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Moving to Oz - how did you rationalise moving so far from family and friends?

(68 Posts)
Buda Mon 24-Aug-09 19:46:19

As some of you know we are currently in Budapest and planning on relocating back to UK in 2 years or so. But. But. But.

I keep thinking of Oz. Perth to be precise. DH would go in a heartbeat but thinks I would struggle hugely with distance. I have lived away from my family in Dublin for years but for the last 8 years have been close enough to go back 3/4 times a year. We are popping back this weekend for my Dad's 70th in fact.

I have 3 younger sisters all with children. DS is an only and loves his cousins. DH has no family ties to anywhere or anyone.

We have just sat and tried to logically work out pros and cons and give various aspects of living in either UK or Oz points but we are stuck on just how much the proximity to Dublin should be weighted (DH is a very logical accountant!!).

If you have done it how did you decide? And how do you feel now? How bad is the journey to an from? (Have been to Oz twice but both times from Asia so travel/cost less of an issue.) How often do you get back? How much do you miss people? Is it really worth it?

I may not get back on again tonight but will be on in the morning. Looking forward to lots of helpful replies from you Oz lot! Thanks!

Buda Tue 25-Aug-09 06:32:06

Bumping in case any Oz peeps are still awake!

bloss Tue 25-Aug-09 07:15:15

Message withdrawn

ben5 Tue 25-Aug-09 07:27:35

we moved to Perth area in June. So far we love it. we are a 45 min drive south of perth, near rockingham. while western australia(wa) also stands for wait awhile it's really not that bad here. we like the slower way of life and have the benifits of some big shopping areas,beaches that are great for kids,playgroups,playgrounds,better weather.i had never been to australia before and have settled here very quickly. i skype my parents almost every day(theres only 7 hour time diffence).ds1 has settled into school and we are very pleased with the school.private schools are cheap aswell if you want to go down this route. most people are coming out to visit us so no plans yet in going back to uk. there are lots of companys that do cheaper flights back to uk so hopefully will not be to much of a prob. we even have the soaps out here!!

ben5 Tue 25-Aug-09 07:30:39

buda come and find me on facebook . i have loads of photos of perth and area. (i'm under emma dixon, theres me and my 2 ds)

thirtypence Tue 25-Aug-09 07:32:31

I moved to NZ, but it's different as my dh is a kiwi - so one or both of us will always have to live in another country to the one we grew up in.

I have no plans to move anywhere else - I love it here.

thumbwitch Tue 25-Aug-09 14:15:34

hmm, very pertinent Buda! Have just moved to Newcastle area of NSW, last week in fact, with Aussie DH and DS of 21m.

Rationale - DH is moving home to be close to his mum (on her own) and DS will have better outdoors style upbringing/childhood. It was always part of the "agreement" between us that it would happen eventually.

Downside - am TERRIFIED of something happening to my Dad while I am over here and me not being able to get back in time. I have a sis who lives near him but it wouldn't help me or my feelings.

FLights - more expensive from Australia than from UK; we have booked returns for approx 1 yr's time to get round that. DS coped ok, not too bored. It will be much more expensive next time cos he will need his own seat, of course.

Perth - had a friend who moved out there with her fiancé but couldn't stand the small-town-ness of it - she thought they would be moving to Sydney area after a while but he didn't want to leave his family and friends after all and she didn't feel as though she was being properly included in his life. Plus I gather it's even hotter and dustier over there than the east coast.

Immigration - fricking NIGHTMARE, even with a spousal sponsorship! Although if you're going on a skilled working visa that might be easier, apparently hmm

Anyway, that's my thoughts for you!

Buda Tue 25-Aug-09 19:42:27

Thanks all. having a crisis with puppy so no time to reply more but will do tomorrow.

lynniep Tue 25-Aug-09 20:01:33

Well, I'm one of the ones who came back (to UK)

You really need to cope with the fact that you might not see them (face to face) for years on end - of course that depends on the job situation - but we only had 20 days holiday when we worked in Oz. That means if you want to go back to Dublin, you're going to get very little/no holiday of your own when you're in Oz.

