For those who don’t know, I, the mysterious voice behind the UPakWeShip blogs and social media, am currently living in Australia.
This is my second visit to the country, where I lived for a full year in 2018. Back then, I bought a one-way ticket to Sydney and headed to the land down under with a suitcase and my fear of spiders in tow.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I certainly didn’t realize I’d fall head over heels in love with a country in which every living creature seems to want to kill you. However, I did, and two years after setting off the first time, I landed back in Sydney. Ready to face the spiders once more.
‘What about the spiders/snakes/deadly creatures?’ is one of the most common questions I get when telling people I love Australia.
But the truth is, I’ve only encountered one snake in 15 months, and I’ve never seen a deadly spider.
Any Aussie will tell you, the real threat to your life – and the most common from September to October, is magpies.
But I understand that basically nobody I reassure believes me – so I want to explain why, despite my fear of spiders and crocodiles, I’ve returned to Australia.
Since experiencing it first hand, I can honestly say the lifestyle here is unparalleled to anywhere else in the world.
From the healthcare, which falls somewhere between the US and UK in coverage and expenses. To the public transport, to the coffee (seriously, it’s known as the best coffee in the world for a reason). Everything in Australia just seems to be a higher quality than that of the other countries I’ve visited.
That’s not to say life is perfect – I arrived in December 2019 to the devastation of the bushfires, and had more than one day in which going outside into the smokey air was a hazard.
However, the country pulling together to combat the biggest fires in the world, showed unparalleled spirit and made me extremely proud to call Australia my current home.
Another thing to take note of, is the expense of the country. Whilst there are areas more expensive than others, one of the key expenses to take note of, is how far away you are from America/Europe if you needed to get home for an emergency.
This is often an oversight of budgeting, but I know more than one expat-family in Australia who have a fund aside specifically for emergencies. International flights are already expensive, and the cost is almost doubled if you’re booking it within 24-48 hours.
However, if you’re working an Australian job for an Australian company, your salary will reflect the higher cost of living.
House hunting in Australia is very similar to the Western market, with homeowners having the option to sell the property themselves or via a real estate agent.
Despite being the sixth-largest country in the world, Australia only has six main cities (including Canberra, the capital).
Much like America, Australia is not short of space in the suburbs, which are constantly expanding. The further out you are, the bigger property you’ll find for the lowest prices.
With the exception of Perth, all of these cities are on the Eastern/ Southeastern Australian coast, but vary considerably in terms of climate and culture. One thing you can guarantee wherever you are, is warm weather and – with the exception of Canberra – a beach close by.
There’s certainly a lot to consider when thinking about where in Australia to live – but what about the Aussies themselves?
Well, I’m here to tell you that Australians really do live up to the stereotype. They are mostly blonde, mostly tanned, and ridiculously good looking.
Almost everyone has surfed at least once or twice, and they really do shorten every, single, word.
Another stereotype you may not be so familiar with is how some Aussie men live up to being a ‘bloke’. Whilst in the cosmopolitan areas, the majority of people are accepting and very twenty-first century, there is undoubtedly an undercurrent of misogyny.
Finally, the big question, the question on everybody’s lips when considering moving to Australia.
“But… What about the sharks?!”
Well, Australia has an excellent shark detection system in place on tourist beaches, with either shark nets or shark alarms preventing attacks.
If you use your common sense and don’t go swimming at dawn or dusk, you’ll be just fine.
Australia remains my favorite country in the world, and one of the most idyllic places to bring up children. It’s surrounded by beautiful coastline, has great art and festival scene, and has fantastic weather pretty much year-round.
So, is the lifestyle worth the spiders/snakes/sharks?
If you’re considering moving to Australia, get a quote today with UPakWeShip. A self-packing service to save you money on your move, we offer an upfront cost including taxes and customs. Our mission is to make your move as stress-free as possible.