There are many people who look out of their office window on a dreary Monday morning, be that in London, Manchester or Edinburgh, and want a change of scenery. It can be very easy to imagine yourself living far away in a hot country surrounded by beautiful beaches. The reality however, can be a little a different and there are certain things that you need to consider before taking the plunge.
I am a born and raised Londoner who has recently moved to Sydney and I thought I would share some of my experiences. Hopefully this will help you decide if moving to Australia is the right thing for you.
The idea of living in Australia can be very glamourous indeed! The sun, the surf, the beaches. But the first thing you have to think about is the distance. London to Sydney is approximately 11,000 miles and you have an 11 hour time difference. This can make it very hard to see and communicate with your friends and family. Generally speaking, when you are waking up in Australia the UK is going to bed and vice versa. This can make simple things like Skype and phone calls quite tricky. You will need to be prepared to communicate through other methods like texting, email and Facebook! How you cope with this depends on you. Some people have incredibly strong relationships with friends/brothers/sisters/parents and talk everyday on the phone with them. If that’s you, then having such a big distance might be very tough. The same goes for travelling between the UK and Australia. The flights from London to Sydney take at least 24 hours and obviously aren’t that cheap! You will find that many people will promise that they will visit but the practicalities of that are challenging. You may not see friends and family in the flesh for a couple of years. Have a think about how that will affect you.
When moving to a new country, the likelihood is that you won’t really know anyone. If you are lucky you may have a friend or two, but most of us will have to start our social circle from scratch. If you are a bit of a social butterfly and are hangin’ out with your mates most days, then you may have to get used to nights in with your favourite DVDs whilst you work on getting to know people! It takes a while to build up a social group and meet people who will turn into friends. You have to realise that your life could be quite solitary for a few months while you are getting used to your new environment. What kind of a person are you? Do you need loads of friends around you or are you comfortable in your own company?
Although the UK and Australia share a language and have a similar cultural heritage there are huge differences between the two countries. If you are expecting Australia to be just like the UK, but with sun then you are in for a bit of a wake up call or culture shock. You have to be prepared to integrate yourself into another culture and a different way of doing things. Sydney has a different pace of life to London and not everything is as efficient. For example, it took me 2 weeks to connect to the internet where it would take 3 days to do the same in London.
Cost of Living
There is a lot stuff thrown at you about the cost of living in Sydney compared to London. Some people say that you need 2 times your London wage, others claim 3.5 times. Having recently made the move from London to Sydney I think I am in a good position to give you some truth on the subject! Firstly, Sydney is NOT more expensive than London, not by a long way. If you are a tourist and you are staying in a hotel and eating out for every meal then I accept that Sydney can be an expensive town. The reality is that rental costs, groceries and things like phone bills are actually a lot cheaper in Sydney compared to London. Generally speaking you will earn more money in Sydney, but you have to be realistic with your wage demands. Don’t get hung up on the idea that you need at least a £10k pay rise to be comfortable, as it’s simply not true!
I hope reading this blog will help you decide if making the move to Australia is the right choice for you. If you decide your moving, here are our most commonly asked questions, anything else please send us an email.