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Three Years in Melbourne

Three Years in Melbourne

Old Mar 28th 2007, 6:34 am
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Default Three Years in Melbourne

It's now three years since we moved to Melbourne from Yorkshire. Back in those days I was a forum regular and the forum looked very different - at the time it seemed like an invaluable research tool but I would honestly say that with hindsight the stuff I learned from the forum was a mixed bag - some turned out to be true, some turned out to be utter crap. My advice would be to listen to people who really have lived here, not people who are in the process. Australia after a few years is massively different to Australia after only a few weeks. I don't say that to detract from people who offer advice after only a short time, but as an example Melbourne is such a big place that it takes a long time to really know the character of the different suburbs, and some of the stuff I was told about them by people who had just moved here was simply untrue.

Before I bore you with what we learned I'll just frame our situation for you.

We're an early 30 something couple. No kids. I work in eCommerce my wife is a Primary Teacher. We moved to Melbourne on a permanent residency visa. We sold our home, said goodbye to our large family and large circle of friends and moved here looking for something better for our own future family than what the UK was offering. We knew nobody in Melbourne. We had no jobs and no place to stay the day we stepped off that plane.

Getting started:
The first few months after arrival are bizarre. We underestimated the emotional and physical toll this move would take on us at the time. It was incredibly exciting - buying cars, finding jobs. As long as you have some cash in the bank to fall back on it's not too difficult. It's all a whirlwind honeymoon period thing. My tips for surviving those initial days are:

1. Have some savings. You need to be able to enjoy yourself and keep financial pressure off until you feel more settled. Settling in is expensive.

2. Have plans for what you need. Have plans for finding a place to stay, for finding work, and of course enjoying yourselves. For example we got off the plane and booked into a hotel for 2 nights. We spent that time finding a serviced apartment for 2 weeks. We spent those 2 weeks looking for a place to live for 1 year. Once we had a place to live we got jobs. Once we had jobs we got cars. It all falls together if you have a plan.

Getting Settled
After our first few months were over and we had jobs, the routine of daily life sets in. That was when the enormity of what we had done hit us and the exhaustion from the first few months set in. Once life becomes more routine and it feels less like a holiday, then you have time to reflect on the fact that you won't see your family much anymore, that you have no friends, and that there are a thousand things you don't know that you don't know about where you are now living. My tips for surviving this period are:

1. Never EVER turn down an invite anywhere. Even if you don't like the person who invited you, you may meet someone you do like. Unless it's something morally objectionable of course. Making friends is the way you will stay sane after the move. This is my rule number one. Remember that you are desperate for friends, but the people you meet won't be, so it's up to you to make the first move and work hard to get close to people.

2. Keep in touch with home. Phone home alot. They're missing you, you're missing them. The more you phone the closer they feel. Seriously.

3. Ask questions all the time. Find an Australian at work who will answer them and use that person like a mentor - for everything from sport questions to where the best shops are.

After the first year
After our first year we bought a house and renovated which has it's own horror stories associated with it. I would say that after the first year you should be settled or considering moving somewhere else. I have no tips for this period because from what I've seen it becomes much more specific to the individual, while the first year is quite similar for us all.

And finally . . .
Moving here is not easy at all. It takes a huge amount of courage to stick it out. So if you're doing it - congratulations!

The way of life is great once you're in. Beaches in summer. Skiing in winter. Walks through the eucalypt forests. Cheaper cars. Great restaurants. Wineries. Cafe society. All of it - it's great. We live and love Melbourne every day.

Not sharing this stuff with your family, with friends you grew up with. Sometimes you just want to see something that's truly familiar to you but are denied since nothing you see is more than a few years old to you. That sucks.

We earn more money, have a bigger detached house than we would ever have afforded in the UK a 10 min drive from the bay. We have loads of friends (thanks to the invite rule), some of which are good enough to go on holiday with, some older than us with families, some younger than us and still partying hard. But we swapped all that for family. It's a tough thing to do and ultimately it's a very personal thing to deal with.

So that's a very brief bit of our story. There's no specific stuff in there about Melbourne - so if anyone has any questions fire away.

I've resolved to get back on this forum now that we're settled enough to help, but new enough to remember how tough it can be. So see you on the posts!

Craig.
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Old Mar 28th 2007, 8:49 am
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Great stuff...good on you for doing it, and after 2 years here in Melbourne, I can say that I have been following the same path as you did and am mighty happy.

