3 months in!

Old Dec 11th 2007, 2:08 am
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Default 3 months in!

I can't believe we have been here 3 months already!

Ours has been a long and arduous journey, for reasons too long and boring to go into.

Anyway, I'm a single Mum of 3 kids 18, 16 and 12 and have been trying to move to Australia for about 4 years now. A lot of things have happened in that time but I eventually managed to sell our house and make proper plans to move.

My oldest daughter decided to stay in the UK with her boyfriend so I bundled up 2 kids, 2 dogs and a few personal belongings and off we went (it obviously wasn't as easy as that but hey I'd be here all day!)

During the long wait I researched the country to death, with a lot of help from this place. I had planned to look at 3 specific areas when we arrived: Cleveland, Redcliffe and Bald Hills/Bracken Ridge. I'd researched schools housing market etc. etc. Then about a fortnight before we set off my kids informed me they'd like to live on the Gold Coast!!!!

I'll try and set things out into sections to make it easier to read so if you want to know about a specific thing you don't need to read the whole boring story

Flights: I booked with Qantas as I got a reasonable price, then read a few horror stories on here and thought what have I done! I had no problems whatsoever. The staff were friendly and attentive, even getting my son a pot noodle when he was hungry which was funny as nobody else was eating and we've never had any airline do that for the kids before! The in-flight entertainment was good and kept the kids entertained, there was a glitch where it was off for a while but it was no major drama. The flights were on time, all our luggage arrived intact and all was good.

Stopover: After much deliberation we settled on Hong Kong for our stopover. What a good choice, I loved it. We stayed at the YMCA Salisbury which is a place I would never have considered had I not read about it on expats. It was sooo cheap, in fact, it was so cheap I decided to pay for us to stay in the harbour view suite. The room wasn't 5* but the views were amazing, we would leave the curtains open and watch the world go by across the harbour. It cost me £360 for 3 nights for the 3 of us, bargain!! We visited Hong Kong Disney, saw real pandas went on the star ferry and to the top of Victoria peak. Highly recommended.

Dogs: I chose Golden Arrow to transport our dogs: a travel sick chihuahua and a nervous lolloping cross breed. Much thought was put into this as I couldn't decide whether to take them or not. Mainly for the reasons mentioned. However, I decided that as we had got them as pups within a week of each other and they had always been together and with us, it would probably be crueller to split them up and leave them behind. The helpful staff at Golden Arrow helped put my mind at rest. I sent them down to the kennels a few days in advance so we could get the last minute preparations done without worrying about them. I worried constantly until I knew they were safely housed in Sydney quarantine station. They both arrived totally unscathed and none the worst for the ordeal.

As we couldn't have them where we were initially staying I had to put them in kennels when they came out of quarantine. We negotiated with the lady there to be able to collect them and take them out for the day when I was off work. The first time we saw them they were so excited. We took them down to Wellington point and had a lovely time, the time to return them soon arrived. When we next collected them the lady told us that after we had returned them, the little fella had cried/barked until the early hours of the morning and the other one bounced round the perimeter trying to escape. We took them out that day and decided that would be the last time we would visit them until we could take them home. It was sad but not fair to the dogs. When we eventually collected them, the little one slept for about 3 days and the big one spent about the same amount of time following my son around crying. Now, they are back to their old selves and none the worse for the journey. If anybody is considering bringing animals and you can afford it (it is expensive, cost me about £4000 altogether) I'd say bring them. The kids and dogs are so happy to be reunited and I think it helped the kids to settle.

When we first arrived we stayed at a caravan Park in Birkdale, basic but cheap and cheerful. In the first week, I sorted out my driving licence, tax file number, medicare, went to see about a mortgage and contacted work. I hired a car for the first week and durig that time I went out and bought a car.

The second week we looked at a few houses, signed the contract and spent the time going from the Gold Coast to the city, poor kids were dragged all over but didn't complain. In order to get the mortgage I needed to start work. I had planned on not workng for about 6 weeks but I didnt want to rent so started work in week 3. It was really tough on the kids as they were stuck in the caravan park with nothing to do except watch DVDs on a portable DVD player we'd brought in our hand luggage. During the first few weeks we looked around shops and whenever we saw sales in MYER etc we would buy it, towels, cutlery, pans etc. The place was getting smaller and smaller the more stuff we got. I got a bargain TV from MYER n the sales and then a few of our belongings arrived that we sent seperately from our main shipment. In it was the kids XBOX and PS2. They were so happy to have something different to do.

