Moving to Australia: Is There a Seven Year Itch?

Every year, as a bit of a tradition here on Bobinoz, I make a video summing up one of our whole full-years living in Australia. A whole full year is, of course, one that runs from January 1 through till December 31. We arrived in November 2007, so last year, 2014, was our seventh full year.

So around February time when Christmas and New Year is well out of the way, the summer holidays are over, Elizabeth is back at school and life has returned to normal, I start looking through the previous year’s photos…

Straddie…and videos to put together another ‘full-year’ movie. I pluck out the highlights and then cram it all into five minutes.

Life in Australia: Year 7 Living Down Under

Before we get to Year 7, here’s where you can catch up with years 1 to 6.

Imagine that? All you have to do is watch around 35 minutes of videos, that’s the six videos above and the one I’m about to show you, and you will have a great idea what it’s been like for us living in Australia for a whole seven years.

35 minutes!

You could barely watch an episode of Home and Away or Coronation Street in that time!

So is there a seven year itch? Has a life in Australia become tedious for us by now? Let’s watch the video…

Exactly; still loving it.

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{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Sarah August 9, 2015, 9:07 am | Link

    I moved to Australia in 1993 from the UK. I left all of my family behind to marry an Aussie. I had 2 children and although I missed my family I knew this was a better place for them to grow up.
    My husband died when the kids were young and life has been financially tough with no family support. I put myself through uni which I could never have done in the UK. We hot through the hard times and I still maintain that the kids have a better life here.
    However, I just got back from my first trip to the UK in 20 years. I took my beautiful son (20). He now informs me that he has to be with our family. He wants to live around them and that he feels that he has missed out on the family experience.
    I know it seems like a young mans adventure but I know my boy. Once he gets there he will be trapped. He will love the family around him and never be able to afford to come back here. I’ll never see him again. I’m about to lose him and it hurts so badly.
    Moving here is a sacrifice, you have to give up things and the very reason you sacrifice could end up not wanting what you gave them in the first place.
    The price was too high

    • BobinOz August 9, 2015, 8:24 pm | Link

      Sarah, I understand exactly where you are coming from on this. I sort of touched on this, just a little bit, in the following post quite some time ago…

      It is a small fear that I have and probably my wife has as well, although we don’t really talk about it. For some youngsters, I’m talking early 20s and especially the adventurous or ambitious ones, they might get to a point where they think ‘there must be more to this world than Australia?’.

      And indeed there is, much much more. I lived in the UK for nearly 50 years and thoroughly enjoyed travelling around Europe and seeing all those different cultures. Being close to family, for some people, is important but the lure of Europe is, I think, even stronger.

      Australia is a big country, but it’s just one culture, Europe on the other hand is a fascinating continent with much to offer. My fear is obvious, one day my daughter Elizabeth will want to go travelling for a very long time, if she decides she wants to do that when she is just 20, I don’t know how I would cope.

      My wife certainly wouldn’t cope.

      It’s a problem, but always remember one thing, you did do the right thing by bringing your young children to Australia to give them a better life. It’s a great place to bring up kids. You have to live in the moment.

      Remember also that this isn’t just a problem for people like us, lots of born and bred Australians have children who get to around 20 years of age and want to discover Europe. They have to deal with the same scenario.

      In your situation, there’s a long way to go yet. Wait until your son has had to put up with the dismal grey and cold weather for a while, he may change his mind and want to come back. No guarantees on that though, he may love it despite the weather.

      Whatever happens, whatever ends up to be, I hope it’s for the best and that you will find a way to deal with it.

      Cheers, Bob

      • Alex Mc September 7, 2015, 8:44 pm | Link

        If its any consolidation Sarah I am 33 and have a 20 month old daughter and we are very seriously looking to emigrate to Oz. When I was 4 years of age my parents had arranged to emigrate to Oz, we had a place in Perth to go to, Mum had a job and at the last minute she panicked fearing she would miss her family too much and backed out of the move.

        Now, she says it is her biggest regret backing out to stay in the UK. She knows we all would have had a better quality of life in Oz and for the amount of time we have spent with family (grandparents, aunties, uncles cousins etc) it just hasn’t justified it for her.

        My mum is very encouraging of our moving to Oz even though we are taking her Grandchild the other side of the world because she knows its the best decision for us all.

        I grew up in the UK and I wanted to travel the world (which I have done) and now I want to emigrate. You choosing to move to Oz has no reflection on your sons choices. I think he would have chosen to travel whichever country you were in – if its in someone to travel then its something they need to get out of their system. You have given him a fantastic opportunity.

    • Leah May 16, 2016, 9:43 pm | Link

      “Never be able to afford to come back here”. Why? It’s just the cost of a flight. It would be more expensive for him to live over there, where he’d have to support himself, than here where I assume he’d have your help.

      I am a born and bred Australian who up and moved to the UK when I was in my mid-20s. Because we’re not British citizens my husband and I had to get visas which was only 2 years long. At the end of that we were forced back to Australia. We could have opted to apply for a new visa but decided it was time to go home, despite the fact we were leaving behind friends who had become our second family and a city I adore.
      Alternatively, a friend of mine who is a born and bred kiwi who IS also a british citizen moved to the UK for a year. She had grandparents and cousins in the UK and while she appreciated her time with them – and had a british passport so could have stayed as long as she liked – she never questioned the fact that she was going back to New Zealand where her parents and brothers were waiting for her.

