Have you ever thought about moving to a country you’ve never been to; a country that just so happens to be on the other side of the world? And just to make it extra stressful, how about doing that 36 hours after getting married?
You’d have to be a little bit nuts, right?
Hello, my name is Sam, and I am clearly a little bit nuts (by the way, don’t buy nuts in Australia…you’ll need a bank loan).
While it may sound like a slightly spontaneous decision to relocate 10,000 miles, it really wasn’t. It took months of planning and bucketloads of lovely pound coins to get to Australia. But more about that later…
So, how did the palest person in the whole of England, with the biggest fear of all things snake, happen to end up in one of the hottest countries on Earth? A country that calls the world’s second-most venomous danger noodle its own…
It was Cupid. I’m blaming it all on Cupid and his bloody arrow of love.
Around 7 years ago, in wintery old London, I met an Australian chap. I’d like to say he was riding a kangaroo down Oxford Street, whilst drinking a Fosters, and yelling ‘G’day’ to all whom passed, but we’re not here to perpetuate stereotypes. Or to promote drunk kangaroo driving. It was more along the lines of a quick hello across a crowded office before he offered to get me a fob for the front door (a bit forward, I know). Not much happened for the next three years. He was busy being all Australian, and I was busy dodging sunlight and reptiles. And then, lazy Cupid worked his magic…the rest, as they say, is history.
After nearly 18 years in the UK, my then-boyfriend/now-husband was desperate to get back to the sunshine, beaches and barbies of his motherland. And he wanted me to join him. We thought it would be years down the line before we made the big move, but then, in 2017, a job redundancy struck and a little pot of gold came with it. Enough to get us to Australia. So, we made the decision and forged ahead.
When I say forged ahead, I mean ‘got lost under mountains of paperwork and acquired half a head of grey hair’. Applying for an Aussie partner visa isn’t for the faint-hearted. You have to really work for it. Blood, sweat and tears, and I mean that quite literally. If you’re heading down that route, fear not, a few posts will soon follow!
We’ve been in Brisbane for 15 months now and have no regrets. We came here for a better quality of life, and we got it. We traded in our tiny London flat for a lovely house near the CBD – and we pay less for that! We’ve adopted the world’s cutest dog. And, we’ve had our fair share of sunny barbies.
It’s been a roller coaster, for sure. There’s happy days and there’s sad days. There’s been smiles and tears. There’s excitement and there’s homesickness. But I’m yet to get sunburnt, I’ve discovered Kmart, and I haven’t seen a danger noodle, so I like to think I’m winning at Aussie life.
All in all, it was worth it. And I like to talk about it to anyone who will listen. But that probably gets boring, so I’ve decided to write about it, instead! I’ve started this blog to share my experiences. I hope that they will help others in the same boat. If you’re looking for Australia from the view of an expat, you’ve got it. Watch this space!