I had a big issue with the fact DH was always looking at marvellous big houses in the mountains (we were in Sydney) but I had to resign myself to the fact that none of my friends/family would ever be able to share that with us because they coudnt afford the trip.

Also dad was ill and I was constantly worried something would happen and there'd be nothing I could do.

DH was happy out there and would move back in a heartbeat. He's not attached to his family at all. I'm not in the sense that I rarely see them, but I know that they are close by if I want to.

I actually preferred it in general, but I never settled and I'm much happier back in the UK. People go on about the weather, but I found that a) frankly the winter is still long and cold and drizzly although not as cold as it gets here and b) you never got light evenings which I hated. I hated the roaches. I hated the extreme heat around christmas time. I hated commuting in extreme heat too.

Bloody lorikeets were the loudest birds I've ever heard and kept us awake at night (as did the lack of air con in our apt!) that was just a pet hate though - not a reason not to go!

If you're in/near the city like we were, house prices arent much better than over here. (although presumably better in Perth)

oh I dont know. Its a killer decision. I could ramble on forever. good luck to you smile

inscotland Wed 26-Aug-09 05:33:07

I'd say the same as Ben5 but we moved in July and are North of the River!

Ozziegirly Wed 26-Aug-09 05:48:01

It really is tricky. We moved to Sydney from the UK in 2007 and then to Adelaide in Dec 2008.

I was fine in Sydney - I easily made friends, it's very cosmopolitan, you feel in the centre of things etc. Plus it's beautiful and I loved the lifestyle and everything about it.

Adelaide I am less sure about. On paper it''s great - we have a nice house 15 minute drive from work, it's easy to get to the beach or the hills, but it's such a "small town" and I have struggled to meet like minded people as everyone knows each other from childhood. I have really been missing my friends and family (althought not actually the UK itself).

We are currently deciding whether to go back to Sydney, back to the UK or "option 3 - other"!

I would struggle going back to the UK as I love the climate here, love the ease of being aboue to get stuff done, it's a very can do culture which I like. I miss the proximity to Europe and the USA for holidays.

My biggest fear is something happening to my parents. Also, we are TTC and I think I will struggle horribly with bringing up a child away from thier extended family. So it is a hard decision. Honestly, I can't imagine staying here for longer than about 5-10 years. My parents will be in their 70s by then. At the moment they happily travel out here for 3-4 weeks at a time, but there will come a time when they don't do that anymore.

I wish I could answer your questions better! I wish I could answer my own really.

Shells Wed 26-Aug-09 06:19:13

I'm with you Ozziegirly. We have similar issues although its me that is the antipodean and DP who is from UK. We're here to be closer to my parents and for the 'lifestyle' (hate that word).

But it hasn't worked as we'd hoped and we're both very homesick for Europe. But the thought of leaving my parents is heartbreaking. I really want to get to the bottom of what is important, and how you make those decisions. Keep me posted with your thoughts.

ClaudiaSchiffer Wed 26-Aug-09 06:45:29

Buda out of interest, why Perth in particular?

Like Ozziegirly, I'm in Adelaide. I've never been to Perth but would guess that it's quite similar to here ie feels like a large country town. Apart from the fact that Perth is even more remote and I feel pretty much like i'm stuck on the edge of the world as it is.

I've been here for 3 years - married an Aussie, Adelaide is his home town. Although the quality of life is better out here, well it's sunnier and cleaner, and we do have a very nice life, and it's great for the kids. I would go back in a shot if I could.

I really wouldn't underestimate how hard it is to be away from your loved ones, particularly as your dad is fairly, um, old. It's not that cheap to get back, I've been back once in the last 3 years. And it is a helluva journey - also I found the emotional upheaval of going back (and having to leave again|) pretty disruptive too. Also for me it is a great sadness that my lovely dds don't know their lovely cousins - all in London.

