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Cobs_Ahoy

Having a wobble 🙁🙁🙁

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When I arrived in Australia almost 20 years ago, after a married life of moving constantly with 3 children,  due to my husband’s job, which included 10 years as an expat, you would think I would take our decision to move in retirement to Australia in my stride. 

No, after the first few days I was in tears, a very unusual reaction for m. I told my husband I was homesick, but I didn’t actually know where I was homesick for. We were staying in a grotty motel at the time, which definitely didn’t help. Apart from that wobble I have never regretted moving here.

If someone like me who moved over 17 times before our move here can feel homesick, then I think it’s completely understandable that you feel this way.

You and your family have moved from everything you know, into the unknown, shortly before Christmas, and frantically looking for somewhere to live, and concerned about your job. You are allowed to feel concerned and homesick.

The best advice I can give, is give it a bit of time, I hope when you find a rental, it starts to make you feel a little more settled. I do understand a bit how you feel, moving with children is hard, settling into a new school, making new friends, but my three have survived that many times, and have turned out pretty normal adults.

Keep posting, you will get lots of support here. Take care and hope you manage to enjoy Christmas in your new country xM

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2 hours ago, ramot said:

When I arrived in Australia almost 20 years ago, after a married life of moving constantly with 3 children,  due to my husband’s job, which included 10 years as an expat, you would think I would take our decision to move in retirement to Australia in my stride. 

No, after the first few days I was in tears, a very unusual reaction for m. I told my husband I was homesick, but I didn’t actually know where I was homesick for. We were staying in a grotty motel at the time, which definitely didn’t help. Apart from that wobble I have never regretted moving here.

If someone like me who moved over 17 times before our move here can feel homesick, then I think it’s completely understandable that you feel this way.

You and your family have moved from everything you know, into the unknown, shortly before Christmas, and frantically looking for somewhere to live, and concerned about your job. You are allowed to feel concerned and homesick.

The best advice I can give, is give it a bit of time, I hope when you find a rental, it starts to make you feel a little more settled. I do understand a bit how you feel, moving with children is hard, settling into a new school, making new friends, but my three have survived that many times, and have turned out pretty normal adults.

Keep posting, you will get lots of support here. Take care and hope you manage to enjoy Christmas in your new country xM

So true - it is impossible to judge while you are in crappy or even temporary accommodation.  We are still renting which I find unsettling too after 15 years of home ownership.

Also while your kids are still finding their feet it is really tough.  That might take a year, and we still have tears some days.


PR (100) moved to Perth September 2021

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Thank you for sharing that @ramot I have seen your other posts and know how settled you are here, so it helps to know that even you had a rocky start! The motel comment has really struck a chord, we are currently in a bleak hotel and it’s definitely having an effect. Much like @Marisawright ‘s point, when we get out and go to the beach/parks etc I find the anxiety subsiding. The bit of Australia that appealed still do seem wonderful, they are just overshadowed with stress and home sickness at the minute.

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You’re spot on @Jon the Hat about waiting for the kids to find their feet, it’s awful watching them cry and I think that’s feeding into my worries. Actually my 7yo seemed to make a good start, but I know she is finding the change hard and missing her old school/friends/family.

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1 minute ago, Cobs_Ahoy said:

You’re spot on @Jon the Hat about waiting for the kids to find their feet, it’s awful watching them cry and I think that’s feeding into my worries. Actually my 7yo seemed to make a good start, but I know she is finding the change hard and missing her old school/friends/family.

You'll probably find Christmas is exacerbating your anxiety as well.  If you come from a family which celebrates such things, being on the other side of the world in a different season just seems plain wrong (after 43 years I still find it so) - it emphasises what you have left and hones in on your isolation.  Once Christmas is over it's not so bad and once you have accrued some leave you will be able to do things together which might be a little more enjoyable.  Expect tears across the board though if you decide to FaceTime people at Christmas, they will be missing you as much as you will be missing them. 

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2 minutes ago, Quoll said:

You'll probably find Christmas is exacerbating your anxiety as well.  If you come from a family which celebrates such things, being on the other side of the world in a different season just seems plain wrong (after 43 years I still find it so) - it emphasises what you have left and hones in on your isolation.  Once Christmas is over it's not so bad and once you have accrued some leave you will be able to do things together which might be a little more enjoyable.  Expect tears across the board though if you decide to FaceTime people at Christmas, they will be missing you as much as you will be missing them. 

