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Guest mr_paul_gallagher

Why I moved back from Oz

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Guest mr_paul_gallagher

In May 2006 I moved back to the UK after 3 years living and working in Melbourne.

 

The main reason for the move was career-motivated but I also wanted to move back because, contrary to popular opinion, I actually prefer life in the UK. Let me start by saying I am in no way anti-Australia or anti-Australian. My girlfriend is Australian, some of my best friends are Australian, I had some very good times when I was in Australia. Having said that, every day I am grateful for my move home and am 100% happy with my decision.

 

It really annoys me that every time someone speaks to me about Oz they say ‘Don’t you miss it?’ ‘Why’d you come back?’ ‘You’re mad for moving back to rainy old England’

 

The truth is that most people base their opinion of Australia on one of the following – a) the stunning views of Sydney harbour and the Opera House; b) pleasant memories of watching Crocodile Dundee and/or Neighbours on the telly whilst growing up or c) if they’re lucky, a year-out bumming around on Bondi or the beaches of Queensland. People are really comparing their life in the UK to a surfy, bush-tucker stereotype rather than reality – so its, say, Manchester versus the Gold Coast, Liverpool versus the Whitsundays. People equate sunshine to happiness and therefore the grass appears much greener on the other side (of the world).

 

 

Suburbia

 

Sure, some people go to Australia and live the stereotype for real but the reality for the majority is vastly different from the beachy ideal. Over 90% of the Australian population don’t live on the beaches of Queensland but in one of 5 cities (despite preconceptions, their population is actually far more urbanised than ours). Due to virtually everyone living in bungalows and the Aussie dream of owning a quarter acre plot, the housing is extremely low density. This means that the suburbs stretch and stretch. In Melbourne’s case, suburbia stretches 40 or 50 miles from the CBD in literally every direction.

 

Even when there isn’t any traffic on the roads, the outer suburbs are often over an hour’s drive from the city. You might claim to live in Melbourne but very rarely venture into the city. Most of these suburbs have nothing. Literally nothing. For entertainment there may be a pub in the suburb - But not the charming local that most Brits are accustomed to. Because there aren’t many – often one pub per suburb – they are huge. They often aren’t just a pub like we know, but a tacky pub / casino / betting shop monstrosity featuring row upon row of fruit machines, locally known as ‘Pokies’.

 

The only other ‘entertainment’ is often a nearby mall. These are usually generic enclosed shopping centres with foodcourts, situated just off the freeway and surrounded by massive tin-shed developments. Just like in the States, these places tend to become the focus for teenagers hanging out and skipping school. Because of their locations, they also help to fuel the car culture. People drive everywhere.

 

 

Trapped

 

People often say that Oz has the kind if laid back lifestyle they are after. The reason the lifestyle is ‘laidback’ is because very little actually happens in Australia. Perhaps compare life in Australia to being in a coma – sure enough its quite comfortable, but feck all happens.

 

The local music scene is ordinary at best (even requiring a local content quota on Australian radio). International acts often tag on gigs in Australia to the end of their world tours and bands only ever do proper world tours after they have really hit the big time. Really good up-and-coming acts rarely hit Aussie shores.

 

Big Day Out, the biggest music festival in Australia and New Zealand, is the antipathy of the what a proper festival is all about – free spirit, rebellion and having a kick ass time. The event is a one-day event finishing at the rather conservative time of midnight. Alcohol can only be consumed in specially designated areas. The event does draw some big names but typical of Australia it is safe, bland, boring.

 

When the bands do come, they come for a couple of weeks in January to play the Big Day Out franchise and a gig in each of the state capitals and then head home. In any other month of the year it is extremely difficult to see world class musicians down under.

 

The same goes for standup comedy. Granted, Melbourne has a comedy festival every April but outside of this, you will never get to see world class comics in Australia.

 

Between April and October the cultural calendar in Melbourne is empty apart from the AFL season. Winter in Melbourne is nowhere near as harsh as a UK winter but it does get cold, and wet, and windy. Because the seasons are back-to-front, there is no Halloween, Bonfire night, Christmas or New Year to brighten up the darker months.