I know it's a massive cliche but culturally Europe and Australia are pretty different. In some ways Australia is fantastic but I miss that UK dry sense of humour, here I make (VERY FUNNY) jokes and my Aussie female friends tend to look at me as if I am a bit of a wierdo - and really I'm not wink. And I really miss the history of England - not kings and queens etc but that sense of a civilisation that is more that 200 yrs old. That probably sounds really pretentious and yes I know Aboriginal people have been here for 40,000 years.

I dunno Buda, it's tough, lots of Brits are VERY happy here but I would think long and hard if I were you and if you do decide to come you have to do so with a very positive attitude. I have some other Brit chums here who have been here for 3 years too and have spent that 3 years moaning about it. Very dull.

Buda Wed 26-Aug-09 08:42:23

Lots to think about - thanks all. About to take pup to vet so will be back later.

ClaudiaS - just to answer you quickly. Why Perth - we were there on holiday around 11 years ago and liked it. In lots of ways Sydney would be better - I have 4 good friends there in fact - but DH feels that property prices are so much higher there that we wouldn't have the same standard of living. Maybe I will research that a bit more.

TBH honest after reading the replies on here and on some other forums I am going off the idea.

BonsoirAnna Wed 26-Aug-09 08:50:21

There is a family here in Paris who moved from Perth a year ago, and are intending to stay here for at least one more year. I think that the main motivation for coming to Paris was that the mother, a SAHM fomer lawyer, was bored silly in Perth and wanted to spend some time in Europe! (her DH has a fairly mobile job).

Ozziegirly Wed 26-Aug-09 09:06:56

Buda, you mention Sydney property prices - that is semi what spurred us to moving to Adelaide. Sydney is great, and obviously cheaper than London, but we would still be having a longish commute and houses are fairly expensive.

And I agree with ClaudiaSchiffer as well - culturally in Adelaide I feel very "different" to the people who live here. They don't really get my sense of humour and I haven't really clicked with anyone. I don't drink and don't really like sport and frankly that is all I have found people are interested in here (Sydney wasn't like this at all though).

I also miss the casual and easy access to culture - even new books, music, seeing lovely old buildings. I miss quaint little winding lanes in France and those lovely whitewashed towns of Greece and Spain.

BUT what I do like are things which are much better than the UK, like the lack of crowds, the wonderful national parks, the amazing walks we have done, fantastic scenery, wildlife, the food is great and cheap, I feel like our standard of living is high. Healthcare is excellent, there doesn't seem the same level of "hoodies" hanging around and there certainly isn't the same level of knife crime/gun crime (in the areas I have lived in - I may not be comparing like with like).

God knows what we will do. In a perfect world I would live here and have the money to fly back 4 times a year business class. Then I think I would probably be happy!

In fact, probably my real ideal world would be to live on the east coast of the USA - maybe Charleston, so still good outdoorsy life, good weather, more affordable than London, but a much quicker flight back to the UK. If only it was a bit easier to live in the US.

BonsoirAnna Wed 26-Aug-09 10:03:42

Sigh.

The eternal problem of moving around is that you end up eternally dissatisfied, wanting to live in a non-existent country that combines all the best things about every place you have ever lived in!

OrmIrian Wed 26-Aug-09 10:10:50

buda! You were going to move down my way. How could you prefer all that sunshine and surf to living down here wink

Buda Wed 26-Aug-09 10:12:14

That is exactly it BonsoirAnna!

The other country we are considering is Portugal. My issue with that is that after almost 20 years of living in countries where I don't speak the language I want a country where English is the first language.

We are very lucky in that we don't have to consider commuting or work for either DH or I. We only have to consider schooling for DS. DH will be essentially retired. I reckon he will get bored but he says not! I may look for a job purely to get away from having DH here all day. (I would need a job where I could MN as much as I do now obv!)

We have 4 options at the moment - UK, Ireland, Oz or Portugal. I suppose we could also consider Spain, France, New Zealand or US. Not sure how easy US would be and DH is a bit unsure of the education there.

Need to re-read this thread and reply to others who kindly replied to me!

