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12 Years on; more bad than good

12 Years on; more bad than good

Old Oct 5th 2014, 10:56 pm
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Unhappy 12 Years on; more bad than good

Hi to all out there, this is my first post since we came here over 11 years ago and is one of those things I kept meaning to do but, well... you know...

As others have said it's more a matter of actually getting the emotions down in writing than anything else but maybe it will help someone (not everyone) thinking of coming to Aus, but it IS just MY views.

We are in SE Queensland and so everything is based on living here.
I don't want to write a long essay so I will just do a list of what we have found to be good and bad. Unfortunately I know that the bad list will be much longer than the good but again, this is just my/our experiences.

I might as well say this now, in hindsight we would NOT have come to Aus.

Ok, 1st the good but it's a short list...

The beaches. They really are wonderful, whether you want a patrolled one with safe swimming or somewhere you can be on your own, if you are near the east coast you are never far away.
The weather. Hot and sunny, in SE Qld it's usually like this for 8 or 9 months of the year. On the downside you can get tired of it and wish for a nice autumn day.
The traffic. We don't live in a major city and the traffic is definitely much less than England.
Cleaner; In general it is cleaner here, less litter etc but then most of the areas are newer...
Outdoor activities; Lots of sports you can do outside because of the weather, in particular swimming which is taught from an early age.
Illness/flu; We would usually gets colds or flu every year in England but very rarely get them here.



Now the bad...

The 1st bad point is something we never considered before coming here and the one I will write most about; we are TRAPPED here. We are a middle aged couple with grown up children (late teens/early 20's) who have their own lives here and really have nothing to go back to in England. They have boyfriends/girlfriends, friends & jobs here and see this as their home for good or bad. So even though we may want to go back, how can we split up the family and leave them here? Someday we will have grandkids, son or daughter in laws etc. ITS a HUGE dilemma with no solution we can see. We have permanent visas so in theory can live here or in NZ and anywhere in Europe yet in reality we can't. When you don't want to be here it's a horrible feeling. Also the fact that families split up when they have to get work hundreds of klms away is a big problem.

Racism. Being white ordinary working people we never considered it but in fact we discovered that many Aussies don't want anyone else here. They reserve a particular dislike for the English and anyone with a suntan, from the middle eastern countries right through to the Aborigines. Most racism is below the surface but there are plenty who will call you Pommie to your face. It seems to be worse in the older men and women.

The other bad points I will just list only briefly otherwise we will be here forever...

Courtesy; In general, most Australians are rude, selfish and have no idea what courtesy is.

Education; The education standard here is terrible.

Driving; The driving standard here is the same as the education standard but throw in the courtesy aspect as well.

Dangerous vehicles; In Qld there is no annual M.O.T test or similar unless you sell your vehicle and even then its a basic thing. This means you can buy a car and run it for 20 or 30 years or more and never have it checked by a mechanic. There are 10's of thousands of dangerous vehicles on the roads.

Healthcare; Unless you are in a major city it is poor and very expensive, lots of poorly trained doctors from other countries and they constantly move about so you can never have a doctor who knows you personally for long. And unless you live in a major city many services are unavailable and you will have to travel (a long way).

Expensive; Everything here is expensive, from food to cars (new and especially used) through to houses.

Insects; Mosquitoes and Sandflies can be a big problem.

Pets; Dogs are considered to be only good for living outside and throwing on the back on the ute (pick up) and leaving there in the hot sun all day. Try and get a rental with a dog that lives inside.

Guns; 100's of thousands of guns here and gun crime is far more than England. There are many private people who own more than 100 guns EACH.

TV; Mostly terrible and what makes it worse is the CONSTANT adverts. There is no way you can watch a film properly because of the ads; they drive you nuts. They are mainly about beer and burgers and seem to be produced by people who think that the viewing public have an IQ the same as the burger.

Well there is a load more things I am sure but that's it for now.

Again this is just my views/findings, some people will agree with some of the points, some with none of them.

If anyone I knew was thinking of coming here I would tell them DON'T which is probably a case of better the devil you know...

Good luck whatever you choose...
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Old Oct 5th 2014, 11:08 pm
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

Hi and welcome to BE

I've moved your post to our update section as this is the best section for your post.

Sorry you feel trapped here - if your children are old enough though, they can as easily move away from you as you did with your move, and if you take citizenship or obtain RRV's there is nothing to stop you travelling and visiting Australia if you choose to live elsewhere. Something to think about maybe.
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Old Oct 5th 2014, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

Are you close to your children? By this I mean location and family ties? I only ask as I've been forum member for a few years. There have been instances where parents have decided to not return back to their home where'er it may be so as to be closer to adult children and future grandkids. Well they did and then realized that a) adult children had their own lives and b) when children came along they were even more invested in their own lives and the parents very rarely saw their grandkids. Some even see more of their children when they go back home and either party travels for 2 weeks or more.. Anyway just a thought and I really wish you all the best..
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 12:02 am
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

Whilst you might regret the move, I would definitely recommend you get citizenship anyway to give you more flexibility in the future.
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 2:10 am
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

How different we all are. Sorry to hear how unhappy you are.
We retired to the Sunshine Coast 11 years ago after living in Asia for work.
We left all our 3 grown up children in UK, but we don't feel tied to their apron strings. We did what we wanted to do.
Love the coast, can't fault the medical treatment here, have sadly had to use it more than I would like. Still have the same Dr. And find the natives very friendly! Have been made so welcome. So felt I should put an alternative experience.
Our family is split, 2 of ours have followed us to Australia, but our only 2 grandchildren are in UK, but so many of our friends are in the same boat, you never know where your children will end up.
Hope you resolve your dilemma of where to live.
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 6:13 am
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

I hear you! It's probably not only trapped because of kids but financially too unless you are young enough to retrieve something of a retirement pot if you were to move back.

