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Old Oct 12th 2004, 1:29 pm   #1
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Default Rab's Story

I can and will probably give as realistic an opinion as you are likely to hear. And I’ll start by saying that moving from the UK to Australia is a tough game, tougher than you could imagine when you make your first enquiry.

I'll be honest too and say that with absolutely everything going for me I have found it an awful upheaval like you just wouldn’t expect.

For lots of British people Australia is the ultimate Mecca - sunshine, barbecues, sea, and laid-back lifestyle. All that is here for sure but you need to build a foundation upon which to enjoy those things.

You see in the UK I had a good job on whatever plus salary plus bonuses and car, health scheme etc, paying a fortune in tax but enjoying the job managing a business in Manchester and Leeds. I had a beautiful house in Lancashire, a happy marriage, lovely quiet life in the hills, with the Lake District 45 minutes away, Liverpool the same distance.

My wife is Australian we married in 2000 in Adelaide and she had lived with me in the UK since 1998. Every time we came to Aus we fancied giving it a go - the cheap house prices were an amazing attraction, especially in Adelaide.

The giving up of work and setting off was the easy bit, all the forms, security tests, health checks etc were just part of it. We even brought the cat.

When we got here, especially for me as a Brit there seemed to be so much missing. My wife Mary started work at the university here and got straight into applying for work as she is 28 and keen and still needs to prove herself. I wanted a bit of a break after 16 years with the same firm.

After eight months I had no job still, no house, we had a nightmare selling our house in the UK - it only sold in June this year after going on the market in July last year.

I think May was my lowest point before we found a buyer for the house in the Britain. I wrote this in my diary: -

“We just need a chance to make everything work again.

“I went to the storage unit and unpacked three boxes today and when I did so I unpacked neatly wrapped drill bits, clean tools, clean tool boxes, loads of things wrapped in cling film and cardboard. All those things were like our new life all ready to go, all sorted out, all going to be right.

“I think Australia will continue to be foreign until we lay down some proper roots ... even then there are many things about Aus which I think will stay strange.

“With Mary though I think I will be happy here even when things are frustrating. It’s almost like our trip to India but with India you know it’s going to be difficult – with Australia I never expected it.

“We have not got off to the best start. I have found it hard … very hard. And it’s punched me on the chin like I never expected. I opened those wrapped tools today. I opened the plastic film, I opened the cardboard, slit the tape with my knife. And every thing I unwrapped was like a part of me being freed here. I know it sounds stupid. It is stupid.

“But when I went through those things today I felt those same emotions as when I wrapped them.

“And I think that will help.�


As for living here there is a lot to see, a lot of sport going on. But I am 40 and set in my ways a bit and have found it hard adapting.

I didn't apply for work as I wanted a break – but then I wished I had as I got quite bored in the winter. Not that I am not energetic - I always got up early every day and was always busy - but sometimes it is hard being without the money we had before. I applied for about 12 jobs and had three interviews which all went well but I have a sneaking feeling they think foreigners are a gamble and I bet in each case the Australian got the job.

I hate the sport here - all Aussie Rules, and no proper football coverage on TV. The TV is shocking - all ads and no quality. There is so much red tape here – you need to hire an electrician to wire a plug! I hate the pubs and places to go they are so awful – gambling machines like you’ve never seen before, so smoky just simply horrendous.

I thought it would be a lot like Britain – but there it is very different. I hated the traffic and the prices of everything in “rip-off Britain� but this winter in Adelaide and for many reasons I would have gone back at the drop of a hat. I hated being defeatist too so I guess that’s why we have stayed. I was only really here for Mary and just hoped it would get better.

In Britain I lived 100 miles or so from my mother but there is a big difference between being 2 hours from your mum and 24 hours and AU$2000 away!

On the positive side the weather is amazing – we’ve just had the winter and that was about three months of 10 degrees and a bit of rain. Even on a July day when it is supposed to be winter it can be 23 and sunny out there! There is so much to do if you can get out and about and want to do sports, especially water sports. The city of Adelaide is a beautiful city full of parks and big wide streets, free flowing traffic and so close to the sea.