 

Beyond the almost endless suburban sprawl, there is often nothing (bare the odd redneck town) for many, many hours drive. Melbourne and Sydney may look like next-door-neighbours on an atlas but they are roughly a 9-hour drive apart.

 

It is a strange thing that in this sparsely populated country which should feel more open, this geographic isolation actually makes you feel slightly trapped. If you get bored of Melbourne, its not that easy to just pop over to Sydney.

 

On a bigger scale, if you get bored of Australia or just want a holiday abroad even New Zealand is a four-hour flight away.

 

Melbourne and all the other Australian cities are nice enough in their own right. But you have to view them in context: both in terms of their location within Australia and Australia’s position in relation to the rest of the world.

 

 

Utopia?

 

Far from the utopian image that is often portrayed, Australia is not free from social ills – there is widespread gambling addiction (including a quarter of the world’s ‘Pokies’), a high crime rate (violent crime is more prevalent than in any other OECD nation) and rampant drug abuse (including a much higher use of heroin than any European nation).

 

The casino is seen as the evening of choice for many. Almost every night on the shock-docs or evening news, stories are run on gangland or outback murders. The only time I have ever seen someone injecting heroin into their arm was not in a parked car by the side of a city park in Glasgow, but in Australia.

 

Despite our moaning, Australia have poorer healthcare and education systems than we do – most middle class Australians have gone private. Medicare, to be frank, is a bureaucratic mess. Student debt and university funding is also in poorer shape with fewer Australians being able to afford higher education. Excluding the outback (where you can literally get away with murder), Nannystateism is taken to a higher level in Oz than Mr Blair could ever imagine.

 

 

 

The Alternative

 

Whilst not perfect, I believe the UK is a better home for me at this particular point in my life. There is so much I want to achieve in my career, things I want to experience and interesting places I want to go that Australia just can’t offer. It might be a great place for retirees wanting the quiet life, but it wasn't for me.

 

Simple things that I completely took for granted when I grew up in England I really began to miss on the other side of world – Sunday dinners, rolling green countryside, long summer evenings, trips to Europe whenever I wanted, cider, the buzz of discovering a cool new band, decent, thought-provoking TV that wasn’t peppered with adverts, driving through cute little villages, exploring historic towns, watching snow fall, conkers. Most of all, I missed those days in January when its freezing cold but there’s pure blue sky and everything is crisp and it tingles slightly when you breath.

 

The best thing about England is that it isn’t bland. It isn’t beige. It isn’t flat and suburban and dull. There may be things that I hate, but there are far more things that I love. Sometimes it is miserable but more often than not it is glorious. It is the highs and the lows. The past and the future. Love it, hate it. It is life at 100 miles per hour…. And for now, it is my home.

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Guest Missiemo
In May 2006 I moved back to the UK after 3 years living and working in Melbourne.

 

The main reason for the move was career-motivated but I also wanted to move back because, contrary to popular opinion, I actually prefer life in the UK. Let me start by saying I am in no way anti-Australia or anti-Australian. My girlfriend is Australian, some of my best friends are Australian, I had some very good times when I was in Australia. Having said that, every day I am grateful for my move home and am 100% happy with my decision.

 

It really annoys me that every time someone speaks to me about Oz they say ‘Don’t you miss it?’ ‘Why’d you come back?’ ‘You’re mad for moving back to rainy old England’

 

The truth is that most people base their opinion of Australia on one of the following – a) the stunning views of Sydney harbour and the Opera House; b) pleasant memories of watching Crocodile Dundee and/or Neighbours on the telly whilst growing up or c) if they’re lucky, a year-out bumming around on Bondi or the beaches of Queensland. People are really comparing their life in the UK to a surfy, bush-tucker stereotype rather than reality – so its, say, Manchester versus the Gold Coast, Liverpool versus the Whitsundays. People equate sunshine to happiness and therefore the grass appears much greener on the other side (of the world).