      You may well find once your son has had his fill of travelling the world he wants to come home. I know not everyone does… but I’d say most do.

      • BobinOz May 17, 2016, 6:00 pm | Link

        Good advice Leah, as they say, ‘never say never’. I also think there is a good chance Sarah’s son would want to return back to Australia at some point.

  • jose June 3, 2015, 3:43 am | Link

    Hello Bob,

    I read your Book, great information, thank you. You should make a copy in spanish, Im sure many people in latin america would be intrested in read it.

    I Want to Move to Australia with my girlfriend, Im from Venezuela but i have Italian Passport so I can Apply for the working Holiday Visa which is really good, I can have great benefits with this visa. But my girlfriend only has the Venezuelan Passport and she dont speak english that well, do you have any advice for us or for her on which Visa should be aplly? I dont want to have any imagration problem. I know the easiest thing to do is to get marry and with her the benefit of the Italian passport but i dont want to get married just yet jejeje. If you have any advice would be great to hear, I really appreciate all the things you are doing, the website is really good too.

    Thank you

    • BobinOz June 3, 2015, 4:14 pm | Link

      Hi Jose

      Glad to hear you enjoyed my book, thank you.

      As for your girlfriends visa, I simply cannot help you with this, only MARA migration agents are allowed to give this kind of advice. See my page Would I Qualify? for more details.

      If you truly want to know the best way for your girlfriend to proceed you really should talk to a MARA registered migration agent. Good luck, Bob

  • Esther May 23, 2015, 11:45 pm | Link

    Hi bob, have you been to perth? I’m currently deciding if i’ll go there to study at a university…. Any comments about perth? Is it a good location to study accounting?

    • BobinOz May 24, 2015, 9:40 pm | Link

      Hi Esther, yes, went there just last month. I’ve written about six posts about it, starting with 10 Days in Perth, Western Australia. The rest follow in date order. Have a good read, you’ll see that I quite liked Perth, I can think of many worse places to study 🙂 I can’t help you specifically though as to whether it’s a good location to study accounting.

  • Graeme Lloyd May 22, 2015, 9:52 pm | Link

    Bob, what’s the average temperature in Brisbane, during winter?

    • BobinOz May 24, 2015, 8:46 pm | Link

      20° to 22° C I would say, during the day of course. The lowest daytime temperature I can ever remember here in Brisbane was 15°C. At night it can drop down quite dramatically, average of about 10° to 15°; on a really cold night it can drop to 5° C at 4 o’clock in the morning or so.

      I’ve never seen frost here, that’s for sure.

      • Leah May 16, 2016, 9:50 pm | Link

        “on a really cold night it can drop to 5° C at 4 o’clock in the morning or so.”

        July 2013 I was in Brisbane for a few nights (incidentally, we were there in order to attend the british consulate as part of our application for UK visas!) and it was 6 degrees by 10pm.

        • BobinOz May 17, 2016, 5:59 pm | Link

          Are you sure? Google ‘Brisbane temperatures July 2013’ and somewhere close to the top you should find a page by the Australian Government’s Bureau of Meteorology. Here is just a small snippet of what that page will tell you:

          Brisbane Metro in July 2013: Warm nights, average rainfall
          Warm nights – up to 3 °C above the long term monthly average at some sites
          Brisbane and Brisbane Airport had only one night in July below 10 °C (this is a record for both existing sites)
          Whereabouts in Brisbane were you exactly? The only place I know in Brisbane where it gets that cold 10 o’clock at night would be the walk in beer fridge of a bottle shop 🙂

          I’ve been here for eight years, including July 2013, if the temperature had dropped that low by 10 o’clock at night, I’m sure I would have noticed, and BOM would have too.

  • djmcbell April 27, 2015, 6:07 pm | Link

    Hi Bob – watched the video with interest, and I feel this is as good a place to tell my story as anywhere.

    My wife and I have been dissatisfied with the UK for a while, for various reasons. Since 2009 I’ve kinda dreamed about living in another country, and I think my wife’s toyed with the idea too. Initially, in our dreams, this would have been the USA, with it’s huge variety of places and climates, but the working conditions over there would be a huge change to us (lack of holidays, being able to be fired quite easily, having to get medical insurance – which I know we may well have to pay something in Australia).

    I first went to Australia in 2010 (my wife had gone before as a child). My parents and sisters moved out there in 2005/2006. At the time I didn’t think much of Australia – I thought it sat uncomfortably between the UK and USA in what it wanted to be, it’s style of living and so on. We stayed with my parents near Melbourne, which was alright, then over in Sydney for a few days.

    We weren’t keen on either place. Which wasn’t to say that we didn’t like them, but we didn’t find them absolutely fantastic.

    A few months ago we went back to stay with my parents for a few weeks, then onto the Gold Coast with my mum, one of my sisters and her kids for a week (before New Zealand for a week). This time we had our 18-month-old son with us.