Interestingly one of the things I was most looking forward to was escaping the burden of seeing family at Christmas!!! But Christmas back home seems very appealing right now, probably because I am in a really depressing hotel and the management made us take the Christmas lights down that we put on the balcony! 

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1 minute ago, Cobs_Ahoy said:

Interestingly one of the things I was most looking forward to was escaping the burden of seeing family at Christmas!!! But Christmas back home seems very appealing right now, probably because I am in a really depressing hotel and the management made us take the Christmas lights down that we put on the balcony! 

Oh pooh!  He must have been at the Basil Fawlty school of Hotel Management!  Scrooge!!!!  The hotel sounds like the pits so hope you can get a rental sooner rather than later.

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2 hours ago, Jon the Hat said:

So true - it is impossible to judge while you are in crappy or even temporary accommodation.  We are still renting which I find unsettling too after 15 years of home ownership.

Also while your kids are still finding their feet it is really tough.  That might take a year, and we still have tears some days.

It takes a lot longer than a year to find your feet…

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4 hours ago, Bulya said:

It takes a lot longer than a year to find your feet…

Yes I meant rather more that they have made some friends now, and that is a huge improvement over the start of the year.

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PR (100) moved to Perth September 2021

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I can’t offer anything other than my own experience. I never had any moments of panic. Not that I can recall. Going ‘back’ was never a consideration, from when we landed to this day (14 years on) It wasn’t easy and my husband was out of work for the first 6 months. We had nowhere to live after the 6 week rental and managed to sign a 6 month lease at the last minute. We had very little money and lived week to week. Despite this, we never really questioned our decision? I wonder if for those that do- you should listen to that inner voice? I’m with others though in that you have to at least give it a shot. I think if I got to 6-12 months and still felt uneasy it’d be a no brainer. 

As for learning in year 1, she won’t get behind. Focus on what she’s learning outside of the curriculum. There are many years for her to worry about formal education. Year 1 isn’t it. Life experiences are where it’s at at that age. Not reading and writing. 
 

You could return at any stage in the next 3 or 4 years and she’d be fine. 

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On 16/12/2022 at 15:14, Cobs_Ahoy said:

You’re spot on @Jon the Hat about waiting for the kids to find their feet, it’s awful watching them cry and I think that’s feeding into my worries. Actually my 7yo seemed to make a good start, but I know she is finding the change hard and missing her old school/friends/family.

Kids will adapt sooner that you think. My friend moved over with a 9yo and a 11yo. Both were fully immersed in friendship, activities and education in the UK. They took a while to settle. 18 months on, they might as well have grown up here as they are well and truly settled.

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IELTS : 13/08/16: W8 S8 L9 R9. Skills Ax sent/Rcvd/granted: 30/08/16, 12/09/16, 10/10/16. AHPRA sent/AIP : 05/09/16, 28/12/16. EoI/invited: 20/1/17, 01/02/17. 189 submitted: 06/02/17, Caseworker: 23/02/17. Medicals: 31/03/17. Grant: 12/04/17. Child 101 submitted: 09/06/17. Granted: 06/07/17. Landed: 01/09/17.

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On 16/12/2022 at 04:14, Cobs_Ahoy said:

You’re spot on @Jon the Hat about waiting for the kids to find their feet, it’s awful watching them cry and I think that’s feeding into my worries. Actually my 7yo seemed to make a good start, but I know she is finding the change hard and missing her old school/friends/family.

Everyone that moves with a child must know there’s a high chance they will struggle to adapt at first.  No child wants to leave their much loved friends, family, clubs and settled life for the unknown.  They cannot see the bigger picture as their parents often can.  Parents have to accept there will be some highs and lows to start with.  That doesn’t mean you should feel guilty, certainly not.  If parents choose to move, the child goes with them.  That’s how it is but that doesn’t mean it won’t be hard at times.  I’m sorry you’re struggling but take each day at a time and remember why you made the move.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Ensure your little doesn’t pick up on your feelings.  If you do return, don’t worry about your child.  They will be just fine at such a young age and will be for some years yet.  I wish you the best of luck. 

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On 13/12/2022 at 04:43, Cobs_Ahoy said:

Im a (very!) new arrival to Oz and have found myself really questioning whether we should stay here. Obviously not ideal, but also not the end of the world if we go back. 