We stayed in the caravan park and moved into our house 6 weeks after arriving. What a great feeling. We bought all new furniture and looked forward to our personal belongings to come. We havent finished unpacking yet. There dosnt seem to be any major breakages except for part of my christmas dinner service and yesterday I unpacked a porcelain doll my late husband bought me a few years back, to find its head totally battered, which I was quite upset about

Work has been good. I work at the Mater, I found it really difficult at first as everything is so different to what I was used to but,I've been there nearly 3 months now and know most of my work mates and know my way around a bit. I'm now starting to feel settled there and usually have a good laugh. I have had the odd day where I have been close to tears but you've just got to get on with it. I'm not in a position where I can give up work so I just have to deal with the day to day crap that you sometimes get, but that is inevitable wherever you work. All in all I like it.

The kids are settled. Even my 16 year old who hasn't started school or managed to get a job yet. I sometimes think she must be sick of it but she still says she likes it and wouldn't go back. Sh is starting TAFE in January studying for a business diploma and then is planning to go to uni. She's looking for work but no luck so far. She's just got her learners licence and is due to start her driving lessons soon.

My son was very sad about leaving. He wanted to come here but didn't want to leave his friends and family. He now says he would never go back. He goes surfing, has joined the nippers, has friends at school and thoroughly loves everything about Australia. He starts High School in January, I haven't managed to get him in one yet but will finalise that this week.

We are now in the process of getting a pool put in our garden. I never thought we would be able to have one while we were in the Uk but its getting installed this week. The kids are so excited I am going to have to do the odd overtime shift to pay it off but it will totally be worth it.

We have 2 new additions to the family, 2 little kitties from the animal welfare league. They hate the dogs and the feeling seems to be mutual but they seem to be getting a little more tolerant of each other. It's like a game of musical chairs in our house but with the rooms. We have to rotate who goes where. I put the big dog on the lead and walk her around where the cats are its going to be a long process but I'm sure we'll get there.

We haven't been here too long but so far so good. I knew nothing of the area we moved to but am finding things out as we go along. I still can' believe we're here. I sit on the beach on a Saturday morning watching my son surf and often tell myself how bloody lucky we are. I know not everybody has the same experience but we love it. My sister is visiting us from Spain in April, I haven't seen her for nearly 3 years and can't wait. Then my daughter is coming over next Christmas for a month with her boyfriend so will be here for her sisters 18th, Christmas and New Year

I have a better social life than I had in the UK already! I have had to turn down a few invitations because of work or other plans. What a life!!!

I could go on but have rambled enough already

Tracey
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 9:02 am
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Default Re: 3 months in!

Good honest update Tracey and glad to hear you are all getting on with your new life.

Nice to read on a cold, frosty morning in the UK
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 10:12 am
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Default Re: 3 months in!

Originally Posted by tracey.d View Post
I can't believe we have been here 3 months already!

Ours has been a long and arduous journey, for reasons too long and boring to go into.

Anyway, I'm a single Mum of 3 kids 18, 16 and 12 and have been trying to move to Australia for about 4 years now. A lot of things have happened in that time but I eventually managed to sell our house and make proper plans to move.

My oldest daughter decided to stay in the UK with her boyfriend so I bundled up 2 kids, 2 dogs and a few personal belongings and off we went (it obviously wasn't as easy as that but hey I'd be here all day!)

During the long wait I researched the country to death, with a lot of help from this place. I had planned to look at 3 specific areas when we arrived: Cleveland, Redcliffe and Bald Hills/Bracken Ridge. I'd researched schools housing market etc. etc. Then about a fortnight before we set off my kids informed me they'd like to live on the Gold Coast!!!!

I'll try and set things out into sections to make it easier to read so if you want to know about a specific thing you don't need to read the whole boring story

Flights: I booked with Qantas as I got a reasonable price, then read a few horror stories on here and thought what have I done! I had no problems whatsoever. The staff were friendly and attentive, even getting my son a pot noodle when he was hungry which was funny as nobody else was eating and we've never had any airline do that for the kids before! The in-flight entertainment was good and kept the kids entertained, there was a glitch where it was off for a while but it was no major drama. The flights were on time, all our luggage arrived intact and all was good.

Stopover: After much deliberation we settled on Hong Kong for our stopover. What a good choice, I loved it. We stayed at the YMCA Salisbury which is a place I would never have considered had I not read about it on expats. It was sooo cheap, in fact, it was so cheap I decided to pay for us to stay in the harbour view suite. The room wasn't 5* but the views were amazing, we would leave the curtains open and watch the world go by across the harbour. It cost me £360 for 3 nights for the 3 of us, bargain!! We visited Hong Kong Disney, saw real pandas went on the star ferry and to the top of Victoria peak. Highly recommended.

Dogs: I chose Golden Arrow to transport our dogs: a travel sick chihuahua and a nervous lolloping cross breed. Much thought was put into this as I couldn't decide whether to take them or not. Mainly for the reasons mentioned. However, I decided that as we had got them as pups within a week of each other and they had always been together and with us, it would probably be crueller to split them up and leave them behind. The helpful staff at Golden Arrow helped put my mind at rest. I sent them down to the kennels a few days in advance so we could get the last minute preparations done without worrying about them. I worried constantly until I knew they were safely housed in Sydney quarantine station. They both arrived totally unscathed and none the worst for the ordeal.