 

 

Suburbia

 

Sure, some people go to Australia and live the stereotype for real but the reality for the majority is vastly different from the beachy ideal. Over 90% of the Australian population don’t live on the beaches of Queensland but in one of 5 cities (despite preconceptions, their population is actually far more urbanised than ours). Due to virtually everyone living in bungalows and the Aussie dream of owning a quarter acre plot, the housing is extremely low density. This means that the suburbs stretch and stretch. In Melbourne’s case, suburbia stretches 40 or 50 miles from the CBD in literally every direction.

 

Even when there isn’t any traffic on the roads, the outer suburbs are often over an hour’s drive from the city. You might claim to live in Melbourne but very rarely venture into the city. Most of these suburbs have nothing. Literally nothing. For entertainment there may be a pub in the suburb - But not the charming local that most Brits are accustomed to. Because there aren’t many – often one pub per suburb – they are huge. They often aren’t just a pub like we know, but a tacky pub / casino / betting shop monstrosity featuring row upon row of fruit machines, locally known as ‘Pokies’.

 

The only other ‘entertainment’ is often a nearby mall. These are usually generic enclosed shopping centres with foodcourts, situated just off the freeway and surrounded by massive tin-shed developments. Just like in the States, these places tend to become the focus for teenagers hanging out and skipping school. Because of their locations, they also help to fuel the car culture. People drive everywhere.

 

 

Trapped

 

People often say that Oz has the kind if laid back lifestyle they are after. The reason the lifestyle is ‘laidback’ is because very little actually happens in Australia. Perhaps compare life in Australia to being in a coma – sure enough its quite comfortable, but feck all happens.

 

The local music scene is ordinary at best (even requiring a local content quota on Australian radio). International acts often tag on gigs in Australia to the end of their world tours and bands only ever do proper world tours after they have really hit the big time. Really good up-and-coming acts rarely hit Aussie shores.

 

Big Day Out, the biggest music festival in Australia and New Zealand, is the antipathy of the what a proper festival is all about – free spirit, rebellion and having a kick ass time. The event is a one-day event finishing at the rather conservative time of midnight. Alcohol can only be consumed in specially designated areas. The event does draw some big names but typical of Australia it is safe, bland, boring.

 

When the bands do come, they come for a couple of weeks in January to play the Big Day Out franchise and a gig in each of the state capitals and then head home. In any other month of the year it is extremely difficult to see world class musicians down under.

 

The same goes for standup comedy. Granted, Melbourne has a comedy festival every April but outside of this, you will never get to see world class comics in Australia.

 

Between April and October the cultural calendar in Melbourne is empty apart from the AFL season. Winter in Melbourne is nowhere near as harsh as a UK winter but it does get cold, and wet, and windy. Because the seasons are back-to-front, there is no Halloween, Bonfire night, Christmas or New Year to brighten up the darker months.

 

Beyond the almost endless suburban sprawl, there is often nothing (bare the odd redneck town) for many, many hours drive. Melbourne and Sydney may look like next-door-neighbours on an atlas but they are roughly a 9-hour drive apart.

 

It is a strange thing that in this sparsely populated country which should feel more open, this geographic isolation actually makes you feel slightly trapped. If you get bored of Melbourne, its not that easy to just pop over to Sydney.

 

On a bigger scale, if you get bored of Australia or just want a holiday abroad even New Zealand is a four-hour flight away.

 

Melbourne and all the other Australian cities are nice enough in their own right. But you have to view them in context: both in terms of their location within Australia and Australia’s position in relation to the rest of the world.

 

 

Utopia?

 

Far from the utopian image that is often portrayed, Australia is not free from social ills – there is widespread gambling addiction (including a quarter of the world’s ‘Pokies’), a high crime rate (violent crime is more prevalent than in any other OECD nation) and rampant drug abuse (including a much higher use of heroin than any European nation).

