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emj1986

Need advice, thinking of heading home

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Hi all,

Just want some impartial advice or opinions. Been on the Gold Coast for nearly 3 years and am now a permanent resident. We moved here from Gloucester in the UK after my partner was offered work over here and we came over on a sponsored 457 visa.  Time has mainly been spent in helensvale/oxenford. I work in broadbeach and the OH up near Brisbane. 

Been feeling miserable for quite some time now. Many reasons, homesickness being one of them. We have found it incredibly hard to make any friends here as single professionals, especially with the locals. The only friends we have made are other brits, kiwis and South Africans. I'm not big into sunbathing, it's too hot here. In fact for the entire summer just opening the front door sends me into complete despair and instead of doing whatever I was planning, I go back inside in the aircon. I have barely left the house other than for work since arriving back here after a wonderful xmas spent with family back in the UK. Everything I used to enjoy I just don't anymore. Horse riding, hiking, body boarding.. it's all too much effort now. Even walking the dogs ends in tears when I come home looking like the elephant man after being bitten to death by mozzies every time I leave home, despite covering up and spraying myself with every chemical known to man. I find it a very 50s society here of men go out to work and women should be chained to the sink and bringing up the kids. The daily commute to work is a dice with death with the insane drivers cutting you up, driving into you or just being general tossers. Once when stopped at traffic lights, someone who was obviously upset that he wasn't quite quick enough to cut me up at the previous slip lane got out of his car with a tyre iron. Is this really life on the Gold Coast? Or am I depressed and finding the bad in everything?

my partner wants to stay and get citizenship - I'm not sure I can last that long. He's suggested maybe Adelaide or Hobart - I'm a rural girl by heart and the theme park, tourist hotspot that is the Gold Coast leaves me more than cold. But I don't want to move only to find fault somewhere else. Should I just go home?

so torn ?


20.09.2013 - 457 Applications and Business Sponsorship Applications submitted, 29.10.2013 - 457 Applications approved!!!!!!!,

19.06.2014 - House finally sold! Time to do some serious planning! Pets flying out 08.09.2014 - just my flight left to sort!

FINALLY ARRIVED!!!! 07.09.2014 - life is good

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Oh dear Emj, I'm sorry you feel this way.

I feel you should try somewhere else. Although I have never lived in the Goldcoast area, I do know the heat and mozzies would drive me insane. Not knowing your line of work or your partner's - is there a chance you can transfer your role?

Making Australian friends can be very difficult and for me even now I can't count any on one hand. However a majority of people I met and deal with everyday are nice and solid citizens. So far, I like where I am but recognise there are areas of Australian life I just don't get - I just put that in my 'too hard basket' and move on.

Just from reading your post, I think you said it - that area is not for you, the country girl - try somewhere else. Get opinions from members on this site as to actual locations that may be more suitable and then make informed decisions. You can go home anytime and know you gave it your best shot.

Wishing you the best.

 

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Sorry to hear you are not happy.  It isn't easy to feel like this and not have anyone to turn to in terms of friends.  I do sympathise with you, I've made few friends in Sydney in the eight years we've been here.  I've made a couple of good friends (both migrants - Slovak and American), but I wouldn't say I have any Aussie friends at all.  I have people I know from school, but it is shallow and not really friendship, although I've known them for six or so years.

If you are now a PR, and have been in Australia for almost three years, you are probably only a year or two at most away from citizenship, and I would always advise that you think very carefully about getting that before leaving.  Not only does it leave doors open for you, but it also gives opportunities to any future children you might have (I'm assuming you don't have any currently, since you don't mention them).  If you were to consider elsewhere in Australia, I would look carefully at the climate.  I believe that Adelaide has more of a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and warm winters, but I do remember there being heat waves there in the past couple of years with many days over 40deg.  Hobart/Tasmania in general is nice from what we saw on holiday there a couple of years ago, and we would have considered moving there rather than back from the UK if it weren't for our desire to move closer to family.  The climate, for me anyway, is much more moderate.  It may depend to an extent on work though, as depending on the work you do, it may be more difficult to find work (which of course creates difficulties in itself).

