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Moving to Australia was something I’d been thinking about for 10 years. I first visited Australia when I went travelling after University. I did the usual backpacking journey, lived out of a campervan, and had not a care in the world. It was a truly ‘awesome’ Aussie experience. But I always wondered if living in Australia with normal responsibilities would be as carefree. Would the grass really be greener on the other side? The good news is – it worked out better than I could ever of imagined.

And that’s why I launched this website. To motivate and inspire others who have the same thoughts, niggles, and dreams about a life down under!

Why did we decide to make the move?

Like many, we were fed up of the British weather. Bored of weekends spent trawling around shops, being stuck in traffic jams for hours, the daily grind taking priority, dreading Monday mornings, and you know the rest.

I’m not saying England is a terrible place. I love so many things about it; the countryside, the people, the culture, my parents, the magic at Christmas, and of course, the old English country pubs. But the country wasn’t making us happy any more. We just believed that there was something out there that would bring us more joy. So we agreed that if we were still moaning about life in two years, we would apply for a visa to move to Australia.

How it all unfolded

You guessed it – two years later we were still moaning (I totally get the saying ‘whinging pom’ – we did it so well). And if you’re not happy about something you have to change something right?

We applied for our visa and got it!!!!!! More about this another time.

So our visa was in the bag. But, we had settled into our newly renovated home with a one year old daughter. We had no jobs to go to down under, and had no idea where we would even live. There was a lot to organise!

Then one Sunday at my parent’s house, we were sat at the table having our traditional roast dinner – when after one too many glasses of vino we agreed it would be a great idea to book flights to New Zealand (where my mum is from), and then onto Australia to find our new life. So we did…..eeeeek! In hindsight this was probably a bit silly, as we still needed to sell our house. The pressure was on! Fortunately the house sold (even during a recession). We didn’t get the price we wanted – but to be honest, the move was never about money – quite the opposite.

We had to give our cat away (sad face) as we didn’t feel comfortable about putting him in a cattery for such a long period of time. Our wonderful neighbours took him in (we still miss him a lot).

 

So that was it. The move was on. The shipping company came and packed our belongings. I’ll never forget them wrapping my bodyboard ready for the big move. I took a picture (a terrible one) which still makes me giggle, as it just seemed so exciting that finally I’d be able to use the thing more than once a year!

We arrived at Heathrow. It was really happening.

Our first stop was NZ with my parents. At the time they had decided to move from the UK also. They planned to live in NZ so we would be closer.  Sadly my Dad was not well when they returned, and they still live in the UK. I miss and love them dearly, but don’t regret the positive move for our little family. My parents visit each year which makes it all the more bearable.

We had 8 weeks in NZ with my parents. Then we flew on to Australia alone. Things became very real. The holiday was over. Reality kicked in. We were on a mission to find a place to call home.

Hotel rooms were expensive. The novelty of moving around with a toddler had worn off. I started to feel like Alan Partridge (something probably only the English will understand). We were ready to settle. We had a few moments of ‘what the hell are we doing’ – but we were not ready to give up.

Whilst staying with a relative who kindly took us in, a local organisation found me on LinkedIn and asked me to do some consulting work for them. The location was close to Byron Bay – somewhere I fell in love with whilst travelling.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would be able to live and work in the Byron Bay region. We just imagined we would need to be in the city where salaries were higher and jobs were more readily available. I think this was probably our biggest blessing in disguise. We wanted out of the hustle and bustle. We wanted ‘Home & Away’ on the beach style living. And that’s exactly what we got, and more.

Our new life

One consulting role led to another – I set up a small marketing agency (which has now grown into a full scale marketing and web design agency working in partnership with my hubby). We got our daughter into the most amazing pre-school. She has just started school and we are so impressed by the education system and options we have locally.

  • The sun shines most of the time
  • We see dolphins every day
  • The whales migrate from May through till November. 20,000 go past our doorstep. It’s incredible
  • We go to the shops bare foot (sounds yucky but it’s very normal here)
  • We learned to surf (something I never thought possible)
  • We live a healthy fun life that feels like a dream every single day.

 

Honestly, I still can’t believe this is our life. I miss the UK less and less. I feel proud to live in Australia and I hope one day to become a citizen. The only thing I would change… is for my parents to be here with us. But sometimes these things just don’t go to plan – which is why we need to make the most of every day and every dream we have.

