Not convinced that our life will be that much better in Australia but DH keen to try it!

(41 Posts)
XBenedict Wed 09-Jan-13 18:45:53

We have toyed with the idea of moving to Oz for a couple of years for a little while now. Job wise DH would be fine and we've pretty much got the pick of Australia. He would earn more out there, no doubt about it and of course with the weather they have we would lead a much more outdoors lifestyle and that is appealing.

BUT after talking it over with him again the other night, weighing up options etc he used the phrase "living our dream" and I realised living in Australia isn't my dream.

Life is reasonably good here in the UK. The DCs go to a nice school, secondary school options are good, we live in a house and an area we like. I have just completed a return to work course and would be looking for a job in the next couple of months. We are surrounded by some wonderful friends and our family are nearby.

We visited Oz just over a year ago and while we had a fantastic holiday it didn't blow me away, I wanted it to but it didn't. It's a great country no doubt about it and it's not in the dire straits the UK currently finds itself in but for me it's not my dream and I'm not sure our lifestyle without our friends and family would be so much better.

But if we don't go I think it will be because I don't want to take the plunge.

EIizaDay Thu 24-Jan-13 10:50:12

I agree Hullygully, I so miss the long summer evenings in the UK. In Australia it gets dark so very very early all year round. The summer time in Queensland is unrelenting and everyone is stuck indoors, then it gets a little bit cooler and you think you might be able to go outside and walk somewhere - but it's dark just after 6pm sad

Mosman Thu 24-Jan-13 12:14:34

I wish I could speak German, I think that's where I would head given a choice.

lynniep Thu 24-Jan-13 12:26:00

I lived out there with DH for 15 months back before the DCs (came back to UK when I found out I was pg)
Its not my dream - its still his dream and he's never forgiven me for coming back. I have yet to establish why exactly it is his dream - I suspect its something to do with the slightly slower pace of life and the fact that it seemed about 20 years behind us in many areas.

Dont get me wrong, I really enjoyed it, but my heart is here and other reasons include:

if we'd stayed (in 2005 we would have been ok financially in Sydney but now we are priced out of the areas we would have liked to have lived. I will NOT live out in the sticks - blue mountains v. nice for holiday but not to live for instance)
the early dark nights all year around as stated
the heat. We couldnt leave the house new years day it was so hot. and we didnt have air con gaaah!
the distance from ANYWHERE
the worry that if I split from DH I'd be stuck there. Forever. (Hague Convention)

digerd Thu 24-Jan-13 12:46:07

Mosman
I lived in Germany - in the north, where there are many lovely villages.
I loved the rural country life there, and was amazed at the lack of a class system, compared with UK. But I found it difficult to cope with the very hard and long winters. The germans loved it and never complained, infact I never heard anybody complaining about their lives there. < as they didn't have much to complain about>

digerd Thu 24-Jan-13 12:54:13

And in June, it didn't get dark until 11pm< they are an hour ahead of us, but difference in sunset is only 30 minutes.

Mosman Thu 24-Jan-13 12:56:26

Oh really ? Do, did you have to speak fluent German ? Did you work ?

C4ro Thu 24-Jan-13 13:14:47

Mosman, I'm a practically mono-lingual Brit and I've spent 6 years working in Netherlands and now a year and a half working based out of Austria.
There are some niche jobs that the main qualification is international English or specific skill and you can live abroad (non US/ Canada/ Aus) without local language.
That said, it is worth having local language and I'm slowly learning German and have a tiny bit of basic Dutch.

Mosman Thu 24-Jan-13 13:22:30

What kind of roles (I'm packing as I write) the gas stove in our rental blew up in my face today how I didn't end up with my hair on fire I don't know and a safe gas supply apparently isn't essential before renting out a property here, they don't know what all the fuss is about that I have no eyebrows !

Mosman Thu 24-Jan-13 13:23:21

I could be very easily tempted else where and Europe would be top of the list

digerd Thu 24-Jan-13 15:13:26

I wouldn't say perfectly fluent and know my accent was very english. I met a scottish man who had a cafe in Spain and, as is often said, his scottish accent enabled his german accent to be perfect.
The only work I did was to teach the 60 children in the village Dance at the village sport centre. Where we lived, most Haus Fraus were proud SAHMs, and did not work < did not have to>.