As we couldn't have them where we were initially staying I had to put them in kennels when they came out of quarantine. We negotiated with the lady there to be able to collect them and take them out for the day when I was off work. The first time we saw them they were so excited. We took them down to Wellington point and had a lovely time, the time to return them soon arrived. When we next collected them the lady told us that after we had returned them, the little fella had cried/barked until the early hours of the morning and the other one bounced round the perimeter trying to escape. We took them out that day and decided that would be the last time we would visit them until we could take them home. It was sad but not fair to the dogs. When we eventually collected them, the little one slept for about 3 days and the big one spent about the same amount of time following my son around crying. Now, they are back to their old selves and none the worse for the journey. If anybody is considering bringing animals and you can afford it (it is expensive, cost me about £4000 altogether) I'd say bring them. The kids and dogs are so happy to be reunited and I think it helped the kids to settle.

When we first arrived we stayed at a caravan Park in Birkdale, basic but cheap and cheerful. In the first week, I sorted out my driving licence, tax file number, medicare, went to see about a mortgage and contacted work. I hired a car for the first week and durig that time I went out and bought a car.

The second week we looked at a few houses, signed the contract and spent the time going from the Gold Coast to the city, poor kids were dragged all over but didn't complain. In order to get the mortgage I needed to start work. I had planned on not workng for about 6 weeks but I didnt want to rent so started work in week 3. It was really tough on the kids as they were stuck in the caravan park with nothing to do except watch DVDs on a portable DVD player we'd brought in our hand luggage. During the first few weeks we looked around shops and whenever we saw sales in MYER etc we would buy it, towels, cutlery, pans etc. The place was getting smaller and smaller the more stuff we got. I got a bargain TV from MYER n the sales and then a few of our belongings arrived that we sent seperately from our main shipment. In it was the kids XBOX and PS2. They were so happy to have something different to do.

We stayed in the caravan park and moved into our house 6 weeks after arriving. What a great feeling. We bought all new furniture and looked forward to our personal belongings to come. We havent finished unpacking yet. There dosnt seem to be any major breakages except for part of my christmas dinner service and yesterday I unpacked a porcelain doll my late husband bought me a few years back, to find its head totally battered, which I was quite upset about

Work has been good. I work at the Mater, I found it really difficult at first as everything is so different to what I was used to but,I've been there nearly 3 months now and know most of my work mates and know my way around a bit. I'm now starting to feel settled there and usually have a good laugh. I have had the odd day where I have been close to tears but you've just got to get on with it. I'm not in a position where I can give up work so I just have to deal with the day to day crap that you sometimes get, but that is inevitable wherever you work. All in all I like it.

The kids are settled. Even my 16 year old who hasn't started school or managed to get a job yet. I sometimes think she must be sick of it but she still says she likes it and wouldn't go back. Sh is starting TAFE in January studying for a business diploma and then is planning to go to uni. She's looking for work but no luck so far. She's just got her learners licence and is due to start her driving lessons soon.

My son was very sad about leaving. He wanted to come here but didn't want to leave his friends and family. He now says he would never go back. He goes surfing, has joined the nippers, has friends at school and thoroughly loves everything about Australia. He starts High School in January, I haven't managed to get him in one yet but will finalise that this week.

We are now in the process of getting a pool put in our garden. I never thought we would be able to have one while we were in the Uk but its getting installed this week. The kids are so excited I am going to have to do the odd overtime shift to pay it off but it will totally be worth it.

We have 2 new additions to the family, 2 little kitties from the animal welfare league. They hate the dogs and the feeling seems to be mutual but they seem to be getting a little more tolerant of each other. It's like a game of musical chairs in our house but with the rooms. We have to rotate who goes where. I put the big dog on the lead and walk her around where the cats are its going to be a long process but I'm sure we'll get there.

We haven't been here too long but so far so good. I knew nothing of the area we moved to but am finding things out as we go along. I still can' believe we're here. I sit on the beach on a Saturday morning watching my son surf and often tell myself how bloody lucky we are. I know not everybody has the same experience but we love it. My sister is visiting us from Spain in April, I haven't seen her for nearly 3 years and can't wait. Then my daughter is coming over next Christmas for a month with her boyfriend so will be here for her sisters 18th, Christmas and New Year

I have a better social life than I had in the UK already! I have had to turn down a few invitations because of work or other plans. What a life!!!