It is surrounded by hills and forests and if you like wine it is the best place on earth to be! I always knew we ought to get somewhere nice to live and was in the right place for that instead of Sydney with its high-priced real estate.

The day things changed was in August.

I got a call from the guy who was to become my boss, not in the job that I could have done with my eyes shut, but a job that was a real challenge but with an organisation held in the highest regard here. I won’t say what it is doing but in that moment I got back my whole confidence and sense of belonging and fulfilment.

The job is amazing. I was out today visiting clients about an hour from the city. I am already working fewer hours than in the UK and feeling less stressed at work. The country is getting brown as the summer dryness begins. Today was about 38 where I was and as I write this the thunder clouds gather above this amazing city.

I see it all in a different light now – the people are now in this with me, not the aliens who greeted me strangely, yes the TV is still crap and the pubs are poor, and there is nothing but AFL on the sports news. But it is starting to become our home. That process will come together fully in two weeks when we move into our house in the hills, the sea in the distance, the gum trees and our fields around us. I can’t wait to buy my first cow, to bring home the dogs we want to acquire, and to unwrap the furniture and boxes we packed in Britain so many months ago.

Everyone has their dreams so I am not going to preach. I love it here for now. We’ll see what the future holds. But watch it, watch Australia carefully because this land of dreams and eternal youth will turn round and smack you in the mouth with a fist of reality so fast as to look at you.

My heart goes out to anyone else making this move. Good luck and stick with your dreams!
Rab
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Old Oct 12th 2004, 1:34 pm   #2
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Rab what a FABULOUS post, I really enjoyed reading it...thanks for taking the time to do that. I hope one day we may be able to join you as we adore Adelaide.

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Old Oct 12th 2004, 1:37 pm   #3
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Default Re: Rab's Story

A good, honest post! I know it's not all beer and skittles and it may be hard but we'll give it a good go!

Sent you and lucyb some karma!

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Old Oct 12th 2004, 1:46 pm   #4
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Default Re: Rab's Story

Rab. That was a brilliant post. Very inspiring. I am sure that no matter how much I am looking forward to it, I know it will be bl**dy hard for a year or so - at least.

I am so pleased things are now going right for you and Mary. Keep up the good work. Karma heading your way.
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Old Oct 12th 2004, 2:24 pm   #5
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Default Re: Rab's Story

Great post Rab.

Maybe you'd enjoy taking a look at our website, which is aimed specifically for people going to, or already living in Adelaide. We are a friendly, helpful and supportive group and theres quite a few who already live in the Adelaide Hills.

http://s2.invisionfree.com/Adelaideb...ex.php?act=idx
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Old Oct 12th 2004, 2:58 pm   #6
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great post. Wonderful that you have stuck with it and you are starting to reap the rewards you wished Oz would bring you so long ago. All the best moving into the new house and making it your home.
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Old Oct 12th 2004, 3:10 pm   #7
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Mate,

That's one of the best posts I've read on here and I've trawled through an awful lot.

The best posts are those that are brutally honest and from people with first hand experience.

For someone like me with it all to come I need to hear these things.

I'm so glad you've turned it around and things are on the up.

Deep breath...

We'll be there soon.

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Old Oct 12th 2004, 4:40 pm   #8
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Rab,

A gem of a post. Marvellous! Probably the best post I've read since becoming a member.

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Old Oct 12th 2004, 5:15 pm   #9
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Default Re: Rab's Story

great post rab...makes you realise that all the hard times (for me still to come) will all be worth it one day - and to not give up....

good luck!

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Old Oct 12th 2004, 5:28 pm   #10
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Hi Rab,

Really admire your post and your honesty. I think if more people had a bit more of an open mind then they wouldn't find the smacks so hard to take.

As you probably know Jill has a head start on me in adapting to Aussie life, I hope I can ride with the punches like you have as I start to look for work proper in a few weeks.