We (me, husband, 7yo and 2yo) arrived here at the end of October. We got off to a good start, visited my sister in VIC for 2 weeks then headed up to the Gold Coast where my job was waiting for me. We cracked on with everything that was within our power to sort (bank accounts, phones, school, etc), but have had some difficulties with my employer, and finding a rental here at the min is brutal.

 

Up until recently I haven’t thought about home at all, but in the last 72hours I have just suddenly been hit by a wave of extreme anxiety about staying here. Rationally I know it takes a while to settle, but I can’t get this thought out of my head that if we aren’t going settle then it would be better to go back ASAP so my daughter can get back into a U.K. school asap (she has been complaining that the year 1 class was learning stuff her previous school taught  in reception) to minimise the extent to which she would be behind. I’m not someone who usually struggles with feeling anxious, but am second guessing myself as to whether it will pass once we’ve settled.

 

has anyone else had this reaction within the first couple of months of landing? What did you do and do you regret the choices you made?  Part of me thinks this is a normal reaction to the stress of getting settled in a new job (I’m not great circumstances) along with really struggling to get a rental sorted (we still haven’t got anything long term), an perhaps I’ll feel better in 6 months time. But the other part of me is looking on rightmove, NHS jobs and costing flights+shipping!

 

I'm really worried by this post as we are heading to Brisbane in May and my prime concern is finding a rental as its a common thread of difficulty right now. It's also one of those things that you really can't do much about until you are there. If you have any advice, I'd really appreciate it? 

Regarding your doubts, I can relate to struggling to go with the flow. I'm a project manager by nature and profession and planning things is how I roll, even if when I think I'm not planning something out, I automatically am. 

I know it's the common theme through the responses but if you had never tried it you'd never know. If you don't give it a bit longer you still won't know. 

Home will always be there for you to go to. 

I find it helpful to set myself a date in a calendar and think 'how will I feel on this exact date'. Far enough away to let you forget about the date but long enough to remember what you were asking yourself.

Everything will work out no matter what. 

And Christmas is a stressful time of year for most, without all this! It's definitely not 'the most wonderful time of the year' for many. 

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Rentals are relatively easy, the stories of how hard it is actually makes it feel harder. The answer is simple...

Be prepared, both with your paperwork and expectations.

 

Prep all your paperwork in advance, it helps to be able to show jobs and a rental history. When we got here we had neither having lived in our own house for 20 years and coming over on a whim without jobs setup. (Hint showing the agent a UK bank balance with enough in it to buy the property you want to rent does help here)

More important though is being flexible, ok so you want 5 beds all ensuite, two minutes from work but also walking distance to kids schools and the beach, well that probably doesn't exist and if it does it won't be cheap and it will be in demand. Low ball your needs for the first rental and just get moved in, spend your house hunting energy on the one you will buy not the one you borrow

Oh and in all the annoyance of talking to real estate agents don't forget that this is supposed to be fun, so try to enjoy it...

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51 minutes ago, Constance said:

I'm really worried by this post as we are heading to Brisbane in May and my prime concern is finding a rental as its a common thread of difficulty right now. It's also one of those things that you really can't do much about until you are there. If you have any advice, I'd really appreciate it? 

Regarding your doubts, I can relate to struggling to go with the flow. I'm a project manager by nature and profession and planning things is how I roll, even if when I think I'm not planning something out, I automatically am. 

I know it's the common theme through the responses but if you had never tried it you'd never know. If you don't give it a bit longer you still won't know. 

Home will always be there for you to go to. 

This is not necessarily true.   Many migrants find that once they've made the move to Australia, the obstacles to moving back are much higher than they expected -- especially if one partner is happy with the move and the other isnt.  If you're moving with a "let's try it out and see" attitude, then make sure you have a solid exit strategy.

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

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1 hour ago, Ausvisitor said:

Rentals are relatively easy, the stories of how hard it is actually makes it feel harder. The answer is simple...

Be prepared, both with your paperwork and expectations.

 

Prep all your paperwork in advance, it helps to be able to show jobs and a rental history. When we got here we had neither having lived in our own house for 20 years and coming over on a whim without jobs setup. (Hint showing the agent a UK bank balance with enough in it to buy the property you want to rent does help here)

More important though is being flexible, ok so you want 5 beds all ensuite, two minutes from work but also walking distance to kids schools and the beach, well that probably doesn't exist and if it does it won't be cheap and it will be in demand. Low ball your needs for the first rental and just get moved in, spend your house hunting energy on the one you will buy not the one you borrow

Oh and in all the annoyance of talking to real estate agents don't forget that this is supposed to be fun, so try to enjoy it...

