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Having cancelled our proposed move to Australia, I thought it might be interesting for those about to go or those who are having second thoughts, an alternative point of view.

First thing to say is that we are not completely green to this and Australia would have been our second big move, having "emigrated" from England to Germany some six years ago.

Secondly, the cancellation of our move has created an unbelievable amount of disruption as we had already gone a long part of the way down the road (visa granted, house sold, removals booked, job resigned etc.).

We had decided to move to Australia because after nearly six years of living in Germany we wanted to return to an English speaking environment and for the children to continue their education in English. In addition, we took a big holiday in Australia last year and really enjoyed it.

Anyway, over the last few months there were a couple of events that started to make me feel a little uncomfortable about going; some of them I’ll admit are very personal and a little bit ridiculous. Anyway here goes…

  1. Over the last few months I’ve had the good fortune to visit Oslo and Prague and, as anyone who has visited either place will confirm, they are incredibly beautiful cities. That got me thinking of all the other places in Europe that I hadn’t visited and made me think how difficult it would be to visit those places living so far away.
  2. The summer arrived. I live in a small town in southern Germany which is surrounded by mountains, (well more like hills really), and the summer is such a great time to go mountain biking. There would have been minimal opportunities in Perth.
  3. The mountains got me thinking about skiing and whilst there are opportunities to ski in the southern hemisphere, they are not the places where (like now) I could leave after work on Friday and be back at my desk on Monday morning. I was also starting to have difficulties picturing the family eating Christmas dinner in shorts.
  4. I would have had to give my car, (a Porsche), back. Ok I could have had a reasonably nice car down under but even then no opportunity to drive like I can in Germany (I’m aware that to a lot of people this will sound really pathetic!)
  5. This may be controversial BUT one of the things I like about Germany is the lack of Brits and living in a culture which still has a strong sense of discipline and order and I really worry about British / American culture invading Australia. I am not saying that Germany is perfect but the hooligan element is certainly much reduced.

{mosgoogle right}I had not shared my concerns with the family having committed so much time and effort to organizing the move and the catalyst came when our dog failed its final blood test. This really threw things into chaos as there was no way I could ask the children to leave their dog behind. We had a second blood test done and a third before finally after two-weeks she was given the all-clear. But over those two weeks we had shared our concerns as a family and had collectively come to the conclusion that there were more reasons to stay than to go.

So over the last two weeks we have had to dial-ourselves back into our life. We have moved house, got the kids back into school and (luckily) managed to get my job back (I had remained on very good terms with my employer and they had told me that if ever I decided to come back then the door would be open for me).

I don’t regret the decision as I think it has given us the opportunity to take a step back and look at our lives and appreciate all the great things about it, as opposed to looking at the other side of the hill and thinking the grass is greener.
In 10-15 years when we retire, when I can no longer mountain bike and when I no longer wish to drive like a loon then we may decide to go, but for the now the chapter is closed.

My message to others is make sure you weigh up all the pro’s and cons. Don’t try and sell yourself on a "getting a better life" ticket. Really sit down and think about what you will gain, but more importantly, what you will lose and then evaluate whether that is an acceptable sacrifice.