I’ve written a special top five list, in honour of my new monthly column in Australia and New Zealand magazine.
My top five reasons to emigrate to Australia
There are lots of reasons we decided to make the move, but these are our main ones:
I HATE the cold. I know some people love the different seasons, but I really don’t. I could happily hide under a duvet all winter until summer arrives. My kids HATE the cold too and although I’m willing to wrap up in a hat and scarf to go out in the cold weather to give them space to run around, they just scream and cry until I bring them indoors again. This means from November until March we’re often trapped inside bouncing off the walls (and each other). I know that in Australia we’ll find ourselves trapped indoors due to the heat but I think, for me, that is the lesser of the two evils.
I live in the south of the UK. It is busy, the roads are packed, houses are quite close together and villages and towns merge together. After travelling around New Zealand and Australia a few years ago, it was a huge relief to see space around houses, and plenty of wilderness to explore. I want some room to breathe again. I want a beach to myself, not just a tiny patch of sand surrounded by hundreds of other people.
We love having BBQs and going to the beach. In Australia we intend to go to the beach for our BBQs. It’s a win, win situation.
I love the properties in Australia. Although I’m under no illusion that houses are cheap over there, I know that we’ll get more house for our money. I love the open plan living, and how the outside can be made to feel like another room. I love how the layout of the houses brings families together. One of my dreams has always been to build my own home. I’d never be able to achieve that in the UK because it would cost far too much. In Australia, this is not only possible, but actually quite easy to do and it’s something I hope we’ll be able to do one day.
I don’t want to live my life standing still. I stare at my potential life in the UK and see more soggy winters, financial struggles to buy a house large enough to accommodate our needs and challenges for Husband to find another secure job when the one he is working in at the moment ends. I don’t want my life to stay the same forever. When Husband and I met, we worked hard to save for our grown up gap year. When that was over we worked hard to survive the lack of sleep involved in having twins. When they started to grow up a bit we added the excitement of a new baby. Now we need a new challenge. We don’t want to be scared to take risks, and we want to inspire our children to live the lives they choose and follow their own dreams.
OK, I’ve run out of space now but there’s also the work opportunities for Husband, which appear to be much better for his industry than in the UK. Then, looking ahead, there’s the future opportunities for our children. Quality of life of life is another factor – things like amazing cafes, vineyards, great food. Not to mention the amazing opportunities to learn about nature and the world around us. Spectacular coral reefs, the best views of the night sky, ancient spiritual landmarks, the laid-back attitude of the locals and cuddly koala bears. I think I may have cheated and gone over my five, but you get the idea – I think Australia is a pretty special place.
To emigrate or to stay put
I know we could change our lives in the UK by making some changes. It’s easy to decide to spend more time outdoors (assuming you don’t have kids who hate the cold!) It’s easy to move closer to your work to get a shorter commute or to move further away to live a more rural lifestyle. If you want to stay in the UK, there are loads of ways you can make your life here more ‘Australian’. When we were travelling, we met lots of couples who told us they planned on taking their holiday spirit back home with them to the UK to improve their quality of life.
For us, that wasn’t enough: we want a real Australian lifestyle. I know our lives in Australia won’t be perfect – we’ll still have the same day to day issues over there that we do over here, Husband’s commute will be a LOT longer (at the moment he lives less than one mile from his work so he has been spoilt), it will get incredibly hot, Husband may earn more but our outgoings are going to be more so we don’t expect to be any better off financially and we’ll be a really long way from our family. And we will get homesick.
But to achieve a dream you need two things: You need to believe in it, and you need to have the confidence to follow it. Thankfully, we do and we have.