Thank you, that's helpful. 

When you say 'paperwork' what are you thinking? 

My entire life (legally and financially) is documented and indexed from going through a 186 and now 189 application. 

I have a shortlist of suburbs which has become a longer list to try and pull more options and have spoke to people I know in the area about any others we can add to the list. 

We will have enough money for a good deposit to buy, so that should satisfy a rental. I don't want to buy when rates are so high right now and until we know our kids are settled in the right area and school. 

I feel I've prepped as much as I can, but this is one of the uncontrollables. 

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Right now (or possibly by about Feb) is the best time to buy, the market has had a chunk taken out of price rises (and some drops have occurred) 

There are a lot of people out there with cash to buy outright just waiting for a stabilisation, at that point the market will start to rise again 

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9 hours ago, Constance said:

I'm really worried by this post as we are heading to Brisbane in May and my prime concern is finding a rental as its a common thread of difficulty right now. It's also one of those things that you really can't do much about until you are there. If you have any advice, I'd really appreciate it? 

Regarding your doubts, I can relate to struggling to go with the flow. I'm a project manager by nature and profession and planning things is how I roll, even if when I think I'm not planning something out, I automatically am. 

I know it's the common theme through the responses but if you had never tried it you'd never know. If you don't give it a bit longer you still won't know. 

Home will always be there for you to go to. 

I find it helpful to set myself a date in a calendar and think 'how will I feel on this exact date'. Far enough away to let you forget about the date but long enough to remember what you were asking yourself.

Everything will work out no matter what. 

And Christmas is a stressful time of year for most, without all this! It's definitely not 'the most wonderful time of the year' for many. 

It also depends on where you want to live in "Brisbane". Competition is fierce in the usual hotspots.

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IELTS : 13/08/16: W8 S8 L9 R9. Skills Ax sent/Rcvd/granted: 30/08/16, 12/09/16, 10/10/16. AHPRA sent/AIP : 05/09/16, 28/12/16. EoI/invited: 20/1/17, 01/02/17. 189 submitted: 06/02/17, Caseworker: 23/02/17. Medicals: 31/03/17. Grant: 12/04/17. Child 101 submitted: 09/06/17. Granted: 06/07/17. Landed: 01/09/17.

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Thanks to everyone for chipping in with their experiences.

@Constance ausvisitor is right about paperwork documentation, you will need lots, but once you’ve got it all together and completed your profile on the app the agents use it’s fairly easy to apply, which means you can fire off multiple applications quickly once you get going.

the only point I would raise is that I have found we weren’t getting a look-in due to a lack of rental history in aus and no wage slips from my employer. I had letters from U.K. mortgage prover showings no missed payments, references from previous and current employer stating salary, bank balance showing decent proceeds from U.K. house sale. But because we alerts looking before I had started my job, I didn’t have the wage slips, and because we were new to the country I didn’t have a rental history.

we were offering 6months upfront, lots of references, decent bank balance, PR visa, police checks with no criminal history, evidence of permanent full time employment with a government department (so very secure). However, the southern end of the Gold Coast where we are looking has some of the lowest numbers of available rentals, and this was exacerbated by the time of year (summer hols, so everyone short lets their properties for double the price as holiday rentals). 
 

we have managed to find a 3 month let via gumtree, this allowed us to bypass the fairly rigid assessments of estate agents which  required wage slips and rental history. This is risky as you could be ripped off, but the landlord was off travelling for 3months and his grandkids go to the school we enrolled my daughter in, so we felt relatively reassured we’d be ok. We are also paying double what we budgeted (and our budgeting wasn’t stingy!), however the house we’ve got is amazing in terms of size, location, and it’s fully furnished. So we are sucking up the cost and taking the attitude of having a great summer, while knowing that by the end of the three months we will have a rental history, a reference from an Australian landlord, and I’ll have some wage slips by then.

it’s been much harder, much more time consuming, much more expensive, and much more stressful than I expected. But lots of that is due to our individual circumstances, so is not necessarily going to be the case for you. Do t get bogged down in other people’s horror stories, but definitely get as much paperwork as possible ready!

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On 20/12/2022 at 05:41, Cobs_Ahoy said:

Thanks to everyone for chipping in with their experiences.