 

The casino is seen as the evening of choice for many. Almost every night on the shock-docs or evening news, stories are run on gangland or outback murders. The only time I have ever seen someone injecting heroin into their arm was not in a parked car by the side of a city park in Glasgow, but in Australia.

 

Despite our moaning, Australia have poorer healthcare and education systems than we do – most middle class Australians have gone private. Medicare, to be frank, is a bureaucratic mess. Student debt and university funding is also in poorer shape with fewer Australians being able to afford higher education. Excluding the outback (where you can literally get away with murder), Nannystateism is taken to a higher level in Oz than Mr Blair could ever imagine.

 

 

 

The Alternative

 

Whilst not perfect, I believe the UK is a better home for me at this particular point in my life. There is so much I want to achieve in my career, things I want to experience and interesting places I want to go that Australia just can’t offer. It might be a great place for retirees wanting the quiet life, but it wasn't for me.

 

Simple things that I completely took for granted when I grew up in England I really began to miss on the other side of world – Sunday dinners, rolling green countryside, long summer evenings, trips to Europe whenever I wanted, cider, the buzz of discovering a cool new band, decent, thought-provoking TV that wasn’t peppered with adverts, driving through cute little villages, exploring historic towns, watching snow fall, conkers. Most of all, I missed those days in January when its freezing cold but there’s pure blue sky and everything is crisp and it tingles slightly when you breath.

 

The best thing about England is that it isn’t bland. It isn’t beige. It isn’t flat and suburban and dull. There may be things that I hate, but there are far more things that I love. Sometimes it is miserable but more often than not it is glorious. It is the highs and the lows. The past and the future. Love it, hate it. It is life at 100 miles per hour…. And for now, it is my home.

 

Wow, Paul, great post, good on you!!!

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Guest leanneandmark

Excellent post, very thought provoking and well written, if i ever run an article about Australia in my magazine i might have to get you to write it.

 

Thanks

 

Leanne

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Great post Paul which will give people something to think about. I agree that Australia shouldn't be thought of as the 'great escape' from the Uk. No where is perfect and good on you for following your heart.

 

Ali


I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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Guest dwaldron

Sometimes you need to go away to appreciate what it is that you have. I'm on the other side of your coin insofar as I am an Australian who has been living in the UK for five years and I'm itching to go back, for a number of reasons:

 

- Crap public transport means that I need to allow an hour to get to work, even though it's less than 3 miles away.

 

- I am forced to see a GP in the area where I live, not where I work. All of them only work 9-5 so going to the GP entails taking an afternoon off.

 

- English country villages are adorable, but being stuck in traffic on motorways running at full capacity in order to get to one takes the shine off the day.

 

- Malls may not be the most pleasant place to shop, but my high street is half full of boarded up shops because of the huge Tesco nearby which is always jam-packed but I have to use it because it is the only viable place to shop.

 

- Long summer evenings are great but going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark can be quite depressing.

 

- Certainly where I live in Manchester it's impossible to live somewhere peaceful and clean unless I have a wheelbarrow full of money. Instead it's mini-motorbikes and fireworks being set off for 3 months of the year

 

- Heavy traffic all week long means it takes me an hour to get across Manchester anyway, so why not live further out and still take an hour to get somewhere?

 

- It's great having Europe on your doorstep but it's an effort and an expense to get to Asia and the Pacific - I can't wait to get to Fiji!

 

- On the few weekends of the year when it's viable to go to the beach it's impossible to find a quiet one and when you get there parking is a nightmare

 

I think wherever you go there are always bad points to everything, but it's all about being in the place that's right for you at your point in life. We spend a lot of time at home so we're quite happy having an hour on the train to work each way in exchange for being able to have an acre of bushland in the Dandenongs with breathtaking views and a huge deck to read the Sunday paper in the sunshine.

 

On a side note, and this is probably one thing that is on a lot of people's minds, how did you go with getting back onto the UK property ladder when you returned?

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Guest Nelson

Just out of interest, Paul.. I wondered if you had children? I agree with your post entirely. It was well balanced and certainly gave me something to think about on my way to work.