Loads of good general stuff.....if you can come to one of the meets...you'll meet quite a few similar minded people....and, of course, a few others
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Old Mar 28th 2007, 9:50 am
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Cheers for that.
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Old Mar 28th 2007, 11:17 am
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Craig.[/QUOTE]

Good post that, realities always welcome.

Dave
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Old Mar 28th 2007, 11:31 am
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Great level headed post, thanks for taking the time. Looking forward to getting to know you.

Gill
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Old Mar 28th 2007, 12:32 pm
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Great post, hope you continue to enjoy Melbourne.

Jx
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Old Mar 28th 2007, 1:11 pm
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Originally Posted by dedicate2 View Post
It's now three years since we moved to Melbourne from Yorkshire. Back in those days I was a forum regular and the forum looked very different - at the time it seemed like an invaluable research tool but I would honestly say that with hindsight the stuff I learned from the forum was a mixed bag - some turned out to be true, some turned out to be utter crap. My advice would be to listen to people who really have lived here, not people who are in the process. Australia after a few years is massively different to Australia after only a few weeks. I don't say that to detract from people who offer advice after only a short time, but as an example Melbourne is such a big place that it takes a long time to really know the character of the different suburbs, and some of the stuff I was told about them by people who had just moved here was simply untrue.

Before I bore you with what we learned I'll just frame our situation for you.

We're an early 30 something couple. No kids. I work in eCommerce my wife is a Primary Teacher. We moved to Melbourne on a permanent residency visa. We sold our home, said goodbye to our large family and large circle of friends and moved here looking for something better for our own future family than what the UK was offering. We knew nobody in Melbourne. We had no jobs and no place to stay the day we stepped off that plane.

Getting started:
The first few months after arrival are bizarre. We underestimated the emotional and physical toll this move would take on us at the time. It was incredibly exciting - buying cars, finding jobs. As long as you have some cash in the bank to fall back on it's not too difficult. It's all a whirlwind honeymoon period thing. My tips for surviving those initial days are:

1. Have some savings. You need to be able to enjoy yourself and keep financial pressure off until you feel more settled. Settling in is expensive.

2. Have plans for what you need. Have plans for finding a place to stay, for finding work, and of course enjoying yourselves. For example we got off the plane and booked into a hotel for 2 nights. We spent that time finding a serviced apartment for 2 weeks. We spent those 2 weeks looking for a place to live for 1 year. Once we had a place to live we got jobs. Once we had jobs we got cars. It all falls together if you have a plan.

Getting Settled
After our first few months were over and we had jobs, the routine of daily life sets in. That was when the enormity of what we had done hit us and the exhaustion from the first few months set in. Once life becomes more routine and it feels less like a holiday, then you have time to reflect on the fact that you won't see your family much anymore, that you have no friends, and that there are a thousand things you don't know that you don't know about where you are now living. My tips for surviving this period are:

1. Never EVER turn down an invite anywhere. Even if you don't like the person who invited you, you may meet someone you do like. Unless it's something morally objectionable of course. Making friends is the way you will stay sane after the move. This is my rule number one. Remember that you are desperate for friends, but the people you meet won't be, so it's up to you to make the first move and work hard to get close to people.

2. Keep in touch with home. Phone home alot. They're missing you, you're missing them. The more you phone the closer they feel. Seriously.

3. Ask questions all the time. Find an Australian at work who will answer them and use that person like a mentor - for everything from sport questions to where the best shops are.

After the first year
After our first year we bought a house and renovated which has it's own horror stories associated with it. I would say that after the first year you should be settled or considering moving somewhere else. I have no tips for this period because from what I've seen it becomes much more specific to the individual, while the first year is quite similar for us all.

And finally . . .
Moving here is not easy at all. It takes a huge amount of courage to stick it out. So if you're doing it - congratulations!

The way of life is great once you're in. Beaches in summer. Skiing in winter. Walks through the eucalypt forests. Cheaper cars. Great restaurants. Wineries. Cafe society. All of it - it's great. We live and love Melbourne every day.

Not sharing this stuff with your family, with friends you grew up with. Sometimes you just want to see something that's truly familiar to you but are denied since nothing you see is more than a few years old to you. That sucks.

We earn more money, have a bigger detached house than we would ever have afforded in the UK a 10 min drive from the bay. We have loads of friends (thanks to the invite rule), some of which are good enough to go on holiday with, some older than us with families, some younger than us and still partying hard. But we swapped all that for family. It's a tough thing to do and ultimately it's a very personal thing to deal with.

