To help you decide whether you are ready to make the move down under, here are 5 things that inspired me to move to Australia.
Deciding to move to Australia is not a simple thing to do. There are so many factors to consider, and many of them will depend on your current family structure and lifestyle.
I had originally left South Africa in 2003 for France, and then the UK. After 10 years in the UK, and picking up an English husband along the way, our decision was made to move from the UK to Australia.
And when it comes to things that inspired me to move to Australia, the weather was the first thing I thought about!
5 Things That Inspired Me To Move To Australia
Let’s face it, the weather in Australia is on the whole pretty awesome.
Sure it depends where you live, but you can choose wisely if work doesn’t dictate where you need to live when you first move to Australia.
We discounted Melbourne almost purely based on its weather. Four season in one day? No thank you.
Tasmania looked stunning but WAY too cold for our liking.
Perth and Brisbane looked like the best city options for us and when it came down to it there was more work in Perth so we picked Perth.
And I just love the weather here. We get around 4-6 months every year of pretty decent ‘summer’ weather – sunny and warm with limited rainy days. Winter is mild but feels cold as the houses are not built to retain warmth.
We have a wood burning fire and gas heater for winter, and installed a swimming pool recently for those hot summer days and we really do have the best of both worlds when it comes to the weather now.
Of course, when anyone makes an international move, there have to be the right opportunities on offer.
But they don’t always have to be immediate.
For us, it was the opportunities we knew our son would have when he was in school, in university, eventually when he entered working life.
There are so many options for kids these days and I’d say especially in Australia. There are courses to study and job paths to follow that we couldn’t have even dreamed of a generation ago.
And schools here are generally great at helping kids find their strengths and encouraging them to be the best that they can be.
When I looked at the education system in the UK (as we moved from the UK to Australia) and the working opportunities for teens, graduates and adults, there really didn’t seem like very much that was exciting or appealing (this is my personal experience, yours may be different). I just couldn’t see a future for him there, or me working in funeral plans for the rest of my life (yep that’s what I did!).
Here in Australia, my husband earns more than double what he did in the UK. I run my own digital marketing business, work part time hours and earn 10 times what I did in the UK. Running my own business would never have even crossed my mind as an option in England yet here I am – and loving it!
If you want to start afresh and work your butt off, it can pay dividends in the long run.
An outdoor lifestyle is something Australia is known for. Even if you don’t live in the places with the best weather, being outdoors is something the Aussies are great at.
You’ve got the countless parks, thousands of beaches, endless national parks and forests to wander, and not to mention the glorious and unique outback to explore.
All the main cities in Australia are dotted along the coast so you’re bound to have both beaches and inland to keep you busy outdoors. Whether you enjoy walking, cycling, swimming, hiking, surfing, kayaking, cricket, rugby, horse-riding or any other outdoor pursuit you can think of, you’ll no doubt be able to enjoy it in Australia.
Since moving here, my husband has got into golf and I’ve got back into horse-riding. Mr 10 plays cricket and rides horses and we love being outdoors as much as we can (in summer more than winter for sure but we don’t let a bit of rain stop us from going out anyway!).
Someone said to me before we moved that Perth is like Durban 30 years ago, and being able to offer my son a similar childhood to my own was just too amazing an opportunity to pass up.
Being safe is usually a priority for South Africans when they move anywhere – both within South Africa and outside of South Africa.
Having a young family when we decided to emigrate, our family safety was a key thing that influenced where we chose to live.
While no place is completely safe, there are certainly some countries, cities, and suburbs that have higher crime rates than others. And when it comes to Australia, crime is pretty low.
Australia ranks 76th in the world (out of 113 countries) on the 2021 crime index. That doesn’t sound great, but when you compare it to some other countries chosen by South Africans when emigrating, it’s pretty good.
The United States is 56th, the United Kingdom is 65th and Ireland is 66th respectively.
By comparison, South Africa is 3rd.
We did plenty of research into areas around Perth once we had settled on WA as our ideal state to find somewhere we felt comfortable living – but nothing compared to actually driving around suburbs and seeing them in real life. Google maps is great, but real life is better.
As an English-speaker, moving to another English-speaking country is very appealing.
No worrying about learning a new language, how to read signs or menus, or making embarrassing mistakes when having a conversation.
Actually that can happen anyway when you don’t know the local slang (get my guide to Aussie slang for new migrants here).
But you know what I mean. I lived in France for a short time when I finished my degree and even though I did French for matric, it’s so much harder using it in practice every day with native speakers.
I love the idea of packing it all in and moving to Greece or Italy (well, pre-Covid anyway!), but the thought of starting again with a whole new language as an adult is just so daunting.
So making a move to Australia where English is the main spoken language makes the transition so much easier. Even if you’re mainly Afrikaans-speaking, you probably can speak and understand English on a very good level too and so will get on just fine in Australia.
So know that you know some of the things that inspired me to move to Australia, what about you?
What are some of the things you’re dreaming about when you think about starting a new life in Australia? Let me know in the comments or sign up to my newsletter below for more blogs like this!