Longdistance Thu 24-Jan-13 15:18:26

I wasn't 100% convinced on going to live in Oz.

It's been a lonnnnng 15 months bitter

EIizaDay Fri 25-Jan-13 19:44:05

Very few people realize that moving to another country means becoming an immigrant, and very few locals view immigrants highly. Just as in the uk....

As an immigrant to a new country, you will realize it is more than just a move across town, or across your own country, it is a move into a different culture. It takes time to get to know and understand new cultures. Even those we think are similar to our own, either through being a geographically or linguistically close.

Being an immigrant means you have to be aware that people have certain preconceptions about you, and that these will be flung into the other persons mind as soon as you open your mouth and reveal your accent/dialect.
Toffee nosed Brit, Stiff upper Lip Brit, Ibiza Party Brit, cool Britannia Brit, Breadline Britain Brit, people will judge you based on what they know about your country, which may or may not be right.

Another problem with moving to a different country is that you will work on the assumption of life as you know it. Taxes as you know it, Tax returns as you know it, TV license as you know it, School system as you know it, and you may not even know what to ask because you dont even know where to begin, because you dont know which parts are different and which parts are the same.

It is also not so easy for children to fit into already formed friendship groups. And equally not for adults to make friends when starting from scratch.

Especially not without a support network of friends and family.

It is hard to imagine what impact life without family is like. Or life without anybody to even go for a coffee with.

Will you be working?

If not, what are you going to fill your days with? Together with whom?
Are you just going to sit and wait for husband and kids to come home from work? Explore shops? confused

What dream is this exactly?

Every day life is every day life, where ever you live. Only harder when you get rid of everything you know, to start again in a new place.

There will be a time when you think:

"Where the fuck is my wok. OH, I dont have a wok, I took it to the charity shop back in Yorkshire." Now, time multiply this with every item of household goods you have, and one day you might end up cursing the day you chucked out/gave away a perfectly good tin opener/wok/kitchen aid just so you could buy it again across the other side of the planet.

I agree, for a while even if people are nice to you you have no friends and no social life. Even when you make friends you have zero history with them, no in jokes, no shared experiences. It can be very hard. It was hard for DH to be my only social support, that if I got sick or my car broke down I really had noone that I knew well enough to pick up DS from nursery. I needed childcare to take my driving test and DH couldn't do it so I handed over my 2 1/2yr old to a perfect stranger (the driving instructor that I had met twenty minutes ago) to take care of while I drove away. Something that I never would have done before that.

It gets tiring always having to be the one to adapt, to 'translate' or to use other people's definitions. You are always culturally the odd one out and that can get tiring. People make all sorts of assumptions about you. I found it rude and wearing that people assumed I couldn't cook anything worth eating because I was British. After 14 years here yet again for the millionth time I got asked how long I had been here, where I was from, heard about their girlfriend's cousin who once went to Barnstable and asked if the weather was like it is at 'home' (yes, because this is my home). Sometimes I get asked several times a day. I doubt a single week has gone by (unless I was ill at home) when someone hasn't asked me about being English in some way... in fourteen years. Oh and I am really sick of hearing about Benny Hill or Keeping Up Appearances.

I also agree about not knowing what to ask etc. If you have no idea whatsoever that something is different it doesn't occur to you to ask. I didn't know where to go to book a driving test because I didn't know what the equivalent of the DVLC was called. This was pre-google. I didn't know what washing detergent to buy because none of them were the same. I assumed that we could get money out of our bank account by the time a cheque had been there a week or two. No, as new customers they wanted to hold it a MONTH and I had no nappies or milk for my son. I had no idea to ask the bank when I'd be able to withdraw the money because I assumed two weeks was plenty. I stood and cried until they gave me $100 to tide me over.

I would still do it all again and love love love living here, but I can imagine it would be ten times harder if I didn't want to be there in the first place.

Mosman Sat 26-Jan-13 02:07:49

That is the good thing about Perth though, everyone is bloody English/Scottish/Irish.
You're hard pressed to find an aussie.
I fcuking hate prawns so maybe that explains my unsettled feeling.

digerd Sat 26-Jan-13 08:46:24

What put me off about Perth - was beautiful in July- was that a resident told us it normally rains for 6 months in the winter and we were lucky with the sunny weather .

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now