 

In order to make the move to Oz in the first place, I spent several months convincing myself that the U.K. was going down the pan. It just made the transition that much easier and, of course, the honeymoon period in Australia does linger, even after reality kicks in!

 

Having lived on four different continents and in more countries than I can count quickly, Melbourne living takes some beating for me. However, my eldest daughter chose to remain in U.K. and, even after visiting for the first time at Christmas, she was as keen as ever to get back to Newcastle where she is at Uni. It was very hard to leave her behind but I also don't think there is much happening for young adults in particular.

 

I'm also glad that we travelled extensively throughout Great Britain and Europe, Middle and Far East, Africa and America before we came here because I can't see us doing that again in a hurry as Australia seems to be a little world of it's own!

 

Maybe I'm mellowing in my old age or just losing my wanderlust but I wouldn't return to the U.K. even if someone paid to relocate us and put us exactly back as we were when we left (we had a good life, by anybody's standards!). We have exchanged our U.K. life for something much more simple, humble and anonymous here and, for now at least, that's exactly how I want to keep it! :)

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Guest heather&mick

Paul.

Very interesting piece - We (me, husband and two kids) moved here in December 2006 and are in surburbia outside of Brisbane - never dreamed I would live in surburbia - it would have been my worst nightmare in previous years! I can identify with your sentiments and, at the moment, we are thinking fondly of Ireland - where we left a fairly good life but we have said we will give ourselves 2 years and then if it is not what we had hoped then return to Ireland. We originally spent a year in Oz in our early 20's -travelling the country in a group of 7 - which was fantastic -the beauty of youth and feeling invincible and having a lot of freedom to visit all the beautiful places in Oz - but that was not reality. I think money must help (as anywhere) if you have the money to stay clear of the surburban sprawl and buy a property by the sea and fly to the Whitsundays for a weekend - ahhh - dream....

Yep - do miss conkers, the seasons, long summer evenings, BBC, Channel 4, decent radio stations, walking on a long empty beach all wrapped up - but Oz has fantastic qualities -I think it's the familiarity and sense of security I miss most of all and it's very easy for me to cling on to that.

Heather

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Guest Dave53

Thanks for posting such an honest and thought provoking piece .. You had the bravery to show the other side of the coin . All too often , all we ever read about are the good points . The not so good are always conveniently forgotten . It is true ,the perfect country does not exist , there are good and bad in all .At the end of the day , home is where the heart is . It may have raging inflation , rotten weather etc . but it's still home ..

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Guest Missiemo
Thanks for posting such an honest and thought provoking piece .. You had the bravery to show the other side of the coin . All too often , all we ever read about are the good points . The not so good are always conveniently forgotten . It is true ,the perfect country does not exist , there are good and bad in all .At the end of the day , home is where the heart is . It may have raging inflation , rotten weather etc . but it's still home ..

 

Good Post as well Dave, I always thought before arriving that Oz was perfect but it is far from it, although we now live here we slowly keep coming across things that either upset me or make me mad, but then saying that several things about the Uk either made me sad or mad.

We have made a family decision to give this new life two years, at least at the end of it if we have not settled at least we can say we gave it a go, and offered our children an insight of life in Oz, and several oppotuneties my parents where never able to offer me.

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Guest Dave53

Thats the philosophy that we adopted . However we have been here 19 yrs now , and I am still torn between the UK and Aus . I'm not sure if Aussie will ever feel like home . It's a bit sad really .

 

Dave

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Guest Hayley370

Wow! How thought provoking that little lot is!!!!!!

 

I think it basically comes down to what is important to you and your family. What is one persons ideal, is another persons hell! I also think it depends on whether you have children or not. WE have done it for the family lifestyle and the outdoor lifestyle. We also feel that we have more oppurtunities here as well as the children. But even after 3 months there are things I know I will definately miss and my husband is desperate for a decent pint of beer, not a schooner of lager!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Dave53, you have made me feel sad! Do you still want to stay in Australia? Do you have a love/hate relationship with both?