I am so happy that my child will grow up here, that the emphasis on our life is being together and experiencing what the world has to offer, and I’m immensely thankful for the laid back and positive people we have become such good friends with.

In Australia the concept of ‘give it a go’ has never been truer. People want to ‘give you a go’, and for this reason – you can set your own goals and head towards them with a real chance of making a success (no matter what ‘success’ looks like for you – I’m not referring to money here).

The ‘what ifs’

A lot of friends from the UK said they couldn’t believe we came to Australia with no jobs or home to go to. Many said they’d love to do the same, but were afraid of one thing or another.

They worry about the ‘what ifs’. What if I can’t get a job? What if I miss my family? What if the kids aren’t happy? What if I don’t make enough money? What if it’s too expensive?

My answer to this is….what if you die tomorrow? Did you do everything you wanted to? Did you give your dreams a real shot? Or did you let fear and money dictate your happiness? Sadly money is something that we Brits are far too controlled and restricted by. In the UK, these fears all felt totally justified and warranted. It’s only since moving to a country with a different emphasis on life that I can see this.

My biggest learning curve since moving here has been about money. I have earned less than ever. My husband and I both had well paid jobs back home. For the first few years here we really had no disposable income to mention (we didn’t need it to enjoy the beach). A lot of people are aware that housing and food is not cheap here. But honestly, we have never felt richer. It’s all relative. For a start we have no heating bills! We live in a gorgeous surf town. Our weekends are free!!!! We simply step outside and have the time of our lives. There is always something fun to do together. I feel like a millionaire – but I’m far from it.

Taking the leap

 

I won’t go on any more. But what I will say is this. We have met so many people who have made the move – and there are very few who regret it (in fact I can’t think of any). Yes, we miss our family. But life has become more fulfilling in general. It wasn’t easy at times. But totally worth every bit of effort.

If you have the motivation and the dream, then you can make a success of anything. Your dream can become a reality just like it has for us. So if you’re feeling the pull of Australia – then why not ‘give it a go’ in true Aussie style. You can always go back. But if you don’t try it – you’ll never know what could have been.

 

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12 Responses
  1. Becky

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading this, so inspiring! After living in Australia for a year on a working holiday visa, my partner and I have missed it ever since moving back to the UK. We hope to one day move back to Australia!

    Byron bay is so beautiful too! ☺

    1. Take Me To Australia

      Aww thank you Becky. That’s really lovely to hear. I hope that it inspires others to follow their dreams. Keep me posted on your plans/move and stay in touch. Have a lovely weekend.

    2. Maxine

      I have only just come across your blog from following you on FB. I too have this dream and fed up of life back here in the UK and my biggest issue is the balance and feel like I’m living just to get to pay day every month then it’s like 5 steps back again as it soons goes ! Im surrounded my family but the leap doesnt bother me not seeing them as if put my lfe on hold i wouldnt live it to.its fullest! I’ve researched perth and I’m a very keen to.take the plunge but my.only concern is what it all costs for visas shipping and a safety net amount in case you don’t find anything job wise straight away. Can you a advise me a rough figure on what these sort of things cost and what u need when u arrive?