Having said all that, whilst we are moving back to the UK later this year, we already have citizenship.  If I were still a couple of years away from that I'm not sure that I could wait, although I'd probably give it my best shot for my OH and the kids.  I suppose it depends on whether you think you could just accept that you're not happy but get on with it anyway, or maybe try and find somewhere else that is more agreeable.

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Sounds like the Gold Coast to me alright!  Your partner makes a good point about citizenship.  You should definitely get it having invested 3 years already for all the reasons the other poster mentioned.  There are many other places in Australia that are different to the GC and would suit someone who prefers the more rural life.  You could look at moving there just to wait out the citizenship period.  Then it's no loss if you don't like that too.  You can go back to the UK with the knowledge that you gave it your best shot, and with a passport in your back pocket should your outlook change as you get older.   

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6 hours ago, emj1986 said:

my partner wants to stay and get citizenship - I'm not sure I can last that long. He's suggested maybe Adelaide or Hobart - I'm a rural girl by heart and the theme park, tourist hotspot that is the Gold Coast leaves me more than cold.

How transferable are your employment skills....and what is the 457 status of your partner?  Is he able to change employer if he wanted to?  Is it possible to have a holiday break to a couple of other locations and reconsider after that?   You are not alone:  the Gold Coast leaves many Australians cold too.  

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Hi emj

 

Even other Aussies often find it hard to make friends in the Gold Coast.  It is well known for retirees heading up there and feeling miserable- then heading back down south.  Really. I would definitely try somewhere cooler- you would get that with Adelaide and Hobart too. Adelaide is pretty hot in Summer of course but at least you get the cooler winter months which gives you a lot more energy. 

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You do sound as if you are in a bit of a funk and paintings things blacker than they are as a result. Not entirely surprising as the GC is not the obvious choice for a rural pom, or many Aussies for that matter. Hobart is a million miles culturally from the GC so if  you can make the move there job wise I would say give it a go as citizenship is extremely valuable.

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It is a tough one.

 

One option may be to try another part of Australia, though you need to decide if it is the GC that is bothering you or that you want to be back in the UK. If the former, then a move to another location might be better, if the later, then there is little point.

 

With regards citizenship, I think if you have children, then yes, try and hold out for it – though it will be about 2 years before you get it as you need to have been in Oz for 4 and held PR for 1 and it then takes up to a year to get. However, if you really want to be back in the UK and don’t have children, then I wouldn’t wait as there is no point in being miserable for two years to get a passport you may never use again. I got mine and know it will never now be used and have even looked at rescinding my Oz citizenship as it is pointless, but won’t bother because there is a fee and paperwork.

 

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14 hours ago, emj1986 said:

Hi all,

Just want some impartial advice or opinions. Been on the Gold Coast for nearly 3 years and am now a permanent resident. We moved here from Gloucester in the UK after my partner was offered work over here and we came over on a sponsored 457 visa.  Time has mainly been spent in helensvale/oxenford. I work in broadbeach and the OH up near Brisbane. 

Been feeling miserable for quite some time now. Many reasons, homesickness being one of them. We have found it incredibly hard to make any friends here as single professionals, especially with the locals. The only friends we have made are other brits, kiwis and South Africans. I'm not big into sunbathing, it's too hot here. In fact for the entire summer just opening the front door sends me into complete despair and instead of doing whatever I was planning, I go back inside in the aircon. I have barely left the house other than for work since arriving back here after a wonderful xmas spent with family back in the UK. Everything I used to enjoy I just don't anymore. Horse riding, hiking, body boarding.. it's all too much effort now. Even walking the dogs ends in tears when I come home looking like the elephant man after being bitten to death by mozzies every time I leave home, despite covering up and spraying myself with every chemical known to man. I find it a very 50s society here of men go out to work and women should be chained to the sink and bringing up the kids. The daily commute to work is a dice with death with the insane drivers cutting you up, driving into you or just being general tossers. Once when stopped at traffic lights, someone who was obviously upset that he wasn't quite quick enough to cut me up at the previous slip lane got out of his car with a tyre iron. Is this really life on the Gold Coast? Or am I depressed and finding the bad in everything?

my partner wants to stay and get citizenship - I'm not sure I can last that long. He's suggested maybe Adelaide or Hobart - I'm a rural girl by heart and the theme park, tourist hotspot that is the Gold Coast leaves me more than cold. But I don't want to move only to find fault somewhere else. Should I just go home?

so torn ?

