in advance usually fly with Etihad as they are a decent airline, at a good price and I get to collect my virgin velocity points for ruse in Australia. Pre covid I could get a return flight for $1200.
Covid obviously threw a huge spanner in the works. My parents could come here and I couldn’t go back. I have my flights booked for this June and Haydn will be coming with me for his first visit to meet my grandparent but it will have been 3 years since I’ve seen them. Luckily mum made it here for Christmas and her and dad get here for 3 weeks in a few years time.
I always feel strange about going back to the UK because on so many levels it doesn’t feel like home. How can I feel like that when I spent 22 years there? I love to see my family and friends but after a few days I am ready to get back on the plane. Or at least see some Europe while I am there.
Having been 3 years I am looking forward to this trip more than ever to give my grandparents a huge squeeze!
The hardest part of moving is the Unknown
One of the biggest challenges is the unknown. There’s a huge cloud of uncertainty around everything you do for the first few years or so. You might not like it, your job might not work out, your relationship might fail – it’s challenging having to manage this level of risk. Throw in covid to the mix, I know so many people that decided they couldn’t do it any longer and went back. Just wondering whether you’ll still be in the same place in a few months time is emotionally and financially challenging!
BUT THE BIGGEST THING- for me it was the best decision I've ever made!