So that's a very brief bit of our story. There's no specific stuff in there about Melbourne - so if anyone has any questions fire away.

I've resolved to get back on this forum now that we're settled enough to help, but new enough to remember how tough it can be. So see you on the posts!

Craig.
Thanks for the update Craig. Very useful advise I will surely keep in mind.

Hi all. I'm a newbie here. Practically just registered. My apologies if I ask questions that have been asked and answered many times in the past.

My husband and I, with our 4-year-old daughter, are preparing to move to Melbourne after 13 years in London. I would like to hear feedback about which movers/shipping company you used, particularly ones you would highly recommend. I thought about asking this question in the other forum (those just in the process of moving) but on reflection I thought it is best to ask the people who have done the move already. Planned date of move is mid-August, to start my job at the Univ. of Melbourne in September.

Many thanks in advance for any help/feeedback.

- Fe
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Old Mar 28th 2007, 1:18 pm
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Originally Posted by dedicate2 View Post
It's now three years since we moved to Melbourne from Yorkshire. Back in those days I was a forum regular and the forum looked very different - at the time it seemed like an invaluable research tool but I would honestly say that with hindsight the stuff I learned from the forum was a mixed bag - some turned out to be true, some turned out to be utter crap. My advice would be to listen to people who really have lived here, not people who are in the process. Australia after a few years is massively different to Australia after only a few weeks. I don't say that to detract from people who offer advice after only a short time, but as an example Melbourne is such a big place that it takes a long time to really know the character of the different suburbs, and some of the stuff I was told about them by people who had just moved here was simply untrue.

Before I bore you with what we learned I'll just frame our situation for you.

We're an early 30 something couple. No kids. I work in eCommerce my wife is a Primary Teacher. We moved to Melbourne on a permanent residency visa. We sold our home, said goodbye to our large family and large circle of friends and moved here looking for something better for our own future family than what the UK was offering. We knew nobody in Melbourne. We had no jobs and no place to stay the day we stepped off that plane.

Getting started:
The first few months after arrival are bizarre. We underestimated the emotional and physical toll this move would take on us at the time. It was incredibly exciting - buying cars, finding jobs. As long as you have some cash in the bank to fall back on it's not too difficult. It's all a whirlwind honeymoon period thing. My tips for surviving those initial days are:

1. Have some savings. You need to be able to enjoy yourself and keep financial pressure off until you feel more settled. Settling in is expensive.

2. Have plans for what you need. Have plans for finding a place to stay, for finding work, and of course enjoying yourselves. For example we got off the plane and booked into a hotel for 2 nights. We spent that time finding a serviced apartment for 2 weeks. We spent those 2 weeks looking for a place to live for 1 year. Once we had a place to live we got jobs. Once we had jobs we got cars. It all falls together if you have a plan.

Getting Settled
After our first few months were over and we had jobs, the routine of daily life sets in. That was when the enormity of what we had done hit us and the exhaustion from the first few months set in. Once life becomes more routine and it feels less like a holiday, then you have time to reflect on the fact that you won't see your family much anymore, that you have no friends, and that there are a thousand things you don't know that you don't know about where you are now living. My tips for surviving this period are:

1. Never EVER turn down an invite anywhere. Even if you don't like the person who invited you, you may meet someone you do like. Unless it's something morally objectionable of course. Making friends is the way you will stay sane after the move. This is my rule number one. Remember that you are desperate for friends, but the people you meet won't be, so it's up to you to make the first move and work hard to get close to people.

2. Keep in touch with home. Phone home alot. They're missing you, you're missing them. The more you phone the closer they feel. Seriously.

3. Ask questions all the time. Find an Australian at work who will answer them and use that person like a mentor - for everything from sport questions to where the best shops are.

After the first year
After our first year we bought a house and renovated which has it's own horror stories associated with it. I would say that after the first year you should be settled or considering moving somewhere else. I have no tips for this period because from what I've seen it becomes much more specific to the individual, while the first year is quite similar for us all.

And finally . . .
Moving here is not easy at all. It takes a huge amount of courage to stick it out. So if you're doing it - congratulations!

The way of life is great once you're in. Beaches in summer. Skiing in winter. Walks through the eucalypt forests. Cheaper cars. Great restaurants. Wineries. Cafe society. All of it - it's great. We live and love Melbourne every day.