Your kids are going to do their own thing - they may just as easily (as one of mine did) decide not to return from a UK holiday and develop their lives there (and now we have grandkids on opposite sides of the world).

You never know when life throws you curve balls - you may, one day, get to escape! Get citizenship just in case then start thinking selfish again (like with the initial move!) and look to what you want/need out of your older life. Hope you can find a pathway that suits you!
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 6:58 am
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

Hi, and thanks for the replies. Its more that we feel responsible for bringing the kids here and that we would be abandoning them if we left. I know they want to stay but I'm sure you understand what we mean?
On the subject of Citizenship how does it help us if we get it as I thought as we had permanent residency we could come and go as we pleased? Also how would getting it affect us if we decided to go to NZ which we have considered as it seems so much closer to the kids?
We heard something about it was easy to get as we have been here over 10 years?
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 7:09 am
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

Originally Posted by Hindsighttoo View Post
Hi, and thanks for the replies. Its more that we feel responsible for bringing the kids here and that we would be abandoning them if we left. I know they want to stay but I'm sure you understand what we mean?
On the subject of Citizenship how does it help us if we get it as I thought as we had permanent residency we could come and go as we pleased? Also how would getting it affect us if we decided to go to NZ which we have considered as it seems so much closer to the kids?
We heard something about it was easy to get as we have been here over 10 years?
The PR allows you to live in Australia, but to travel outside the country you need an RRV (residents return visa) or citizenship. If you get citizenship, then you could come and go as you please, and may make it easier if you choose to spend time in NZ.
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 7:30 am
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

Originally Posted by Hindsighttoo View Post
Hi, and thanks for the replies. Its more that we feel responsible for bringing the kids here and that we would be abandoning them if we left. I know they want to stay but I'm sure you understand what we mean?
On the subject of Citizenship how does it help us if we get it as I thought as we had permanent residency we could come and go as we pleased? Also how would getting it affect us if we decided to go to NZ which we have considered as it seems so much closer to the kids?
We heard something about it was easy to get as we have been here over 10 years?
Citizenship is forever. It means you can come and go as you please for the rest of your life. Permanent visas do not mean that in effect, they have a travel right attached to them, that only lasts for five years at a time. You qualify for citizenship, it would be best to get citizenship to give yourselves flexibility.
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 7:46 am
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

Hi, I am sorry to hear about your difficulties and can certainly relate to the leaving kids bit (although I was in the US). I do hope you find a good solution. It sounds like taking citizenship will be a first step which gives you options.

I was surprised to read about the guns though. I didn't realise that was an issue in Australia.
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 8:48 am
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

Originally Posted by Hindsighttoo View Post
Hi, and thanks for the replies. Its more that we feel responsible for bringing the kids here and that we would be abandoning them if we left. I know they want to stay but I'm sure you understand what we mean?
On the subject of Citizenship how does it help us if we get it as I thought as we had permanent residency we could come and go as we pleased? Also how would getting it affect us if we decided to go to NZ which we have considered as it seems so much closer to the kids?
We heard something about it was easy to get as we have been here over 10 years?
Australian Citizenship – Becoming an Australian Citizen

Should be easy enough for you all to get it, kids as well.
If you just stay on PR you (and the kids) would need a RRV every 5 years if you wanted to travel outside of Aus.
If your kids go on to have kids here they really should get citizenship first. Otherwise they would have Australian children, without being Aussies themselves.Keeps life much easier if they have the same nationality
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 9:21 am
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

Originally Posted by Sally Redux View Post

I was surprised to read about the guns though. I didn't realise that was an issue in Australia.
Neither did I. As far as I've ever understood it, gun ownership laws are very strong and I've never met anyone with more than one and only one or two who own one, they live on acreage well away from anyone else. Yes there is gun crime as there is anywhere in the world, but I don't recognise the world the OP experiences.

To the OP, you have my sympathies, nothing worse than feeling trapped. The joys of being a longstanding expat for many unfortunately. Hope you can find some peace wherever you end up.

Last edited by moneypenny20; Oct 6th 2014 at 10:54 am.
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 10:00 am
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

Not to downplay your negative experiences, but I think you are also at a stage of life that can be very challenging. Your kids basically have their own lives but still want a lot of support from you and you are in conflict.
I have the same feelings of being trapped and I am not looking at moving permanently anywhere. We would love to be able to go to Italy for several months and take holidays as we wish. I took early retirement and my husband is semi-retired. But we have two very elderly mothers here in Sydney and with my cultural background, we cannot just leave them to our brothers to deal with. Both my kids spent years in Europe but have returned partly to have family and support in bringing up their own kids. So we babysit and deal with the elderly and often feel there is little life of our own.
To try to deal with this feeling, I use boundaries. Thus, we limit the visits to our mothers and do not allow ourselves to be at their continual beck and call (difficult) We limit our availability for babysitting eg two days a week for a year, one child at a time. Shorter holidays are factored in to babysitting arrangements.
Perhaps you could give yourself another couple of years, get your citizenship to keep your options open, perhaps then plan a long trial back home. Meanwhile, perhaps to let go concerns about the Qld education system as it (presumably) no longer concerns you, accept that there are few places on earth free of racism, and record all tv (as my husband does) so as to watch without ads.
Would be interested to know where in SE Qld you are.
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

Hi

I think you are definitely idealizing Europe... things have changed here too and not for the better.

Nothing else to say.

I wish you all the best for the future !
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Old Oct 6th 2014, 5:38 pm
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Default Re: 12 Years on; more bad than good

I AGREE with all you say. Like you we have been here for 12 years and boy,has it worn thin. Going home in January and planning a permanant move back a few months later.
Nigel (aged 50)
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