I can empathise with having lived just up the road from you in Pacific Pines and ended up returning to the UK. I know what you mean with the driving, often cut up in my daily commute to work in Logan of all places. Friends wasn't really a problem with me as my wife talks to anyone and everyone and puts herself out there wherever we are. I am the kind of guy who can take it or leave it when it comes to people :D I suppose if heat and humidity is not your thing don't live in a sub-tropical climate.

Nobody can advise you of what to do and everyone has their own opinions so I will give you mine. I thought I was homesick and it was great when I first got back in the middle of a UK winter after all that sun on the Gold Coast. However that feeling quickly wears off and I started missing things about Australia. That's just the feeling of a ping pong Pom I hear you say but I have a hell of a lot of regrets. I regret not staying to get my citizenship and not trying somewhere else in Australia. As much as I loved aspects of the GC I also believed it was more of a tourist area rather than somewhere to put down roots. I considered moving elsewhere and transferring with work and even looked at other places.My wife was dead against it because we had children in school and she didn't want to resettle them again.

I live in a small town in Wales which is sort of semi rural but close to amenities and my commute to work is not on a motorway. To me living in the GC seemed busy and a little smothering but to someone who had just arrived from one of the big cities in England it was quiet. 

You can easily move inland somewhere not too far away and still enjoy the benefits of what the GC has to offer. Somewhere like Maudsland, Jimboomba for example, the list is endless. I would  have also jumped at Adelaide or Hobart if I had the chance with work. I did like the winter climate though in QLD but you do miss the seasons.

I am a firm believer that there is a tiny piece of Australia for everyone and you have just got to look and find it. I realise that can be difficult because of the expense and that OZ is so big. My advice would be don't throw the towel in explore other options first because you did all the hard work to get there. I would certainly swap places with you but each to there own. If it's not meant to be its not meant to be at least you tried. Hope it works out for you.

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Thanks for all the responses everyone - really appreciate it. It's hard to talk to someone about this as the only people I have to turn to would definitely be biased and say just head home i.e. My family that I left behind lol.

i think you are all right, we should probably stick it out after already investing so much time. Who knows, I may appreciate the free heat when I reach pensioner age lol. 

We have no kids but 2 dogs and a cat who we brought from the uk so the decision to move home wouldn't be one to take lightly as it is a MASSIVE cost transporting them, not to mention the stress it puts them and us under. I work in digital marketing and have a pretty good job in broadbeach with a property developer, but I'm only on a maternity leave contract while the other half is an IT manager in eight mile plains. He's the main bread winner so where we go depends on the work situation for him. 

Interesting to hear from people who are glad the went home and also the ones who regret it. I guess having the option to return would be best - people change. Also interesting to hear it isn't just me or even just brits for that matter when it comes to the Gold Coast!

other than Hamilton island and Byron bay, I haven't ventured far since I've been here as it's awkward with the dogs and we have tended to use all holiday allowance for trips home. Our last one was over xmas and has left me with no holiday for the rest of the year so other than taking a weekend here and there to explore, I won't get a chance. And a weekend isn't going to tell me what I need about an area. its a tough one! I need to make a decision but don't want to make the wrong one as it's not just my life it's affecting.


20.09.2013 - 457 Applications and Business Sponsorship Applications submitted, 29.10.2013 - 457 Applications approved!!!!!!!,

19.06.2014 - House finally sold! Time to do some serious planning! Pets flying out 08.09.2014 - just my flight left to sort!

