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Mamaonthefence

Advice please about moving from London to Sydney with young child (3yrs)

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Hi, I'd like some advice / opinions on how you or others you know have found moving to Australia / Sydney with a young child, what the initial settling in period was like, what life in a city in Aus with a young child is like... And any regrets / would do differently? I'm also abit worried about feeling isolated & very home sick.

I'm married to an aussie, we thinking of making the move to Sydney, we currently live in London. I'm a children's community nurse and we have a little girl. Thanks in advance!! 

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Living in Sydney (if you can afford it) is going to be much like living in London (if you can afford it). Kids are fine as long as  they have mummy, daddy and their security toys. The younger they are the easier the adaptation.

Does it have to be Sydney? It really is very expensive and you can get more bang  for your buck Elsewhere.

Has  your OH got British citizenship yet? If not, that should be a priority because you never know when you might need it - getting back in as a foreign spouse can be problematic. From your point of view, if you aren't 100% sure how you're going to cope in Australia, read up on the Hague Convention (we have a sticky on here somewhere).

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As Quoll says, Sydney isn't as big or as crowded as London, but it's the closest thing that Australia has. Housing is eye-wateringly expensive (like London) so most people have to live in the far outer suburbs which can be pretty boring, unlike the fantastic lively centre (like London).    If you want to live in the best bits of Sydney (near the beach and the centre) then you either need to be very rich, or prepared to squeeze into a shoebox (like London). 

For most people, daily life in Sydney is much the same as daily life in the UK, except where London people are stuck indoors on wet, rainy days, Sydney people are stuck indoors on hot, sticky, sweaty 40 degree days.   If you're lucky and can live near a beach, you can have the dream Aussie lifestyle, but most Sydney residents can't afford it (the biggest population centre in Sydney is in Parramatta, which is an hour's drive from the nearest beach on a good day and two hours on a bad day).   Like most big cities, people keep themselves to themselves and it can be hard to make friends.  You should prepare yourself for a year or two of feeling isolated and lonely, with no babysitters and no support.

My biggest concern is that you're already worried about being very homesick.  That rings alarm bells for me.  Successful migrants are usually people who are already fairly independent, who don't see their parents all that often even while they're in the UK.   If you live in your friends' pockets, see your mum every week and can't imagine how you'd manage without her, you will very likely be miserable in Australia and will never settle.  We have members on this forum who've been living with their Aussie husband in Australia for 20 years or more and are still as homesick as ever, but they've basically sacrificed their happiness for the sake of keeping the family together.

In your shoes, I would be thinking twice about the move and seeing if your OH will consider staying in the UK instead.  If he isn't desperate to be near his famliy, but you are very attached to yours, then it won't be as much of a sacrifice for him as it will be for you.  And it's much, much easier to stay where you are, than to move to Australia and then have to persuade him to move back (or give you permission to move back with your child).

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Thank you Quoll and Marisawright for taking the time to offer your advice to me. Quoll unfortunately our only option is looking like Sydney as that's where my husbands family live and my community child health qualification is actually only recognised in NSW.. Sydney being the easiest place to get work due to the population. 

Marisawright - your advice is very on point, as I am very close to my family her particularly my mum as she currently helps with child care too and I know for what I've read child care costs in Sydney are as expensive as London. My personality type will likely predispose me to feeling isolated & very home sick.. But I feel selfish depriving my husband and child of a potential "better" life (if you can measure that) / different life experience.. Its so hard making these decisions with a child.. I just read & watched the link on the Hague convention.. I had No idea - thank you so much again. This thread has offered me so much to think about already. 

Sydney sounds very expensive.. We going in 3 weeks to check it all out 

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Forget all that stuff about a better life in Australia. It’s utter nonsense. It’s a different life not a better one. Some people like the Australian life better than the British one. Some people like the British life better than the Australian one. It’s just a personal preference, nothing more. 

Edited by Marisawright
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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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