Not sharing this stuff with your family, with friends you grew up with. Sometimes you just want to see something that's truly familiar to you but are denied since nothing you see is more than a few years old to you. That sucks.

We earn more money, have a bigger detached house than we would ever have afforded in the UK a 10 min drive from the bay. We have loads of friends (thanks to the invite rule), some of which are good enough to go on holiday with, some older than us with families, some younger than us and still partying hard. But we swapped all that for family. It's a tough thing to do and ultimately it's a very personal thing to deal with.

So that's a very brief bit of our story. There's no specific stuff in there about Melbourne - so if anyone has any questions fire away.

I've resolved to get back on this forum now that we're settled enough to help, but new enough to remember how tough it can be. So see you on the posts!

Craig.
Fantastic post Craig....made my hairs on my arms stand up on end.

Good luck in your future i am sure you will continue to be very very happy x
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Old Mar 28th 2007, 1:33 pm
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Originally Posted by Issie View Post
Fantastic post Craig....made my hairs on my arms stand up on end.

Good luck in your future i am sure you will continue to be very very happy x
Craig,

How easy eas it for the Oh to find a teaching job: we are both teachers hence the question.

bezza
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Old Mar 28th 2007, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Great post.
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Old Mar 28th 2007, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Originally Posted by bezzanbob View Post
Craig,

How easy eas it for the Oh to find a teaching job: we are both teachers hence the question.

bezza
It took her about 8 weeks in total. Initially some schools were reluctant to take someone with no Australian curriculum experience, so she swotted up on it and ended up getting several offers at the same time.

It took her a year to be made permanent though, teachers can take maternity leave here for one year (salaried for 2 months I think), if they have another child during that period they can take another year and also get that salaried portion again. Consequently there are alot of people on maternity who never intend to come back but don't give up their jobs because they want that payment when they have a second or third child. So when you accept a job be very clear on whether it's permanent or maternity replacement.
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Old Mar 28th 2007, 9:45 pm
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Originally Posted by dedicate2 View Post
It's now three years since we moved to Melbourne from Yorkshire. Back in those days I was a forum regular and the forum looked very different - at the time it seemed like an invaluable research tool but I would honestly say that with hindsight the stuff I learned from the forum was a mixed bag - some turned out to be true, some turned out to be utter crap. My advice would be to listen to people who really have lived here, not people who are in the process. Australia after a few years is massively different to Australia after only a few weeks. I don't say that to detract from people who offer advice after only a short time, but as an example Melbourne is such a big place that it takes a long time to really know the character of the different suburbs, and some of the stuff I was told about them by people who had just moved here was simply untrue.

Before I bore you with what we learned I'll just frame our situation for you.

We're an early 30 something couple. No kids. I work in eCommerce my wife is a Primary Teacher. We moved to Melbourne on a permanent residency visa. We sold our home, said goodbye to our large family and large circle of friends and moved here looking for something better for our own future family than what the UK was offering. We knew nobody in Melbourne. We had no jobs and no place to stay the day we stepped off that plane.

Getting started:
The first few months after arrival are bizarre. We underestimated the emotional and physical toll this move would take on us at the time. It was incredibly exciting - buying cars, finding jobs. As long as you have some cash in the bank to fall back on it's not too difficult. It's all a whirlwind honeymoon period thing. My tips for surviving those initial days are:

1. Have some savings. You need to be able to enjoy yourself and keep financial pressure off until you feel more settled. Settling in is expensive.

2. Have plans for what you need. Have plans for finding a place to stay, for finding work, and of course enjoying yourselves. For example we got off the plane and booked into a hotel for 2 nights. We spent that time finding a serviced apartment for 2 weeks. We spent those 2 weeks looking for a place to live for 1 year. Once we had a place to live we got jobs. Once we had jobs we got cars. It all falls together if you have a plan.

Getting Settled
After our first few months were over and we had jobs, the routine of daily life sets in. That was when the enormity of what we had done hit us and the exhaustion from the first few months set in. Once life becomes more routine and it feels less like a holiday, then you have time to reflect on the fact that you won't see your family much anymore, that you have no friends, and that there are a thousand things you don't know that you don't know about where you are now living. My tips for surviving this period are:

1. Never EVER turn down an invite anywhere. Even if you don't like the person who invited you, you may meet someone you do like. Unless it's something morally objectionable of course. Making friends is the way you will stay sane after the move. This is my rule number one. Remember that you are desperate for friends, but the people you meet won't be, so it's up to you to make the first move and work hard to get close to people.

