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Found 3 results

  1. Hi, I'm going to Australia from 1st October on a year long working holiday with Real Gap, sort of like a gap year but three years after graduating! Has anyone here done the same programme? I'm hoping to see as much of Australia as I can and just experience the whole place, meet new people etc... They guarantee job offers, mostly fruit picking and factory work My only concerns are where to stay after the first week and getting enough money together. Has anyone got experiences of Real Gap or are you about to go on a working holiday?
  2. Hi Everyone; I hope you'll bear with me, as I recently suffered a brain storm when watching the Skoda ad on telly (don't mock what you don't know!), which to the tune of My Favourite Things, uses deliciously familiar treats, like chocolate, sponge cake, ice-cream, jelly, etc. to construct & sell a completely unrelated product - a car! :idea: I thought PIO would love to sing the praises of their many Favorite Aussie Things, sharing with those longing to visit or relocate, but who (like me!) are having a hard time choosing a destination, or aren't sure if they'll be giving up too many of their favourite British things. ..! :idea: So my thinking is, can we construct a VIRTUAL MAP of OZ ? This would mean anyone who's lived, visited or resides there can share their Favourite AUSSIE Things? The only real rule being that you, your mate or kids MUST have been there, eaten, seen, experienced this Favourite Thing! May be you want to extol the virtues of your fav brand of ice cream? Can you let us in on a spectacular surfing spot, your fav restaurant, or shopping street, a great school, play-ground, park, or a stunningly amazing picnic spot or ferry crossing? Do you have a fav car, sandwich bar, cinema, boutique, brand of beer, or wine that you think we should try & why, or can U reveal a most exhilarating rock climb, bike ride, surf break, view, winery, bird, tree or golf tee.... Even your fav budget cafe or motel will be of note, you tell us where & why, & if you have a link, all the better to share! Surely, this would be the most amazing creation...! I'm dying to see what you all come up with, surely they'll be no stopping you! This has gotta be a fun, lively & personal way of developing a picture of this wonderful, yet vast country , a destination we dream about, but can only troll through on sluggish websites or dusty tour guides! We are depending on your wonderful, amazing, outstanding, fantastic experiences for inspiration... Pleaseeee! Thank You, Herbster X :notworthy: A bear with open book to blank page, pen in hand, poised....
  3. I am faced with a dilemma that I simply cannot seem to resolve. And I guess I need some help. I’m English and my wife is Australian. We have gone through all the necessary visa processes and I have had a spouse visa granted. I need to enter Australia by 8 February 2008 otherwise the visa will lapse. We have pretty much sold our house and are awaiting for imminent exchange of contracts. We are essentially almost in a position to go. The problem is that I still cannot decide if this is the right thing for us to do. There seem to be two elements to this dilemma. I’ll call them ‘the Australian issues’ and ‘the personal issues’. The Australian issues I have lived in Australia before (for six months) and have visited on several other occasions. I love and appreciate many things about the country – the lifestyle, the space, the beauty of the landscape, the friendliness of the people, the food, the customer service ethic and so on. If we moved there we could probably buy a nice house with little or no mortgage (as long as we stayed out of central Sydney). If we stay here, we will have a fairly hefty mortgage which I will only just about repay by the time I retire. I shouldn’t have too much difficulty in getting work in Australia, although I don’t really want to continue in the same highly stressed occupation that I follow here. Of course, if our mortgage commitment is much lower, then there is more scope for me take less well paid work that interests me, rather than the better paid work that I no longer want to do. My wife is pregnant with our first child and she is adamant that Australia is a better place to bring up children. She believes (and I don’t disagree with her) that there are more outdoor and sporting opportunities for children, that children do not grow us so quickly as they do in the UK and that there is a less aggression, rudeness and violence from and amongst teenagers. However, I also have some reservations about Australia. I’m concerned about its isolation from the rest of the (western) world. It’s a bit hard to describe but I get a sense of there being a real inward focus in Australia rather than an outward one. I know the country is very culturally diverse these days but, to me, when you’re in Australia you feel less like you are part of the rest of the world than you do in the UK. There are also the practical effects of Australia’s geographical isolation. The cost of air travel to Europe has been rising steadily over the last few years and I think that those costs are only likely to get higher and to rise more quickly as various green taxes and duties are imposed so as to discourage flying. This will have a significant impact on our ability to come home to visit family and on the ability of family and friends to visit us. Moreover, long haul air travel is one of the worst contributors to climate change and I am not very comfortable with being responsible for adding it by flying home regularly (which I would want to do if I could afford it) and encouraging others to fly to Australia to visit us. I am also worried about the impact of climate change on Australia. Australia’s climate is already fragile. Much of the country has suffered constant drought for the last few years. They have coped, but generally with extensive water restrictions and by pumping water from bores, which in some areas lowers the water table and causes knock on effects such as salination which permanently damages the land. It seems to me, although I am no expert, that there will not need to be much additional adverse change in climate to impact significantly on Australia’s land, the lifestyle of its inhabitants and its economy. Of course it does not help that the mining industry is so significant to the economy when this is one of the industries upon which restrictions need to be placed in order to limit damaging carbon emissions. The Personal Issues These are mainly the usual issues relating to family and friends that everybody faces. In many respects we are very fortunate as my family have been very encouraging and understanding about our possible move. However, I know that in truth they do not want us to go and that my mother in particular will be very hard hit. We told my mother recently that my wife is expecting and her face lit up with the news. However it quickly darkened as she spoke about us being in Australia by the time the baby is born. Similarly, although my sister had been very encouraging I have heard from other sources that in truth “she is in pieces” about us going. My mother is in her seventies now which means her ability to fly to Australia will be limited, especially as my step-father says he will not travel that far. Also, as my mother and step-father get older, they will need care and I will not be there to help. So, the difficulty for me is not only that I will miss my family but the dreadful sense of guilt I feel. I feel guilty about causing them pain by us leaving, about depriving my mother of any close or constant relationship with her future grandchild (although she has others), and about not being there as my mother and step-father age and the burden of caring for them falls upon my sister. I realise we can put in place coping strategies like web-cams, skype and e-mails and that we can try to keep funds for travelling home for visits (although, see above re cost and climate change). However, I am not sure how I will cope with the guilt. My wife, of course, faces much the same difficulties regarding her family. We met whilst I was living in Australia and she came to live here to be with me. Her family were very encouraging about that but they desperately want her to go home. In fact we told them some time ago that we would be going to live there, so she will feel awful if we now have to tell them we have changed our minds, especially with the baby on the way. She also has the same worries, if we do stay here, about her parents getting old and her not being there, as she does not believe they will get the support they need from anywhere else. We face similar difficulties regarding friends. I have a close group of friends, most of whom I have known since I was at school. My wife has made some friends here but does not have the close friends that she had at home. Finally, on the personal front, I am having trouble facing the massive upheaval of emigrating. I've had a few career issues and changed jobs fairly recently. That has all been stressful in itself and am frankly quite fearful of going through the further stress and the even greater uncertainty involved in moving to the other side of the world. So what do we do? I simply don’t know what to do for the best. I know my wife wants us to go and that my family don’t. I know we could have a better lifestyle but I worry that that might not be enough to outweigh my other concerns and reservations. I know if we go it could be better for our child but that if I am unhappy, it may not be. I know that if we stay here my wife will make the best of it but I also know she deserves more than that. I realise I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity even to go to Australia at all, so I’m sorry if this sounds like whingeing. Ultimately we’ll just have to decide one way or the other. Perhaps we should give it some kind of trial run. Or toss a coin. I still don’t know what to do for the best. I’d be interested in any views. Thanks