FINALLY ARRIVED!!!! 07.09.2014 - life is good

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I liked it much better further south near Curumbin and inland around there but the commute would be too far for both of you as you seem to be living central to work at moment.

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1 hour ago, emj1986 said:

we have tended to use all holiday allowance for trips home. Our last one was over xmas and has left me with no holiday for the rest of the year so other than taking a weekend here and there to explore

I don't want to state the obvious, but unless you stop using all your holidays to go back to the UK you're never going to feel settled.  Your life and home (for the moment) is in Australia and you need to either commit to it or one back in the UK.

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Hi, Sorry to hear about your unhappiness. Many of us can empathise with the feelings of homesickness and rootlessness. I used to go back and forth when my parents were alive and eventually I went back for a holiday which stretched out to twelve years. I probably could have stayed there but my brothers are here in Sydney and I've been back here now for over eight years.

You mentioned that you don't enjoy the activities you used to do, horse riding, hiking, and body-boarding and I wondered if your unhappiness might not be totally related to living in Australia. I've had my ups and downs and I have often suffered from the same problems whether living here or in England. Every so often I see a psychologist and I've found him to be very helpful. I went through a bad patch when I hadn't worked for six months then I enrolled in a BA with the Open University which I'm still doing, and I got back to work too after 20 months "retirement."

The advice about hanging on for citizenship is probably good because you might go back to live, as opposed to going on holiday, in England and find that you are attached to Australia after all. Going back to live in a country is like emigrating again, as I've found out three times now. Moving to another part of Australia will also be like emigrating. I've not been to the Gold Coast for a while but I remember I preferred Tweed Heads/Coolangatta which seemed to have more of a "town" feeling.

It's not unusual in your first years in a country to find your friends with expats because you are all "in the same boat." I spent my first couple of years in Sydney hanging out with other Pommies. Now I have friends from all over the place. Sydney is such a multi-cultural place I no longer think about (white) Pommies versus (white) Aussies, except when the Ashes are on. White people are actually a minority in my office in Parramatta. I’ll take my brother's shirts to the Vietnamese drycleaner in a minute then go for coffee in the Vietnamese cafe.  Wednesday night is quiz night at one of my local pubs and I will be in a team with my brother and an Aussie couple. I thought perhaps horse riding and bushwalking clubs would give you a way of mixing with Aussies?

Anyway, hope it all works out for you. I have a creative writing assignment to do for my OU course, English this semester. It's an online course so I don't get to physically meet the other students but I'm mixing with people from all over OZ.

Dave

 

 

 

 

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As an Aussie who returned home with my British husband (who had never even visited Oz) I can say the Gold Coast is the pits! Except Burleigh as that is where my two-week old granddaughter lives with her mummy and daddy....lol. But I digress! 

Anyway, I couldn't live there for five minutes! But depending on your ability to move there are many options. My suggestion, if you really can't cope with the mozzies, move south, far south! We did a trip last year and found we really loved the area around Bega, Tilba, and Cobargo was the best of all. About an hour from Canberra, with cold winters, beautiful old properties and, Cobargo in particular, was a gorgeous,old, craft-based little town, popular with tourists.  Hot summers, but cold winters and close to Canberra, which has loads of culture and the mountains for a snow-based option in winter. If we didn't have such a strong reason to stay here it would be our first choice.

My next suggestion would be Tasmania, but stay in the country areas. We loved Deloraine, pretty, very friendly and a really nice community-feel. But it does rain! I love that though, having spent many of my childhood years in Cornwall.

Finally, for us, the choice is the northern rivers. We wanted to be part of a real community, close to family and where we could afford to buy a farm. The area is vibrant and diverse. The "hippy" town of Nimbin is amazing when you get beyond the obvious. People actually care about each other, and if you jump in and get involved it is easy to be accepted. Kyogle is a very different town, but still plenty going on and the council is working hard to bring new, but sustainable, agriculture and tourism based growth to the region. The Channon is gorgeous, and the entire area through to Byron and south is lovely, although, being a country girl I would avoid the coast. Winters are cooler, and last longer, there is more rain, but it is still fairly humid in summer, but often cooler than here. And, it's close enough for you to go and take a look. Tyalgum would also be worth looking at. It is an exciting, inclusive country town, as is Uki.