Good luck and I hope you settle.

Best wishes

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Old Oct 12th 2004, 7:19 pm   #11
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Default Re: Rab's Story

Right, my 'puter's finally stopped crashing so I can finally reply to this thread!

Great post Rab!

It seems to me that once you'd sold your house and started working again, it all came together. I imagine that 'turning points' like that remind you of why you gave up so much to do this thing called emigration.

When I get people at work and elsewhere shaking their heads in disgust and disbelief that I would want to live anywhere in the known universe other than Kent, I start questioning my motives......

Then five seconds later I say sod 'em!

Whatever the trials and tribulations I will face, I hope that I don't go through what you've been through. Though at least your story has a happy ending.

As fortune would have it, I don't have a house to sell, and I have every intention of having a job to go to before I even set foot back in Aus. Hopefully that will make things a tad easier.

Aussie pubs don't even begin to compare to British or South African ones, but I hardly ever drink in pubs these days so it hardly matters. I usually invite a few mates around and get the booze in. I hardly ever watch telly either, so no probs there.

Like you, I like the outdoor life. That's a really good reason to go to Aus, as there is rather a lot of outdoors! Plus lots of wildlife....I mean, parrots in your back garden! I'll never get bored with that!

Here's to your future.......may it continue to be all you dreamed of!
Cheers for an excellent post.

Tony.
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Old Oct 12th 2004, 7:23 pm   #12
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Top post Rab!

Best of luck with your dream
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Old Oct 12th 2004, 9:54 pm   #13
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Fantastic post to wake up to this morning.

 
Old Oct 13th 2004, 12:06 am   #14
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All of the emotions you have experienced are so understandable, when you've actually DONE IT.

You can do every bit of imagining in the book before you get here, you can try to put yourself into every conceivable scenario and anticipate what you will feel....no chance.

It's only when you up sticks and actually make the move, can you then start to appreciate the huge upheaval and the emotional cost that comes with it.

I loved reading your post, you are brutally honest and that is so enlightening when you tend to hear so many people spouting off about the wonders of Australia.It's only when things fall into the right place can you actually start to see those so called wonders!

I am so pleased that things have settled down for you and it's finally started to work.
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Old Oct 13th 2004, 2:38 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rab
I can and will probably give as realistic an opinion as you are likely to hear. And I’ll start by saying that moving from the UK to Australia is a tough game, tougher than you could imagine when you make your first enquiry.

I'll be honest too and say that with absolutely everything going for me I have found it an awful upheaval like you just wouldn’t expect.

For lots of British people Australia is the ultimate Mecca - sunshine, barbecues, sea, and laid-back lifestyle. All that is here for sure but you need to build a foundation upon which to enjoy those things.

You see in the UK I had a good job on whatever plus salary plus bonuses and car, health scheme etc, paying a fortune in tax but enjoying the job managing a business in Manchester and Leeds. I had a beautiful house in Lancashire, a happy marriage, lovely quiet life in the hills, with the Lake District 45 minutes away, Liverpool the same distance.

My wife is Australian we married in 2000 in Adelaide and she had lived with me in the UK since 1998. Every time we came to Aus we fancied giving it a go - the cheap house prices were an amazing attraction, especially in Adelaide.

The giving up of work and setting off was the easy bit, all the forms, security tests, health checks etc were just part of it. We even brought the cat.

When we got here, especially for me as a Brit there seemed to be so much missing. My wife Mary started work at the university here and got straight into applying for work as she is 28 and keen and still needs to prove herself. I wanted a bit of a break after 16 years with the same firm.

After eight months I had no job still, no house, we had a nightmare selling our house in the UK - it only sold in June this year after going on the market in July last year.

I think May was my lowest point before we found a buyer for the house in the Britain. I wrote this in my diary: -

“We just need a chance to make everything work again.