      Now I’m a following you I looks forwards to you next blog and daily posts! Xxx

      1. Take Me To Australia

        Hi Becky, many thanks for your message and it sounds like you are determined to make the move. How exciting! In terms of costs, the major considerations are visas and shipping as you mentioned. Not forgetting flights. Shipping for us cost a few thousand pounds which we thought was quite reasonable as it was much cheaper than buying brand new furniture all over again. We only brought the things we loved with us/or that cost a lot to purchase in the first place e.g. a beautiful solid pine table and our beds. We also found it helped us to settle when our own belongings arrived. We had to put them into storage (the shipping company also offered this service) in the UK for 6 months until we knew where we were settling. Then we got them shipped out here. The best thing to do is just get a quote from several companies in the UK. Then work out whether it’s more cost effective to take your belongings or buy them all again. It is harder to buy solid wooden or antique furniture here, so if you have any pieces you love then it may be worth shipping. If you’re not that attached to things then it may be worth selling them and starting again. Just ship the sentimental things you own. I personally found shipping was very cost effective for us. Things are pretty cheap to buy here though so don’t feel like it is something worth loosing sleep about. Visa costs depend heavily on which visa you apply for. Again, you would need to either go onto the official websites for the latest fees or speak with a migration agent. Our visa was very cheap because we applied for a NZ family relationship visa for my daughter and husband. I have dual citizenship with the UK and NZ so it was slightly easier to find a suitable route. When you get here you can of course do things on a budget. You can stay in hostels or hotels. Or even camp. We made our first few months a bit of an adventure and took time out to holiday. But if budget doesn’t allow then you can perhaps find suitable accommodation and then job hunt. You may even want to look into house sitting or nannying where you live in a house in return for helping out with a family e.g. jobs around the house and helping with children etc. Depending on what type of work you want I believe it is always possible to get a job. There are plenty of jobs out there, and if you are happy to be flexible you will find something in no time. But I’m not sure which type of visa you are hoping to apply for. This will of course impact on whether you can come out here without a job or not. I wish you all the best and please keep us posted. I’d love to hear how you progress. Just shout if you have any other questions.

  2. Loie

    You have been inspiring me through Instagram daily (@loieslife), in fact we have even been in contact regarding making the move before. I just wanted to tell you how great your website is! We sat down last night to plan our move and we have just woken up and I came here to see if your site had launched! After reading your story we both agreed with all of your points you confirmed everything we feel! I’m so excited, a little scared but I’m ready to get this dream on the road.

    1. Take Me To Australia

      Hi Loie, your message made my day. This is exactly why I started this. How exciting that you are moving forward with your dream. Please keep us posted with your journey – I’d love to hear all about it. And stay in touch if you have any questions. Here’s to an amazing future. I’m sure you are going to have wonderful times ahead of you.

  3. Jacqui

    Thank you for such an inspiring post. I fell in love with Australia over two trips there over ten years ago while visiting relatives and have wanted to move ever since. I think family has always been my issue – they didn’t take it well when I first mentioned a move and as I was young at the time I think I allowed myself to be guilt tripped into not going. I’ve not been back since and miss it dearly. Since then in the UK I’ve met my fiance and we have a beautiful five year old daughter but Oz has never left my thoughts. I feel it’s somewhere I’m meant to be, and my partner is open to the idea though he has never been so we are planning to visit there next year. I know both of our families won’t really like the idea at all and I guess it’s harder now with our daughter and taking their granddaughter away etc, but I’m aware of the years passing by and I guess you can’t make everyone happy. I think we’re ready for a new challenge!

    1. Take Me To Australia

      Thanks for your lovely comment Jacqui. It’s so hard with family. We also left with a young child. She was one at the time and my husband had never been to Australia either. So it was a real leap of faith. But I’m typing this reply from our balcony – the sun is shining – I’ve been up early and down at the beach – my daughter just went off on an excursion to a beautiful part of this region. I feel so lucky. My parents visit this weekend coming (for 5 weeks). The hardest part is that they are away from our daughter – but skype means she talks to them all the time and knows them so well. I would absolutely encourage you to give it a go. You can always go back. But living with the regret of never trying is much harder I imagine. Stay in touch and let me know how it all goes x

    1. Take Me To Australia

      Have a wonderful trip Rachael. Keep your eye on the blog as I will be posting a lot of info based on our experience. Let us know how you get on and enjoy every minute.

  4. Jacqui

    Thank you so much for your response and words of encouragement! We are definitely looking at a holiday there soon, and with each passing day it feels more and more like the right thing, even with the bad side of not seeing family etc. I’ve even recently noticed that my job (I’m self-employed) is now on the skills list, so if that’s not a sign I’m not sure what is!

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Welcome from the Editor

 

Welcome along. I’m Clare, Editor of Take Me To Australia. Having moved to Australia six years ago, I made it my mission to learn more about this epic country we now call home. As we travel across the country to unique destinations, we share with fresh eyes the most extraordinary places we are lucky enough to experience. We aim to inspire others to follow in our footsteps, explore what Australia has to offer, and even encourage people further afield to make a similar move.  We’ve grown a like-minded community of over 100,000 people. Be sure to join them by signing up to receive all the latest inspo, and connecting with us on Instagram and Facebook. See you soon.

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