We currently live in Glass House Mountains, but the Qld government seems hell-bent on destroying the beauty of this region and turning it into another Gold Coast, so we are leaving while our property is still worth its true value!

Wishing you luck with it all but honestly, no where stays the same. It is easy to see only the good back in the UK when you visit the family on holiday, but when you are sitting inside for week after week in summer because it is pouring with rain you would look back and wish you were here. You have entered the never, never land of the migrant, and home will never be the same again. I know, I have done it both ways. So much I love, and hate, in both places. So nirvana will never be yours. Make the best of your remaining time to get your citizenship and find a place you love. Who knows, you may find a place you can truly call home.

Good luck. And please PM me if you need an older friend, we are not far away.

 

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Ignore anyone telling you to try other areas. It's all more or less the same. I know helensvale well,had Aussie friends there, but it's no different to any other suburb. If you don't like helensvale then you pretty much won't like the rest.

Good news is England's out of the European union and thriving.. come home!!!

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Hi there @emj1986

Sorry you're going through this. It doesn't sound like anyone's cuppa T the way you describe it. I know for an absolute fact I would last exactly 10 minutes in QLD (unless I was on holiday on an island). I say hey, why not try somewhere like Adelaide. I've actually heard great things about it (although there will be someone on here trying to shout me down). It does get hot, yes but its climate is very different. A very friendly place too (I can only go on my personal experience (I have loads of friends from Adelaide and they're all very nice, welcoming & fun)).

If you decide that Australia is not for you, then yes make the plan to move back. If it's not for you, it's not for you - absolutely no shame in moving back to the UK and hey, nothing ventured nothing gained. If you hadn't have moved out to Oz you would still be wondering what if. Three years is about enough IMO to see if if a place/job is for you or not.

However... Australia is a very big country. Very. Big.... there are lots of places (work permitting) you could try. You spent a lot of money, time and effort (I'm presuming) to get this far - why not try somewhere else in Australia first. You may just find that it's the best thing you could have done.

Chin up, the current status quo won't be like this forever - you have choice to do what you want! All the best.

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9 hours ago, simmo said:

Ignore anyone telling you to try other areas. It's all more or less the same.

Central Sydney is the same as rural Tasmania?  

The UK is still in the EU.  The earliest it can leave is March 2019.  I truly hope it continues to thrive once that happens.

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The comment about 'everything is the same' did make me smile! Could not be further from the truth.

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On 3/29/2017 at 11:17 AM, sharonp53 said:

 

My next suggestion would be Tasmania, but stay in the country areas. We loved Deloraine, pretty, very friendly and a really nice community-feel. But it does rain!

 

Well, it varies greatly within Tasmania.  Hobart  is the 2nd driest Oz capital after Adelaide....about half the rainfall of Sydney and a third of Brisbane's.

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Perhaps you should considering moving somewhere a bit closer to the ocean. I know you're not a beach person, but it might surprise you. 

We moved here in November and settled in Labrador a short walk from the lagoon. We actually did NOT want to live near the ocean and we'd rather consider it a treat. We ended up in a place near just by chance because it happened to be the place that ticked the boxes. Now that we've been here for a few months we absolutely do not want to live anywhere else. We walk along the ocean regularly, swim in the lagoon, cycle and I've gotten into fishing which is something I never expected. Our lives are so much better because of where we live and we spend more time outside. Being next to the ocean makes it much cooler than inland and I almost never have an issue with mosquitoes (except after heavy rain). We absolutely do not miss Canada at all.

I know Oxenford/Helenvale reasonably well because we spent much of a our first few weeks there but I am totally confident that we would not be enjoying our life anywhere near as much as we do now if we were stuck in that suburban environment. 