@Constance ausvisitor is right about paperwork documentation, you will need lots, but once you’ve got it all together and completed your profile on the app the agents use it’s fairly easy to apply, which means you can fire off multiple applications quickly once you get going.

the only point I would raise is that I have found we weren’t getting a look-in due to a lack of rental history in aus and no wage slips from my employer. I had letters from U.K. mortgage prover showings no missed payments, references from previous and current employer stating salary, bank balance showing decent proceeds from U.K. house sale. But because we alerts looking before I had started my job, I didn’t have the wage slips, and because we were new to the country I didn’t have a rental history.

we were offering 6months upfront, lots of references, decent bank balance, PR visa, police checks with no criminal history, evidence of permanent full time employment with a government department (so very secure). However, the southern end of the Gold Coast where we are looking has some of the lowest numbers of available rentals, and this was exacerbated by the time of year (summer hols, so everyone short lets their properties for double the price as holiday rentals). 
 

we have managed to find a 3 month let via gumtree, this allowed us to bypass the fairly rigid assessments of estate agents which  required wage slips and rental history. This is risky as you could be ripped off, but the landlord was off travelling for 3months and his grandkids go to the school we enrolled my daughter in, so we felt relatively reassured we’d be ok. We are also paying double what we budgeted (and our budgeting wasn’t stingy!), however the house we’ve got is amazing in terms of size, location, and it’s fully furnished. So we are sucking up the cost and taking the attitude of having a great summer, while knowing that by the end of the three months we will have a rental history, a reference from an Australian landlord, and I’ll have some wage slips by then.

it’s been much harder, much more time consuming, much more expensive, and much more stressful than I expected. But lots of that is due to our individual circumstances, so is not necessarily going to be the case for you. Do t get bogged down in other people’s horror stories, but definitely get as much paperwork as possible ready!

Thanks for giving all of the information. 

We will be in a relatively similar position to you although I won't be working in a government dept - homeowners for 10y, PR visa, good credit, police checks, perm job etc. So interesting to know that's still a challenge because of the lack of Australian rental history. 

I've found a couple of Airbnb properties so I'm chatting through some options with the hosts for 8-12w stays. Similarly, it's an expensive option but I think when you're arriving with small kids and one parent working quite quickly, it's just something you have to swallow up. 

The costs of moving are so high, its all merging into one big balance! 

I hope you get on well in your search. It would be good to hear how you get on if you want to drop me a message sometime. New expat Community and all that!. 

Good luck and have a merry Christmas. I hope you can experience a wow moment where you realise just how far you've come and how much of an achievement that is ❤️

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The first few months are incredibly expensive, everyone wants some dollars for something.

Driving licence well that will be $200 each to get an AUS licence. You will no doubt need a car (finding one is a tortuous experience, we found it far worse than finding a rental property).

But it's worth it, it's a great experience and once you start spending money earnt in Australia (rather than savings from the UK) it all seems great.

(I used to resent paying the huge amounts the council's charge for parking in the cities when I got here and was spending UK cash, now I've been here 9 months and spending AUS earnt money it just feels like a normal part of the cost of living)

The sooner you get an income the easier most things become

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4 hours ago, Ausvisitor said:

Driving licence well that will be $200 each to get an AUS licence.

What??  Each state issues driving licences and costs vary.  I'm stunned  if that is the cost in NSW - or  in Qld. for the OP.

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27 minutes ago, Skani said:

What??  Each state issues driving licences and costs vary.  I'm stunned  if that is the cost in NSW - or  in Qld. for the OP.

Looks spot on for 5 year license NSW $194 and QLD $192.  

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4 hours ago, welljock said:

Looks spot on for 5 year license NSW $194 and QLD $192.  

That's a discretionary option, not mandatory for a new arrival as implied.

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49 minutes ago, Skani said:

That's a discretionary option, not mandatory for a new arrival as implied.

It's only discretionary if you can use public transport.

If you have been living here (NSW) for 3 months you can no longer drive on a UK licence if you have PR (unless you leave the country and return)

And if you are buying a car you will pay much more than the $200 in increased insurance if you don't have an Aussie licence, so it's not a day one requirement, but it's certainly a first month need 

Also if you are renting you need to get to 100 points of ID, this is really easy to do if you have an AUS driving licence as well as a UK passport, but a real pain in the neck if you have to scrabble around in lots of "small points" proof items...

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