I could go on but have rambled enough already

Tracey
Hi
So glad it is all going well for you, carry on rambling its nice to read peoples updates. It gives us an idea what to expect.
What line of work are you in and did you have a job to go to.
My hubby is a painter and decorator and tiler, We are hoping he will be ok for work once we get there. I want to work to, I am a sales negotiater (estate agents) I just hope that I can find a job as easily, We are looking to go to Hervey Bay Qld.
What part of the Gold Coast did you decide on.
Keep your chin up and when your down and think about the Good old british weather floods and winds.
Take care
Mandy
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 10:18 am
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Default Re: 3 months in!

Hello mate, I'm glad things are working out for you.

All the best Fx
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 10:54 am
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Default Re: 3 months in!

WOW! what a fab post so happy for you, and just gotta say I think you're extremely brave
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 10:57 am
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Default Re: 3 months in!

Originally Posted by marvinc View Post
Good honest update Tracey and glad to hear you are all getting on with your new life.

Nice to read on a cold, frosty morning in the UK
I agree and well done on doing it all by your self good luck and happy Christmas
Niamh
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 11:05 am
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Default Re: 3 months in!

Thanks, I used to love reading th eupdates from the UK.

I had a job to come to I'm a nurse. I know a few British nurses over here and we don't seem to have a problem getting jobs. I'm not sure about other trades though.

We're near the top end of the Gold Coast, I couldn't move too far away as I work in the city.

It's getting bloomin hot here As soonas we moved into our house I had air-conditioning put in all the bedrooms as it only had it in the living room. It's no fun trying to sleep in th eheat after a 12 hour night shift.

Hello Fraser, hows it going? Don't post so much these days as I dont seem to have time! Lost track of where everyones at (again )

Last edited by tracey.d; Dec 11th 2007 at 11:06 am. Reason: rambling about the pool again, but I am a bit excited!!!!
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 11:07 am
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Default Re: 3 months in!

Originally Posted by tracey.d View Post
Thanks, I used to love reading th eupdates from the UK.

I had a job to come to I'm a nurse. I know a few British nurses over here and we don't seem to have a problem getting jobs. I'm not sure about other trades though.

We're near the top end of the Gold Coast, I couldn't move too far away as I work in the city.

It's getting bloomin hot here As soonas we moved into our house I had air-conditioning put in all the bedrooms as it only had it in the living room. It's no fun trying to sleep in th eheat after a 12 hour night shift.

Hello Fraser, hows it going? Don't post so much these days as I dont seem to have time! Lost track of where everyones at (again )
Sounds great Tracey we came out about the same time as you, end of august, we're at the top end of the GC too
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 11:08 am
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Default Re: 3 months in!

Happy chistmas to everyone

I really can't get used to the concept of christmas in the sun

It's 2 weeks away and I am nowhere near sorted. Just bought a tree 2 days ago we normally put our tree up on the first.
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 11:09 am
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Default Re: 3 months in!

Originally Posted by curly View Post
Sounds great Tracey we came out about the same time as you, end of august, we're at the top end of the GC too
cool youll have to pm me and tell me where, I dont like to put where I am on the net, you never know whos lurking
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 11:15 am
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Default Re: 3 months in!

Originally Posted by tracey.d View Post
Happy chistmas to everyone

I really can't get used to the concept of christmas in the sun

It's 2 weeks away and I am nowhere near sorted. Just bought a tree 2 days ago we normally put our tree up on the first.
Have pm'd you

I know I put tree up beginning of dec, but keep forgetting to put lights on! seems weird when its hot
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 11:27 am
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Default Re: 3 months in!

Originally Posted by curly View Post
Have pm'd you

I know I put tree up beginning of dec, but keep forgetting to put lights on! seems weird when its hot
Have pmd you back, you should see my tree. Put it up yesterday and the kittens have trashed it They keep going underneath and climbing up inside it, having battles in there. Every now and then a little head will pop out! Don't know what the hell I'm going to do to stop them. Caught one trying to chew on one of the lights yesterday
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: 3 months in!

Originally Posted by marvinc View Post
Good honest update Tracey and glad to hear you are all getting on with your new life.

Nice to read on a cold, frosty morning in the UK
Totally agree, an interesting and honest ramble, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading, especially on such a cold and frosty day.
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 1:17 pm
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Default Re: 3 months in!

great update. I love to read them, keep them coming

cant wait to be there, we plan on the gold Coast too, just received our pre-acknowledgement yesterday so a wee while to go yet.................

Lynn xx

Last edited by the4ofus; Dec 11th 2007 at 1:18 pm. Reason: forgot to sign!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old Dec 11th 2007, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: 3 months in!

Originally Posted by the4ofus View Post
great update. I love to read them, keep them coming

cant wait to be there, we plan on the gold Coast too, just received our pre-acknowledgement yesterday so a wee while to go yet.................

Lynn xx
you'll get here eventually, even though sometime it may seem like it'll never happen
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