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Guest Missiemo

I think Dave's reply is spot on, I may only have been here eight months but I will always call England home and think I will always been torn between the two.

 

I sat on a beach last night and got talking to an Australian, who is about to travel to the Uk (work related) and when I asked him if he was looking forward to it his reply was ( are you joking I hate the place it is the scum of the earth ) nice people these Australian's :(

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Guest IanL

Good post and pretty much spot on. I used to post here a bit, but realised my posts were pretty negative. Been here 18yrs and really itching to go back. After a false start last year we are planning on going back in 08 and hopefully start a family in the UK.

 

I had a few replies mostly from people who had either just arrived or not here yet basically saying that won't happen to them and how they couldn't wait to get out of 'Rip off Britain'.

 

I'm glad to see that some folks have had the courage to tell of their experiences and the spirit in which those posts have been received. For some it works, for some it doesn't, but don't think you're automatically immune from it.

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I don't think any of us really know if we're going to settle or not - you can't live in one country (in our case for 40) years and forget all about it. I think it's important that people post what their experiences have been, and that it's accepted as such, not that people are trying to burst bubbles, or put people coming, but I used to enjoy reading your posts Ian as it made sure that I didn't come over with rose coloured glasses and I felt I got a good idea of some of the things to expect.

 

Welcome back

Ali


I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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Guest Missiemo
Good post and pretty much spot on. I used to post here a bit, but realised my posts were pretty negative. Been here 18yrs and really itching to go back. After a false start last year we are planning on going back in 08 and hopefully start a family in the UK.

 

I had a few replies mostly from people who had either just arrived or not here yet basically saying that won't happen to them and how they couldn't wait to get out of 'Rip off Britain'.

 

I'm glad to see that some folks have had the courage to tell of their experiences and the spirit in which those posts have been received. For some it works, for some it doesn't, but don't think you're automatically immune from it.

 

Hi Ian

 

Glad your plans are now coming together, hope you enjoy your trip back to the Uk.

Do you think you will come back to Oz.

Take Care

 

Mo

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Guest IanL
Good post and pretty much spot on. I used to post here a bit, but realised my posts were pretty negative. Been here 18yrs and really itching to go back. After a false start last year we are planning on going back in 08 and hopefully start a family in the UK.

 

I had a few replies mostly from people who had either just arrived or not here yet basically saying that won't happen to them and how they couldn't wait to get out of 'Rip off Britain'.

 

I'm glad to see that some folks have had the courage to tell of their experiences and the spirit in which those posts have been received. For some it works, for some it doesn't, but don't think you're automatically immune from it.

 

Hi Ian

 

Glad your plans are now coming together, hope you enjoy your trip back to the Uk.

Do you think you will come back to Oz.

Take Care

 

Mo

 

Hi Mo,

 

Well it's not definite yet, we have some hurdles to overcome before we can defintely do it but we'll try. As for coming, no defnitely not, I've had a rough trot here with a few things (financial, health, two operations etc) things are better now, but I said to my wife 'if we leave I'll never return', and she accepts that. What we must make sure is that we are able to move on somewhere else after the UK as I can't really see us retiring there but by then my wife should be a UK citizen.

 

But it has to make financial sense, and as much as I don't like it here, there are two of us to consider. We've worked that by this time next year we could pretty much buy a house for cash in somewhere like Geelong as we've been saving very well, and all i've ever done is live in Sydney, so we'll see. \\One thing I do know that it's extremely hard to strike a balance where everyone is happy in a mixed culture marriage.

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Guest Dave53
Wow! How thought provoking that little lot is!!!!!!

 

 

Dave53, you have made me feel sad! Do you still want to stay in Australia? Do you have a love/hate relationship with both?

