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Five Years On …

Five Years On …

Well! It is five years since we left the UK for Australia. Leaving all our family behind on both sides, we took this adventure on with open eyes. Although I believe that having extended family here in Australia gave us an advantage (even though a small one) on making this move successful. My Husband and I came over with our 3 children, who were 6, 10 and 12 at the time.

Well! It is five years since we left the UK for Australia. Leaving all our family behind on both sides, we took this adventure on with open eyes. Although I believe that having extended family here in Australia gave us an advantage (even though a small one) on making this move successful.

My Husband and I came over with our 3 children, who were 6, 10 and 12 at the time. We were fortunate to have a sponsored 457 visa which was quickly changed to a sponsored Permanent visa after arrival, which allowed us to feel a little more secure if things went wrong.

It took us six months to sell our house in the UK, and finally it went through two weeks after the global financial crisis started in 2008, so over those two weeks we saw the exchange rate plummet, and thereby the proceeds from our house sale decreased in value, meaning it was time to re-evaluate the house we would be buying in Australia.

Our move over here was not a smooth one. My family were against it and it's only now that positive communications are only just beginning. On the in -law side, we had visits from them every year for the past four years, however, last year my Hubby's dad was diagnosed with Mesothelioma and given 9-15 months to live. Unfortunately we had "the call" that every expat dreads last August, which resulted in a mercy dash to the UK for last goodbyes. It was a very close, but my hubby was able to speak to his dad until he passed away only nine hours after he arrived there.

Our intentions? Well we don't really discuss it, we are staying, the children are settled well into school and have thrived in the schooling system (past 2 years in Private). I have a job which I love, even if it it does mean I work in one of the lowest socio-economic areas of Brisbane. My hubby still works long hours 60% of the time, thats just his job. Life is still busy, chaotic, ups and downs, squeezing in holidays amongst work, school trips, sports and all the other things that seem to get in the way, but we know we are in a much more settled, content and happier situation that we would be back in the UK.

Australia Day we became citizens, placing the final piece in the puzzle.

I still have moments now where I will want to get something for the house or arrange something and I am not sure how this happens, so it may take a little more investigation and research, but thats okay.

Shopping, well Australian Ladies clothes are shocking and I search for the European brands, which are few and far between, especially here in Brisbane, so I now shop from the UK and have them shipped here, which solves my problems and they are cheaper. Food, well that has taken a sort of trial and error. Supermarkets in my area of Brisbane are very basic, and even though the area is hugely diverse in culture, the food diversity is limited. I can shop very cheaply using the local veggie shop and butcher and local Aldi, and only visit Woollies or Coles for a few items. I will say that all processed foods products are very expensive, much more so than the UK, but as I cook most of my dinners, foods from scratch, we eat well on a small budget. I have a teenage boy to feed so keeping him full requires adaptation and imagination.

I suppose what I want to say is – you need to give it a good two years or more for you to really adjust to the move.

If you are needing advice, by all means ask away in the forum, however, keep a very open mind as everyone has different views and different opinions on the topic, but you are the only one who can make the decision, and remember life has no certainty, other than death and taxes.

I know when we were in the processes of moving to Australia I was always in search of information, so hopefully this gives a little insight into how things have worked for us emigrating.

BritishExpats Member "williamandruby"