What compelled you move to Australia?
We moved to Australia because we were at the point of our lives where we were content but in a routine of work – home – dinner – bed – work. As we were also in the stage of life where marriage was on the cards we decided to take a gap year and go travelling with a return ticket to the UK. We decided to go to NY – LA – NZ – Aus – Singapore – Home (we didn’t make it home and decided to stay).
What did you know about Australia before you moved there?
Not a lot, we have family living in Sydney and Canberra but had never visited. We were aware of the tourist elements and what you see on TV so beaches, opera house, bridge and nice weather.
How did you go about getting a long-term visa?
My husband was 30 when we came out to Australia and I was 27, it was very easy to apply for the visa (through the Australian government website) but due to my husband’s age he was not able to complete his farm work for his second year as at the time this needed to be done before turning 30. I ended up getting sponsored with my work and my husband was a defacto on my sponsorship.
What were the first few weeks like?
The first few weeks were a bit of a blur, we flew into Brisbane and spend some time getting familiar with the city, getting a bank account and working out what to do next. (we decided to rent a campervan for 6 weeks and go travelling).
What was the biggest culture shock for you?
The biggest shock to us was how polite people were for example lining up for the bus in the morning (not something you would see in rush hour around London tubes) and also the outdoor lifestyle which is a little different to back home.
What’s the best and worst thing about living abroad?
The best thing about living in Australia is the friends we have made, the jobs we have secured and the lifestyle that we have (now here for 4 years). The worst is the distance away from loved ones at home however we do commit to going home every year.
What’s your favourite place in Australia and why?
Having been to every state in Australia I really love Sydney as it is everything you expect but I also love Perth and Adelaide which reminds me of a small City back home.
If friends or family from back home come to visit you, where do you take them?
Good question, here are few of my favourite spots… Frazer Island and Hervey Bay (QLD), Blue Mountains and Hunter Valley (NSW), The Pinnacles (WA) and Margaret River, The Melbourne and Adelaide markets, The Darwin night markets and water parks plus the national park and finally Batemans Bay.
If you had three things to tell yourself before you moved to Australia, what would they be?
Save some more money – The best thing we did was travel Australia before finding work which was challenging without an income and also stay in hostels and make friends with other people in the same situation.
Any general advice for people considering moving to Australia?
Do it! The last 4 years have been an amazing experience and although the UK will always be my home there is something special about the Australian people and culture that makes the transition very easy.