Moving to Australia these days isn’t as daunting as it used to be. Using the internet it’s so easy to research almost every aspect of your move so you can be prepared as much as possible for the practical side of life in Australia. But there are some things that you just won’t be able to prepare for, no matter how much research you do.
Here are 5 things that I wish I knew before emigrating to Australia. Some of them I thought I knew, but until you add your emotions into the experience, you don’t truly appreciate them.
1. Bring As Much Money As You Can
Now this sounds simple but I was even a little surprised at just how far your money goes here, or more to the point, doesn’t go!
We brought enough money to last us for 3 months plus some funds to buy a cheap-ish second hand car. And let me tell you it came down to the wire.
If I was telling anyone else moving over now, I’d say try to bring a minimum of 6 months worth of funds to see you through the early days. Life is expensive, and when you aren’t earning dollars, it goes pretty quickly!
2. Consider A Career Change
The Aussies are all for people starting over in their careers or starting their own business. If you’ve had a burning desire to change career paths or start a business, why not explore those options in Australia?
The job market can be a tough nut to crack – Perth is all about who you know, so if you aren’t making the right connections you may take a while to find employment. I couldn’t even get an interview as a business analyst so started looking at what else I would be interested in doing. I ended up with an entry level online marketing role and 4 years later, I’m running my own freelance digital marketing business in Perth!
Starting over in a new country gives you the opportunity to find out what you really want to do work-wise and what better time to start afresh?
3. Choose Your Temporary Accommodation Wisely
Because of the way Perth has grown, the city extends north, south and a little east from the city centre. This makes house hunting incredibly difficult if you’re undecided about whether to live north or south of the river.
When looking for house rentals, they’ll often have set times you can view them, usually later in the afternoon for around 30 minutes. If you’re north of the river and wanting to view houses south of the river, that means sitting in heaps of traffic in either direction during the afternoon school run and regular work commuters. Add a couple of kids into the mix and this is not the most pleasant thing to do!
Houses for sale on the other hand are usually open for viewings on the weekends so travelling around is much easier.
If you have any inkling of where you will work or where you would prefer to live, make sure your temporary accommodation is on the right side of the river for it. Most people end up staying where they start off – we even ended up buying a house just a few streets away from our temporary accommodation we stayed in when we arrived!
4. Interstate Travel Is Expensive
You might think that you’ll be exploring Australia every other weekend when you arrive, but man this place is BIG. So big that interstate travel is flipping expensive. When we lived in the UK, it was so easy to get bargain flights on airlines like Ryanair and EasyJet, but that just doesn’t exist here. Even the cheap flights are not that cheap. And when you’re paying for flights for the whole family that can just about blow your budget if you aren’t careful.
Hence why when we had our first chance for a proper holiday (and I don’t mean a long weekend in Margaret River!), we went to Bali instead! Read all about our first Bali holiday here.
5. Don’t Chuck Your Winter Clothes Away!
When we told people we were moving to Perth, even the Aussies told us to throw all our winter coats and clothes away. Boy do I regret this. I ended up having to buy all new hoodies and trakkie pants and jumpers when our first winter hit. You could also do with a coat for evenings out as it does get pretty chilly, so hang on to any quality winter clothes you’ve got as they may well come in handy once you’ve acclimatised!
Were you surprised by certain things when you finally arrived in Australia? Let me know in the comments.
Enjoyed this? Check out some of my other blogs like 8 common misconceptions about moving to Australia and 50 things you need to know before you migrate to Australia.