    He loved it.

    As did we, consequently. We saw that Australia had plenty of places for him to run about and have fun, and the lifestyle in general was better for him. The weather was a lot better this time round (though still classed as cold, but our previous visit it was also classed as cold for that time of year – maybe we just bring our weather with us). We saw that there was a lot of different things to do than in the UK – places to go and explore – and driving to them was a lot easier too (I hate driving in the UK – far too busy – yet even the motorways around the Gold Coast were fine).

    There are lots of other reasons too. My sisters live a very good life compared to us, even though neither has to work – their husbands work, and while they don’t earn a huge amount they earn enough to get by, even with a large house each, two cars and several kids. By comparison we both work full-time and struggle to save. The schools over there seem better, and I think it’d give me a good opportunity to progress my career. We would also be able to afford a house the likes of which would be considered quite luxurious in the UK. I also want to do more outdoors. Cycling would be great (I’ve identified a trail near where we’d probably move to in Australia), and the stand-up paddle boards look interesting. Also, we’d be in the country of beaches – probably want to go to one every weekend (when the weather’s nice – I know it wouldn’t be all the time and Victoria weather can be quite changeable).

    There are, of course, trade-offs. We’ve started the process with a visa agent and the money we have to pay will be missed. We’ll have to sell the house, get rid of the car, pack in our jobs and make a fresh start. Things in the UK are much more convenient – we’ve got several different supermarkets 5 minutes drive away, we’re close to two major hospitals, and we’ve got shops, dentists, doctors and our workplaces just 15 minutes walk away. In Australia, chances are we’ll have to drive to more places, but that should be offset by how easy it seems.

    The main thing we’d miss though is my wife’s parents. I’ve had a “gradual removal” from my family, moving to university in 2000, then living with a friend and then moving in with my wife. My wife’s parents however have always been there for her and help out quite a lot. I know they want us to move, for our sakes, but will miss us terribly, just as we’ll miss them.

    As said, we have started the process – getting all the documents together and organising various tests for our visas. By this time next year we should definitely have our visas – probably even earlier.

    • BobinOz April 28, 2015, 9:10 pm | Link

      Your story mirrors mine quite closely djmcbell, I’m not going to repeat my story here, but you might like to read my About Me page and you’ll see what I mean.

      You’ve also made some very astute observations, people harp on about Australia being expensive, especially housing, but the house I live in here I could never afford in a million years in the UK. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but you get what I mean.

      We have people living a kind of ‘millionaire’ lifestyle here, living on acreage, big detached houses, double garages, a swimming pool, two cars, maybe a boat. Clearly they have a good job, maybe a very good job, but often still just a job. But if you had that kind of stuff around you in the UK you would need to be a millionaire.

      What you are also talking about is ‘the great outdoors’ which really is Australia’s middle name, or should I say names.

      As you say though, there are trade-offs, you will miss your family and you will have to drive further to get to places here, but that’s the joy of living in a big country where we can spread everything out and not have it all built on top of itself.

      Good luck with your plans, the transition might be tough and will present you with some challenges, but if you can punch through them, and I’m pretty sure you could, the long-term future for you and your family I think will be much better.

      Good luck! Bob

      • djmcbell April 29, 2015, 5:19 pm | Link

        Random thing to post.

        I was away on a business trip yesterday (April 28th). It was freezing (this was Bolton, so not far north). By the side of grass verges there was ice. My wife said that someone at her work said he’d seen snow (West Yorkshire).

        Today – rain, lots of rain. Cold again. Had to put my son’s blanket over him in the pushchair. My coat is currently drying next to me, in front of my heater. My wife has seen snow today.

        It’s nigh-on May! Stoopid weather…

        • BobinOz April 30, 2015, 5:48 pm | Link

          I know how you feel, we are a month away from winter here and already today the temperature has a crashed in Brisbane down to a lowly 17°C. Crikey, I had to put a jumper on this morning.

          Apparently it’s going to be as cold as this again tomorrow, but by the weekend it’s supposed to be 25°C and then by early next week, a nice comfortable 28° C.

          Actually, maybe I don’t know how you feel 🙂

  • Tarryn April 22, 2015, 11:57 pm | Link

    Great video! Awesome to see some cool things in Melbourne. we will be heading there on the 16th of May to start a chapter living in OZ.

    • BobinOz April 23, 2015, 7:34 pm | Link

      Yes, plenty of cool things to do Melbourne, that’s for sure. Do check out St Kilda, well worth a look. Hope it all goes well for you, cheers, Bob

  • Divyam April 22, 2015, 1:57 pm | Link

    Great video as always Bob!

    I’m happy and a little surprised honestly that even after 7 long years its just as fun.I’m hoping that it will be the same for my family as well 🙂

    We got nominated by the state of Victoria and will soon apply the visa.


    • BobinOz April 22, 2015, 6:31 pm | Link

      Oh yes, it’s still fun, I’m hoping it continues to be fun for another seven long years and more 🙂

      Congratulations on your nomination, I hope you get to have as much fun here as I’m having. Cheers, Bob

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