Back to Aus?
Should I stay or should I go?
I lived in Sydney between 1999 and 2002 where I became a citizen, then following redundancy and a desire to put my life in order returned to the UK. I have regretted it ever since and am now desperate to return. So what's stopping me?
I moved to Aus after throwing in my career as a stressed and underpaid London teacher. Having spent the previous 18 months retraining as a web designer and arriving in Aus with just £500, I found myself in work within a week of arriving and soon settled into the Manly beach lifestyle and considerably lowered stress levels and improved health.
But at aged 40 I had outgrown the back packer scene I ended up in and wanting more of a career, property investment and family, thought a stint back in Blighty might work before returning to Aus permanently. It did, sort of.
I am now very happily married, own two properties worth about the same as what I paid for them 8 years ago and am carrying the all too common personal debt burden. My career has moved on and I am now a highly paid contract ecommerce project manager. I also just turned 50!
I reckon that within 18 months I'll have cleared the debt, have off loaded one of the properties, the other becoming a rental safe harbour if it doesn't work out in Aus second time around and should have about £50k for the move back to Aus.
My wife, who is 13 years younger and a senior nurse but not eligible to work in Aus until her language skills improve (to an impossible IELTS level 7) is also keen to go. But whereas such a move would have been easy for me in my youth, it now just feels altogether more risky.
Firstly, can I find the work and will it last? I know IT project management is in demand in Aus, but then there are significant age barriers and I believe Aus to be far worse than the UK in this respect. My trick has always been not to let on about my age and work as contractor. I am generally thought to be a good ten years younger by people who don't know me.
Secondly, is there any hope of setting up a mortgage with AU$60K at 52 years of age? Australian house prices look as scary as the UK these days.
Despite my profession, I am actually a risk taker at heart having moved between jobs, lived and worked around the world and benefitted from that spirit of adventure and enterprise. I believe my sense of adventure, hard work and flexibility would see us through a second time in Aus, but the psychological barriers are different this time. Or are they?
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