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Back to Sydney?

(16 Posts)
DirtyThree Fri 26-Jun-15 19:40:16

DH and I lived in Sydney for 2 years pre-dc. We moved back to the UK to be close to friends and family when the time came to start a family.

4 years and 2 DDs later we've got itchy feet. DH loved Aus, I liked it. I think I always felt like it wouldn't be permanent so couldn't quite settle. There was loads that was great (eating out, beaches, tiny commute, general laidbackness) but also loads that irritated me (crap shops, expensive internal travel, isolation from anywhere else, small mindedness outside cities).

A great job has come up. And I feel tempted to apply. But I suspect I'm reminiscing with rose tinted glasses... Surely it would be very different and possibly very difficult with two small DDs. I'd be working full time and DH might be able to so part time initially I guess, but we'd need childcare which I hear is pricey there. I know rentals are expensive (we'd want max 30min commute from CBD). So why the pull? Is it worth considering properly or should I wait for a better/different job to come up somewhere else?

chloeb2002 Sun 28-Jun-15 21:32:07

I cam back to and after dc. Love it. Wouldn't go back to the UK for anything! grin
So.. Childcare, get an au pair. Cheaper, reliable, fun.
Rental.. Central Sydney is $$$$ Why not commute a bit? Loads of family friendly places in the burbs.
Travel. We have bought a caravan. Loads of weekends away.. Holidays. Love it. Never thought I say I love a caravan!
Australia is an awesome place for kids. Loads of free stuff to do. Bbqs in parks. We live near Brisbane so all the Gold Coast and sunny coast. Middle of winter and we are camping near Coffs. Bliss. Awesome life.
grin
Shopping. This still makes me laugh. Really there's no recorded cases of Aussies or migrants not surviving with the shops offered. Lidls are coming to join Aldis. Costco have changed my shopping world. I do like target and big w. I go to dj's and Myers about as often as I went to house of Fraser. Books I buy online from the Apple Store. I don't find toiletries stupidly expensive. Chemist warehouse is cheap. I have been here 8 yrs now. We live with what we have on offer. Accept it. I keep looking a next online but never ordered. Not been back to UK. No desire to go. Family and friends love to visit us.
So no, I don't think rose coloured glasses. My only suggestion is if it's a forever move then make it a forever move. Not some foot in each door move. Make it work. wink

Now I will move aside for the onslaught of Aussie haters.

Newbrummie Mon 29-Jun-15 16:26:59

Went for three years, financially ruined us for a bit of sunshine

Newbrummie Mon 29-Jun-15 16:45:33

Went for three years, financially ruined us for a bit of sunshine

DirtyThree Mon 29-Jun-15 18:42:28

We did well financially whilst there before thanks to lafha and a good fx rate. I know lafha wouldn't apply anymore and the fx rate would've be in our favour so I suspect we'd feel the pinch a bit more.

I dunno... Itchy feet are annoying!!

chloeb2002 Tue 30-Jun-15 10:14:18

Never had lafha.. Took 5 years to get a grip on income and expenditure. Seems normal talking to other expats.
Love it �� yes we both work hard but we would in the UK too.
Better quality of life for us here.
Depends what you want wink

Newbrummie Tue 30-Jun-15 12:27:44

Living away from home allowance is long gone, you will pay for everything schooling, pens, paper, tissues, health care, everything and get nothing back if the shit hits the fan, that was a bit galling tbh. Working hard doesn't come into it, that's a given where ever you are these days

LadyCassandra Tue 30-Jun-15 12:35:21

Chloeb it's good to hear someone else loving it like we do. It's not for everyone, but I would never move back. We have two kids who have a life we couldn't have dreamed of living where we did in the UK.
dirtyIf you have itchy feet, I'd say give it a go. you are not totally in the dark, having been before

chloeb2002 Thu 02-Jul-15 07:06:04

You are not alone.. Plenty of happy expats.. We never got anything for nothing in the UK! Don't expect it here.. In fact we get more here. Which is a bonus. Far more non means tested help. Great private schools for minimal fees. Fresh food not full of cr@p. Just coming to the end of a week away with the kids to nsw. Only two days out cost is anything. Everything else was gratis! Could happily have avoided on of the days out, the kids sadly notwink. I could go on but no need. Plenty of haters, bitter, don't like it. That's fine. It's not for everyone.

chloeb2002 Thu 02-Jul-15 07:07:13

Bahhhhhaaaaaa dodgy spelling after a glass of cheap Aussie plonk smile

Newbrummie Thu 02-Jul-15 11:19:57

Well not bitter or a hater, stating facts the whole fiasco coatis thousands, promised the moon and stars to get us out there then treated like shit by Aussie employers.