“I went to the storage unit and unpacked three boxes today and when I did so I unpacked neatly wrapped drill bits, clean tools, clean tool boxes, loads of things wrapped in cling film and cardboard. All those things were like our new life all ready to go, all sorted out, all going to be right.

“I think Australia will continue to be foreign until we lay down some proper roots ... even then there are many things about Aus which I think will stay strange.

“With Mary though I think I will be happy here even when things are frustrating. It’s almost like our trip to India but with India you know it’s going to be difficult – with Australia I never expected it.

“We have not got off to the best start. I have found it hard … very hard. And it’s punched me on the chin like I never expected. I opened those wrapped tools today. I opened the plastic film, I opened the cardboard, slit the tape with my knife. And every thing I unwrapped was like a part of me being freed here. I know it sounds stupid. It is stupid.

“But when I went through those things today I felt those same emotions as when I wrapped them.

“And I think that will help.�


As for living here there is a lot to see, a lot of sport going on. But I am 40 and set in my ways a bit and have found it hard adapting.

I didn't apply for work as I wanted a break – but then I wished I had as I got quite bored in the winter. Not that I am not energetic - I always got up early every day and was always busy - but sometimes it is hard being without the money we had before. I applied for about 12 jobs and had three interviews which all went well but I have a sneaking feeling they think foreigners are a gamble and I bet in each case the Australian got the job.

I hate the sport here - all Aussie Rules, and no proper football coverage on TV. The TV is shocking - all ads and no quality. There is so much red tape here – you need to hire an electrician to wire a plug! I hate the pubs and places to go they are so awful – gambling machines like you’ve never seen before, so smoky just simply horrendous.

I thought it would be a lot like Britain – but there it is very different. I hated the traffic and the prices of everything in “rip-off Britain� but this winter in Adelaide and for many reasons I would have gone back at the drop of a hat. I hated being defeatist too so I guess that’s why we have stayed. I was only really here for Mary and just hoped it would get better.

In Britain I lived 100 miles or so from my mother but there is a big difference between being 2 hours from your mum and 24 hours and AU$2000 away!

On the positive side the weather is amazing – we’ve just had the winter and that was about three months of 10 degrees and a bit of rain. Even on a July day when it is supposed to be winter it can be 23 and sunny out there! There is so much to do if you can get out and about and want to do sports, especially water sports. The city of Adelaide is a beautiful city full of parks and big wide streets, free flowing traffic and so close to the sea.

It is surrounded by hills and forests and if you like wine it is the best place on earth to be! I always knew we ought to get somewhere nice to live and was in the right place for that instead of Sydney with its high-priced real estate.

The day things changed was in August.

I got a call from the guy who was to become my boss, not in the job that I could have done with my eyes shut, but a job that was a real challenge but with an organisation held in the highest regard here. I won’t say what it is doing but in that moment I got back my whole confidence and sense of belonging and fulfilment.

The job is amazing. I was out today visiting clients about an hour from the city. I am already working fewer hours than in the UK and feeling less stressed at work. The country is getting brown as the summer dryness begins. Today was about 38 where I was and as I write this the thunder clouds gather above this amazing city.

I see it all in a different light now – the people are now in this with me, not the aliens who greeted me strangely, yes the TV is still crap and the pubs are poor, and there is nothing but AFL on the sports news. But it is starting to become our home. That process will come together fully in two weeks when we move into our house in the hills, the sea in the distance, the gum trees and our fields around us. I can’t wait to buy my first cow, to bring home the dogs we want to acquire, and to unwrap the furniture and boxes we packed in Britain so many months ago.

Everyone has their dreams so I am not going to preach. I love it here for now. We’ll see what the future holds. But watch it, watch Australia carefully because this land of dreams and eternal youth will turn round and smack you in the mouth with a fist of reality so fast as to look at you.

My heart goes out to anyone else making this move. Good luck and stick with your dreams!
Rab
l think if you have a good job and a good lifestyle in the UK you should think twice about immigrating to Australia, However if you have a crap life in the UK
you might as well immigrate as you have nothing to loose.
 
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