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There is nothing in the rule book that says you (or anyone else) HAS to love Australia.  Personally I just" lived" here for over 30 years (over on a holiday now) and although my uber pragmatic head told me it was "home" it wasn't and it isn't and I feel much more "at home" in UK.  No accounting for it other than that I "belong" there and I dont belong here.  A month back has just shown me that I still dont belong here but I know that when I have to return, as I have promised, I will probably be able to hack it for a few more years in adventure mode.

Sensible option is always to get citizenship if you can just to keep all your options open but then go where you feel you belong and move on.  Hanging on to a place you dont belong in is rather akin to bashing your head against a brick wall (or even different parts of the wall) in hopes of alleviating your blinding headache. 

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On 29/03/2017 at 6:39 AM, emj1986 said:

Thanks for all the responses everyone - really appreciate it. It's hard to talk to someone about this as the only people I have to turn to would definitely be biased and say just head home i.e. My family that I left behind lol.

i think you are all right, we should probably stick it out after already investing so much time. Who knows, I may appreciate the free heat when I reach pensioner age lol. 

We have no kids but 2 dogs and a cat who we brought from the uk so the decision to move home wouldn't be one to take lightly as it is a MASSIVE cost transporting them, not to mention the stress it puts them and us under. I work in digital marketing and have a pretty good job in broadbeach with a property developer, but I'm only on a maternity leave contract while the other half is an IT manager in eight mile plains. He's the main bread winner so where we go depends on the work situation for him. 

Interesting to hear from people who are glad the went home and also the ones who regret it. I guess having the option to return would be best - people change. Also interesting to hear it isn't just me or even just brits for that matter when it comes to the Gold Coast!

other than Hamilton island and Byron bay, I haven't ventured far since I've been here as it's awkward with the dogs and we have tended to use all holiday allowance for trips home. Our last one was over xmas and has left me with no holiday for the rest of the year so other than taking a weekend here and there to explore, I won't get a chance. And a weekend isn't going to tell me what I need about an area. its a tough one! I need to make a decision but don't want to make the wrong one as it's not just my life it's affecting.

The clincher in these posts are all the references to "home" in relation to a place where the writer is not living.  Frequent return trips only emphasises the point that you are not feeling at home here.

We are coming up to 2 years now.  Very happy with the move but I do recognise some of the points you have made even while accepting the obvious point that you are over-emphasising the negative.  It has also been a very hot summer this year - the hottest ever - and that can cloud judgement.

Not having children here probably adds to the isolation of suburbia too for you.

I do think you should spend some weekends out west in the scenic rim.  It is all under an hour from you and a whole different world which may be more to your liking.

If you decide to return 'home' within the next 2-3 years make sure that while you are based here you take every opportunity to explore this marvellous continent and stop wasting your money and holidays going to the UK.


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I've got to say (and I am taking this as notes myself) I do think giving the UK as a base for holidays a rest for a while if you can. Explore the country you're in. Nothing wrong with going back to the UK of course, nothing at all. However if you're left with no time to explore the country you're currently in it would definitely make it harder to settle. It must feel like you're just working working working all the time. If you explore Australia on holiday, you might just find somewhere that you really enjoy and if there was a good role there .....

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On 30 March 2017 at 4:22 PM, simmo said:

Ignore anyone telling you to try other areas. It's all more or less the same. I know helensvale well,had Aussie friends there, but it's no different to any other suburb. If you don't like helensvale then you pretty much won't like the rest.

Good news is England's out of the European union and thriving.. come home!!!

I disagree with this, there are many different places in Australia which are worth considering. 

Having spent half a century in Oz I think I have plenty of experience. Certainly Tasmania and Adelaide should be considered, though I also like Melbourne.

Returning to the UK to live isn't necessarily the best, but it depends where you go and your finances. It can be extremely claustrophobic.

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Ignore anyone telling you to try other areas. It's all more or less the same. I know helensvale well,had Aussie friends there, but it's no different to any other suburb. If you don't like helensvale then you pretty much won't like the rest.
Good news is England's out of the European union and thriving.. come home!!!


Yes, if you hurry you'll be just in time for the war with Spain.

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