Just do your home work is my advice as it would be to anyone thinking of moving two streets away nevermind the other side of the world.

lynniep Thu 02-Jul-15 11:45:43

You could be me tbh. What you've written is pretty much the same (except for the timescale - we came back in 2006 when I was newly pg with DS1) DH never wanted to leave. I was totally torn about the decision until I found out I was pg and this for me was the decider.
TBH I'd not go back now. That ship has sailed. We had various job offers for DH over the years since, but we would have been no better off financially (comparatively)
I felt instantly settled when we came back to the UK. Like I was in the right place. Which was strange because I never felt particularly unsettled in Oz. I love the UK - although for many many reasons I know folk don't.
We went on holiday abroad last year for the first time with the kids, and I remembered one of the reasons on my 'going back to the UK' list. We also have family here. Not close family, not much family, but family. I feel like I want my kids to have some ties other than us (DH doesn't give a monkeys)

Have you got ties here? If not, there really is no reason not to consider it. You really really need to do the sums though. When DH got a really good offer a few years back I worked out EXACTLY how much it would be by actually researching the rentals/childcare/school fees and so on in the area we wanted, as well as things like grocery prices and travel expenses. I worked out taxes and so and and deducted all that stuff. I don't think I have that spreadsheet still, but I realised that although it sounded like a good salary and relocation package was great, we'd be no better off - I'd still have to work (DH had it in his head only one of us would) We couldn't afford a great big house.

If you are armed with the actual figures, it might make it clearer.

LadyCassandra Thu 02-Jul-15 11:50:24

Of the Expats I know, the ones who hate it are the ones who are on sponsored visas. You don't have any security, are totally reliant on the employer and if you hate your job you are stuck in it to stay in the country. We came out with PR as DH had one of the jobs on the skilled visa list and so we always felt like we were here for good. Especially as we jumped through hoops to get it.
I would agree, do your homework and then expect the unexpected. We had lived here for a year 6 years before and thought we knew what we were getting into, and still got some surprises.

NightFallsFast Sun 05-Jul-15 13:12:22

Contrary to the above I'm on a temporary visa and loving Australia. There are pros and cons to temporary visas and we will applying for PR shortly, but have had a positive experience on a 457. The move was driven by DH, but I was game to give it a go. Chloe was saying to make it a forever move. This obviously works for many. However we're economic migrants and would go back to the UK if we would be financially better off there, but for now Australia is suiting us. We go back to the UK a couple of times a year and it feels like we have the best of both worlds.

Do your sums properly, and if it all adds up then seriously consider it. People often get in to trouble if they come over without a job lined up or have badly miscalculated expenditure.

Fresh01 Tue 07-Jul-15 13:14:23

Along with financial issues I agree with Lynniep about the family issues.

We came back after 9 great years in Oz, when we had DC1 so she and her future siblings could have a closer relationship with extended family.

How often could you afford to visit? Do you have grandparents/parents still alive? Would you have spare funds available to make an unexpected trip back to the UK? My DF suddenly and very unexpectedly, at the age of 52 died, three weeks after we returned from a UK trip. We had to immediately return to the UK for the funeral as I would not have wanted to miss it.

We also found after 9 years visitors had been to Sydney once or twice already so we're wanting us to meet them in other places on that side of the world. We understood as it was an expensive trip and lots of annual leave but it meant we were using our annual leave to go on holidays with them so it became a juggling act.
At the moment I would love to go back for a long holiday but not live there.

knotnowdear Fri 17-Jul-15 06:44:12

You've raised some good points - yes, rent is expensive. You can get an express bus to the city from Coogee in 30 minutes, 2 bed apartments there are between $600 ~ $1000+ per week. Zetland is a fantastic newly regenerated area, brand new 2 bed flats there going from around $650, with a 10 minute commute to the CBD, childcare, gym, supermarkets etc on site.

Childcare in the Zetland site is $125 per day for an under 2, $105 for over 2. I paid my nanny $26 per hour last year + fuel & sundries.

You wouldn't need a car if you lived in Zetland or Coogee, or you could use a car share scheme. My car is a big part of my expense (I'm on a 457 visa so limited finance options)

Crap shops not so much of an issue any more - we've got Sephora, H&M, Gap, Top Shop, a rumoured M&S on its way. All of the UK shops ship here now, M&S free.

Travel is still expensive - I had to make an emergency dash back to the UK last year, and again last month and am flying back again in 7 months time for a wedding (DSS1, so not negotiable really). This all cost a fortune.

You can get good travel deals outside of the school holidays, otherwise camping works well with the children - good weather, pools, loads of other children. Ditto beach barbecues, trips to the beach.

The food is still good!

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