Our year in Sydney

Old Jul 26th 2007, 11:34 am
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Default Our year in Sydney

I used to love reading these updates in the run up to our big life change, so now it’s my turn to tell my tale.

Our decision to emigrate to Australia was made on a bit of a whim. On a chilly evening in March 05, Steve and I joked about moving to a warmer country, the next thing I knew I was asking lots and lots of questions on this website and got to work on the old TRA, organising medicals, police checks etc. To be honest, we got so wrapped up in the whole process of emigrating, the discussion about whether it was the right thing to do or not, never seriously took place. At the time, we were enjoying a very nice life in Somerset - good jobs, nice house, friendly town and just started our 3 & 4 year old girls in a good school. In the run up to the move, friends kept telling us we were brave / crazy to be giving it all up to move to a country on the other side of the world that we had never ever been to, nor knew a single soul. Quite naively we thought that we’d just give it a go, and if we didn’t like it, we’d just jump on the plane and go back home again. It wasn’t until I landed in Sydney airport in July 06 that it truly dawned upon me that having left our jobs, sold our house, spent a considerable amount of our savings getting here and saying all those farewells, just jumping back on the plane was not an option. “What had we done!”

By sheer fluke, we ended up renting a house in a fantastic suburb that luckily ticked all the boxes on our wish list – safe, family friendly, good schools, near the City, near the beaches, near the bush.

I was very fortunate that I managed to secure a job here before I left the UK (albeit on a much reduced salary!). Due to children starting school later here, Steve opted to be a ‘stay at home dad’ until the youngest went to school (Feb 08). After 3 months of renting, we had a nose around a house that was up for sale around the corner from our rental and within 6 weeks, we were in! It was going for a good price as it was in need of modernising, but with Steve being a builder with a bit of time on his hands – it was an ideal project for him.

We’ve had our down days, frustrations caused by not understanding how to do basic things that we took for granted, getting used to a much lower household income and me working longer hours. However, one year in, we are all really happy with our lot – even more than we were in the UK. The webcam and a constant stream of visitors from the UK have kept homesickness at bay. We miss friends and family, but have made loads of great new friends (Oz and Brits).

For a couple of non-risktaking, country bumpkins, it’s been a helluva year. We have no gripes with the UK whatsoever, but can’t see us going back there in a hurry…
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Old Jul 26th 2007, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

Great post. Out of interest, which part of Sydney did you move to?
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Old Jul 26th 2007, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

Great post glad to read its workerd out for you all, may you carry on enjoying life down under
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Old Jul 26th 2007, 9:40 pm
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

Originally Posted by deano66 View Post
Great post. Out of interest, which part of Sydney did you move to?
We live in Killarney Heights (but don't tell anyone!)
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Old Jul 26th 2007, 10:16 pm
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

Thanks for that - very motivational for others I'm sure.

From another Somerset bumpkin (OK via 20 years in London!)

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Old Jul 27th 2007, 10:08 am
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

Thanks for an interesting post. Us Devon bumpkins are hoping to move to Sydney the first week of November...if we get the visa's!!!
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Old Jul 27th 2007, 10:16 am
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

So the West Country is upping sticks. Shame you can't get Sheppy's down there, though
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Old Jul 27th 2007, 10:27 am
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

Oh no, you've just made me really homesick. We lived in staggering distance from Sheppy's farm!
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Old Jul 27th 2007, 10:31 am
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

Originally Posted by Mhairi View Post
For a couple of non-risktaking, country bumpkins, it’s been a helluva year. We have no gripes with the UK whatsoever, but can’t see us going back there in a hurry…
Congratulations to you all. Whereabouts in Sydney are you?
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Old Jul 27th 2007, 10:33 am
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

Hi Hutch

We're in Killarney Heights (Northern Beaches). I was thinking of you at the weekend. We went to Kiama for the day, you live a bit further south don't you?
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Old Jul 27th 2007, 10:39 am
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

Originally Posted by Mhairi View Post
Hi Hutch

We're in Killarney Heights (Northern Beaches). I was thinking of you at the weekend. We went to Kiama for the day, you live a bit further south don't you?
Ah okay - that is a nice spot. Yea - we're 'bout 15 minutes south of there in Shoalhaven Heads. Just head south down the Princes Highway, come off at Gerringong and follow the road straight through.
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Old Jul 27th 2007, 10:42 am
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

We liked the area so much, we came straight home and booked a holiday house in Jamberoo for when the old folks come over for a month (eek!) in October. Is Shoalhaven worth a visit? We thought we'd go to Berry for a visit and Minnamurra Rainforest
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Old Jul 27th 2007, 11:16 am
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

Originally Posted by Mhairi View Post
We liked the area so much, we came straight home and booked a holiday house in Jamberoo for when the old folks come over for a month (eek!) in October. Is Shoalhaven worth a visit? We thought we'd go to Berry for a visit and Minnamurra Rainforest
Shoalhaven Heads is definitely worth a visit, because you've got both beach and river. The river's got lots of barbie sites and a kids playground and stuff. Jamberoo is great too, lovely little town and obviously the waterpark (do the cable car/toboggan early because the queue gets very long later in the day - oh and snag one of the electronic lockers to which you can return as often as you like but which are over-subscribed - bring food too - barbie pits for public use). Minnamurra's definitely worth the trip - there's two circuits on raised boardwalks - an undemanding one through the forest and then an off-shoot up to the waterfall - obviously much more interesting when there's been a bit of rain. As to Berry - couple of great pubs and loads of nice cafes - Berry Hotel at the bottom end of town has a large area out the back and a kid's play zone.
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Old Jul 27th 2007, 11:20 am
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

We are waiting on tender hooks for our visa's at the moment. I read a negative post yesterday about somebody moving to Sydney.

We are in many ways happy living in Exmouth but have a bit of the attitude now that we wont know until we try it. My husband is joining the Australian Navy and they have just asked what suburbs we would like to look at for accommodation. Any recommendations would be so much appreciated.

We have been known to pull of the M5, junction 26 and grab the odd bit of cider As we are going that way tomorrow we may have to nip in
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Old Jul 27th 2007, 11:39 am
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Default Re: Our year in Sydney

We're much the same. Devon is lovely and we're very lucky. So its not a case of escaping Blighty but trying something new. If it does fail, I'll certainly come back this way. Then again, I've worked in Taunton for 10 years and won't miss the M5 one bit
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