2. Keep in touch with home. Phone home alot. They're missing you, you're missing them. The more you phone the closer they feel. Seriously.

3. Ask questions all the time. Find an Australian at work who will answer them and use that person like a mentor - for everything from sport questions to where the best shops are.

After the first year
After our first year we bought a house and renovated which has it's own horror stories associated with it. I would say that after the first year you should be settled or considering moving somewhere else. I have no tips for this period because from what I've seen it becomes much more specific to the individual, while the first year is quite similar for us all.

And finally . . .
Moving here is not easy at all. It takes a huge amount of courage to stick it out. So if you're doing it - congratulations!

The way of life is great once you're in. Beaches in summer. Skiing in winter. Walks through the eucalypt forests. Cheaper cars. Great restaurants. Wineries. Cafe society. All of it - it's great. We live and love Melbourne every day.

Not sharing this stuff with your family, with friends you grew up with. Sometimes you just want to see something that's truly familiar to you but are denied since nothing you see is more than a few years old to you. That sucks.

We earn more money, have a bigger detached house than we would ever have afforded in the UK a 10 min drive from the bay. We have loads of friends (thanks to the invite rule), some of which are good enough to go on holiday with, some older than us with families, some younger than us and still partying hard. But we swapped all that for family. It's a tough thing to do and ultimately it's a very personal thing to deal with.

So that's a very brief bit of our story. There's no specific stuff in there about Melbourne - so if anyone has any questions fire away.

I've resolved to get back on this forum now that we're settled enough to help, but new enough to remember how tough it can be. So see you on the posts!

Craig.
hi

we are doing the same as you but with two cats we have never been to oz, we have no jobs, and nowhere to live,all the help we can get the better we validate in may 07.roy my partener is a bricklayer and im a hair colourist, my cats are the babies! im scared ,we have some money, our plan is get there , hotel or mobile home for a week, find a rent ,for cats too ,sort momey.and so on thats the only plan ive got i hope like you it all follows ..somtimes i worry my self sick..I LIKE NOOSA AREA maybe the hinterland ..is this a good area to invest and get work .i like to have space around me but work in the towns or cities, we have about 300,000 each, hope not to spend this ,want toget a job asap,is this enough to buy 2 properties in that area.your story is nice, and uplifting! i dont have many friends in the uk, but i know i will really have to make myself meet them in oz, as im a bit of a loner. ive no family in contact with over here in the uk so, thats a relief, but fitting in as the foreigner, worries me! any advise for me and my partner.sue
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Old Apr 1st 2007, 1:43 pm
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Originally Posted by dedicate2 View Post
My tips for surviving this period are:

1. Never EVER turn down an invite anywhere. Even if you don't like the person who invited you, you may meet someone you do like. Unless it's something morally objectionable of course. Making friends is the way you will stay sane after the move. This is my rule number one. Remember that you are desperate for friends, but the people you meet won't be, so it's up to you to make the first move and work hard to get close to people.

3. Ask questions all the time. Find an Australian at work who will answer them and use that person like a mentor - for everything from sport questions to where the best shops are.
Some of the best advice Ive ever seen.

Thinking back now, I don't ever remember feeling fustrated I didn't know - all the info seemed to just come together somehow as I needed it - having said that - I've been away from the Uk for years so am used to not knowing how things work - or indeed even not wanting to know(!)
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Old Apr 5th 2007, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Superb post.

Your plan sounds pretty much what we have set-out for ourselves. Emma and I are in our early 30's with no kids.

We visited Melbourne in January to validate our 136's and really enjoyed the place. I lined myself up a job whilst we were there, so that's a huge weight off.

We leave the UK on 1st September and travel across the USA for a bit. We land in Melbourne on 22nd October.

We are lucky enough to have been able to save a small amount for when we go, secure one job and have been to Melbourne so we know a little of what to expect when we get there.

I was extremely anxiuos about it all, up one day and down the next, until we booked the tickets last week. Now I say - BRING IT ON! - I can't wait. We're looking at is a a big adventure and going to take it as it comes.

Hope to meet some of you Melburnians in a few months.
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Old Apr 8th 2007, 10:41 am
  #15  
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Default Re: Three Years in Melbourne

Good post, good advice (esp. the bit about invites, said something very similar on the forum recently). What was your old username on BE?
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