 

Hayley ,

I'm sorry , I certainly don't want to make you feel sad . I also don't have a love / hate relationship with either country , both have their merits and downfalls . My wife and I feel at home in both countries , as we travel beween the two quite regularly , I suppose that would be normal . We have the benefit of "being in the middle " I guess . But be wise to the fact that your outlook and responsibilities will change over time , especially as your own children grow older and if like me your parents age and become infirm and are still in England . I will go wherever my needs are greatest , whether it be OZ or England . The rose coloured glasses have dimmed significantly over the years , and the tunnel vision has gone . It does bother me though when I read of potential migrants , who visualise Australia as the land of milk and honey , it certainly is not ..

 

Dave

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Guest Missiemo
Wow! How thought provoking that little lot is!!!!!!

 

 

Dave53, you have made me feel sad! Do you still want to stay in Australia? Do you have a love/hate relationship with both?

 

Hayley ,

I'm sorry , I certainly don't want to make you feel sad . I also don't have a love / hate relationship with either country , both have their merits and downfalls . My wife and I feel at home in both countries , as we travel beween the two quite regularly , I suppose that would be normal . We have the benefit of "being in the middle " I guess . But be wise to the fact that your outlook and responsibilities will change over time , especially as your own children grow older and if like me your parents age and become infirm and are still in England . I will go wherever my needs are greatest , whether it be OZ or England . The rose coloured glasses have dimmed significantly over the years , and the tunnel vision has gone . It does bother me though when I read of potential migrants , who visualise Australia as the land of milk and honey , it certainly is not ..

 

Dave

 

Hi Dave

 

I was one of those migrant's who visualised Oz as milk and honey, and I agree it is not perfect, it is what you make it, I miss England quite a lot but I am prepared to give this a fair go for my children's sake at least.

There are things I did and did not like about the Uk, there is also things I like and dislike about Australia.

 

But chins up look forward and keep the stiff british upper lip, we are british and bloody proud, weather we are wanted here or not.

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Guest cosworth123

Just like to say how thought provoking it has been to read all your posts, certainly tugs at the heart strings. I lived in melbourne for 7 years, i went out when i was just 18 i soon after married an aussie, had two children and unfortunately it took me seven years to realise how unhappy i was with this person, obviously i wont go into detail of how bad things were, but the sad part was i had to leave my children behind, i was at the point of a nervous breakdown. I returned to the uk not long after met a wonderful man whom i now have three children with and yes, i cant beleive i am going back to melbourne with my new family in just a couple of months time to live. I have a great mixture of emotions, i left in awful circumstances all those years ago, dont get me wrong there were times that were good in the 7 years i lived there, but deep down i always missed england and my family here, i am now going back to oz but in totally different circumstances this time round, i am with a man who loves me very much and will take care of me, i have had my reservations about going back, but it is something my new husband has always wanted to do, try life down under, also, it means of course i get to be with my now grown up children in australia and be a part of their lives again, what better reason to go, fingers crossed it will all work out as we hope it will, tho i know deep down apart from anything else i will always miss the uk and the family i leave behind here, this site is absolutely fantastic tho for reading all your experiences, it really has helped with any doubts or thoughts that go through my mind that i am not alone.

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Guest nj

Very good thread... Refreshing to see the fly in the ointment, so to speak. Very well put across too Paul. I think it comes down to what stage you are at in your life and what you want from it to where in the world suits you.

 

As a kid and well up into my late 20s I always wanted to live in America, the TV shows, lifestyle and cut-throat career suited me in those years. However since my mid 20s I've started a family and have struggled to earn a living despite becoming degree educated I still struggle as I'm watching what I thought would be a good career flush down the UK toilet because of bad government decisions. And once our great leaders bring in charging per mile coupled with unaffordable (decent) housing, I will be forced out of work as it will cost more to get to work than I get paid. I've also watched the crappy lifestyle my kids have had in todays Britain, not the Britain I grew up in 30 odd years ago. The suffering they've endured because of the way Britain is now, not the way it used to be. These kids are almost the age of leaving school, we also have a 19 month old daughter, it really horrifies me to think of the trend that things are going, the future she will have in Britain... if she'll have a future at all. I also now see that American career and lifestyle doesnt suit me at this age.