BonsoirAnna Wed 26-Aug-09 10:14:51

Why don't you make schooling for your DS one of your guiding forces when choosing which country to retire to? It might help you with your decision and it is a very worthwhile guiding light.

FWIW, I have a favourable impression of schooling in Australia - there are some great private IB schools. Don't go to France as the schools are very inappropriate for children who are not French.

ClaudiaSchiffer Wed 26-Aug-09 10:33:15

Schooling is VERY good here. Excellent state schools (in Adelaide at least) and if you choose private there are masses and it seems to be more affordable than in the UK.

Health care is good here too.

Perth housing isn't that cheap any more is it? I thought that the mining boom had bumped all the prices up. And would there be enough to do in Perth if you are retired? Surfing?

Buda Wed 26-Aug-09 10:37:39

bloss - I suspect you may be right and that I for one would feel cut off. We visited Perth from Vietnam almost 11 years ago. Spent 2 weeks in area and basically drove down as far as Albany, stopping off here and there on the way. We really enjoyed it. Had a few days in Perth at the end for civilisation and shopping. Compared to Vietnam it was very civilised. I have mentioned to DH that Perth is considered to feel isolated and boring by some and he raised his eyebrows and said "for 2 50 year olds?" I am only 45!!! Other thing to consider is that would DS find it limiting and disappear off when he is older? What then?

Good advice about flying via Singapore and doing the stopover.

ben5 - How did you decide on area? An old friend of mine is there and he lives in Northern Suburbs - Tapping. He said that there is a north/south divide with north being considered to be better. (We are both from Dublin where the opposite is the case!)

thumbwitch - thanks. Hard when one of you will always be feeling hard done by in a way. Although I don't live in the same country as my parents I know that I can get home easily both timing and cost wise.

lynniep - thanks. Very honest! I too hate roaches. I remember Xmas in Asia and hated that it was hot. Feels SO strange. We are lucky in that we would not be working - DH will be retired although as I said earlier I may try to work just to get away from him! He has a vision of a GoodLife-type lifestyle! Tom and Barbara we ain't though so it might be interesting!

Ozziegirly - it is hard isn't it. It is just so damn far. My Dad is 70 on Friday and my Mum is 71. She would never cope with the journey. He might but would be a fish out of water I think. None of the rest of my family would afford the trip. So it would always be us going to see them.

Interesting comments about Adelaide from those of you there. One of my good friends is from there and I would imagine that it is very small town, everyone grew up together from what she says.

LOLing a bit that both Ozziegirly and ClaudiaS can't find anyone to laugh at their jokes! You should get together!

Right - I hope I have answered everyone! If not - I am sorry. But thanks to all of you. You have def given me food for thought. I think that for me it will just be too far from home.

In UK we are looking at Somerset so hoping for some lovely scenery, fairly easy life, reasonable shopping and ability to be able to travel easily. If we could guarantee some good weather it would be perfect!

Ozziegirly Wed 26-Aug-09 10:46:03

BonsoirAnna you have hit the nail on the head - that is exactly what I wish I could do!

Good luck Buda, I have to say, if I didn't have to work I would be in Sydney like a shot as the main thing that put me off was the dreadful public transport and prices of houses within an easy commute of the city. Non commuting house prices are way more affordable, and probably cheaper than Perth.

If I was in your position I would probably be looking at the Northern Beaches, Blue Mountains, even somewhere like Port Macquarie or Byron Bay. You have the advantage on the east coast that there is a lot more to do, and it's easier to jump on a flight up the coast to Queensland. Perth you are fricking miles from anywhere (like Adelaide).

Buda Wed 26-Aug-09 10:51:25

OrmIrian - it is still a possibility! Can't find right house though. Think one of the reasons I am feeling so unsettled right now is that we seem to have been looking for 2 years and have not found one house that ticks even 90% of boxes.

OrmIrian Wed 26-Aug-09 10:52:17

ooh tell me what you want and I will have a good old ferret about.... grin

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