 

I know things aren't perfect anywhere. But when you've struggled to claw your way out the gutter only to find the gutter is massive and its only your perpective that changes then if you have the vision to see that to put things right here would require a dictatorship and hard rule with the goal of improving, as it used to be and that it would never happen, then you feel you can no longer live here.

 

I've looked globally for somewhere that matches what I'm after without having to compromise our own identity, Australia came top of the list, there are others I'll consider if we find Australia doesnt suit, but I would need a VERY good reason to come back to Britain. Too many bad experiences...

 

...think I'll go back to bed. :(

Sorry for the negative post guys... I'm a grumpy old man today... :(

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Guest Dave53

Missiemo ,

Ha Ha .... Like your attitude :lol: . And what a great win in the cricket last night too .. :)

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Guest Hayley370

Hi nj, I don't think your post was negative at all and I enjoyed reading it.

 

I think the 'stage in your life' issue hits right to the crux of the matter. We also pretty much looked the world over to find where would suit or families needs best. After a very long time, concluded that Australia would be it. We resigned to the fact that If we don't like it we can always try somewhere else, but to be honest I don't think that's likely.

 

What we have seen so far ticks every box for us and have to say we love this place. I have to say hubby earns a fair wage, we have an ok house (no pool or air con), and ok car, we have enough to live on each week just, we probably won't be able to afford our own house for about 18 months to 2 years. But we are looking at the big picture in years to come, when the children are at school and I am back to work, and we again have money, we are thinking about what we will strive to achieve in 5/10 years time. One thing I will most certainly say is we stand a much greter chance in achieving what we want here than in the UK.

 

So materialistically, at the moment, we certainly aren't living the dream, however oh contrare! we think we are, we certainly are not any better off financially, if anything probably a little bit worse off, but as a family we are so much happier, seeing the wonderful things our children can do and experience, in the bright and the sunshine surrounded by laughter and happiness. And please don't think I am some simple easily pleased bored housewife because I am everything but that! Plainly we are HAPPY! and delighted we made the move!

 

I completely respect other peoples views and how they feel about England. But I am just so pleased in the knowledge that both my children are going to grow up here. I miss my friends and family but I have to say that is it. And if there are any little things we miss, I am sure we will get our fix when we go back on holiday in August.

 

So please nobody get offended by my comments and before any one says I am not wearing tinted glasses of any particular colour, I am not living in a dreamworld i just wanted to tell you how I feel and show the other side of the coin as well.

 

I don't know what the statistics are but we should all probably remember that out of all that emmigrate some will suceed some won't and there are no hard and fast rules as to why, it's just the way it is. We all just need to work out what we want, where we want to be and how we can do it. The last thing if your hearts not in it, don't do it! Your probably doomed from the start. On that very positive???? note I shall end!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

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Guest Missiemo
Missiemo ,

Ha Ha .... Like your attitude :lol: . And what a great win in the cricket last night too .. :)

 

thanks Dave, how's life in Sydney, cricket: we won shout from the roof tops :lol:

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Guest Carrie

Hi

 

It always makes me smile when I see people write that they are giving it 2 years and then if they haven't settled.........

My husband and I have been here over 2 years and keep extending our 'trial period'!!!

We like it here but we don't. We like England but we don't. We think it's about balance. There are positive and negative aspects of everywhere, but you have to ask yourself which holds the most weight.

 

Caroline

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Guest Pasty

Well said Caroline

 

It is about your own perspective of things. What you want and need out of live will determine where you live and work. There are great things about the UK and Australia but there are also some bad things about both.

 

It's what you want for you and your family and how willing you are to adapt to change.

 

We came here for the better livestyle for our kids and having been here 5 months, I think we have it. Life is not perfect, we are financially worse off but we have a better house, car, lifestyle, etc so we are willing to put up with the money situation.

 

It's all about personal choice at the end of the day. Australia is not the perfect place to live but it's very good. I miss family and friends but have made new friends and family will come to visit. Life carries on!

 

No offence to anyone cos this is just my view of things.

 

Jackie

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