Leaving All Your Friends Behind.

Moving to Australia: Will You Miss Your Friends?

In last week’s post I spoke about the likelihood of your family and friends coming to visit you here in Australia. I mentioned that there were four criteria which were strong indicators that you could use on your family and friends to help you work out who would and who wouldn’t come.

In all likelihood, close family, irrespective of their past history with those four criteria, will come to see you. If they didn’t travel much before, they will now. They will find the time and they will find the money. Because ultimately they do have a strong desire to see you again.

But what about your friends?

Will You Be Lonely?

Will You Be Lonely?

It takes time to build strong friendships. Back in England I had many friends that I had known for at least 10 years, I had quite a few that I had known for more than 20 years and I had half a dozen or so that I had known for more than 30 years.

Walking away from that can seem quite difficult. But here is an alternative way of looking at it.

Your friends. A radical new approach.

Your friends, you’ve known them for many years. Maybe even 20 to 30 years as I have with some of my friends. Time to get some new ones then! Stick with me on this, it’s not as nutty as it seems. The best thing to do if you move to Australia is to write off all your old friends and just start over. If you mope around waiting for them to visit, you’ll be doing a lot of moping.

I had quite a few friends but I reckon I’d be lucky if two or three of them visit over the next 10 years. I know people who have lived here more than 10 years and have never been visited by any of their old friends.

So forget them and get some new ones. After all, you moved to a totally different country because you wanted to experience somewhere totally different. You didn’t want to live in the same country all your life. So why would you want the same friends all your life? Get some new ones!

Making new friends is fun.

Have you any idea how much fun making new friends is? I am only speaking for myself here, but what I say might strike a chord with some of you. I had my circle of friends in England and that circle was pretty much closed. I didn’t need any new friends, I was happy with what I had. But when you get here, you’ve got to make new friends, or you’ll have none. Knowing you have to do it completely changes your outlook, and it’s refreshing.

Can I stay in touch with my old friends?

At the very least you will keep in touch, won’t you? The reality is it’s not going to happen.  You will be astonished at how quickly you lose touch with all your old friends.  Communication isn’t easy, particularly between the UK and Australia.  If you’re English friend works the nine till five routine, and can’t get to the phone whilst at work, the game is pretty much up.

Forget the Phone

Forget the Phone

By the time they get home from work, it’s three o’clock in the morning here.  Perhaps they’ll call you before they go to work?  Of course not.  Or you could call them before they go to work. Would they appreciate you calling them at 7.30 in the morning?  I doubt it though it would be hugely convenient as that’s 4.30 in the afternoon here in Oz. Unless you’re working here at that time and can’t get to the phone.

There is, of course, always the weekend.  But then you’re going to be out having fun.  So you can forget that too.  Well, I suppose you could always wait up until three o’clock in the morning to speak to your old buddies. Speak what? Gibberish?

Then there is email.  Email, frankly, is a pain in the butt. So is Facebook and so is Myspace. It’s not exactly the same as popping round for a chat or going out for a beer is it?

Since we have been here my wife has had very limited contact with her old friends. And unlike myself, she could gas on the phone for hours! Out of my own friends, I only speak on the phone regularly to one of them, that’s regularly about every 3 months. I am in email contact with just three of my old friends.

No, the reality is when you say bye-bye to your mates it pretty much really is bye-bye.

But don’t fear it, embrace it! New friends are awaiting your arrival.

So, how do you make those new friends? I have a little system, you can read about it here:

For a full chronological list and brief description of all the posts in this series about how I moved to Australia, please visit my page How to Move to Australia.

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{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Manju nathu November 7, 2016, 5:56 pm | Link

    Dear…
    Friends
    I am an actor in short film i acted
    Lot of short films please watch my “thomas Vazhakunnam”face book
    And I write short stories, and i am a photographer,
    Now I am working as a lab assistant in the higer secondary
    School near my home town
    Thanks
    With love and pray
    Manju Nathu
    Mavelikara Alleppy kerala
    I need lots of friends please

  • Jacob Lotsa July 15, 2016, 3:19 am | Link

    Iam Ghanaian and I want friends from all overworld especially Australia, USA,Japan and UK. I want believer who like Africans and like reading the Bible. God bless you for chosen me.

  • tauseef ahmad May 7, 2016, 9:52 pm | Link

    Dear I m tauseef Ahmad
    I need a friend from austrila any one I like Australia

  • Hana January 21, 2016, 5:05 pm | Link

    Hello, Bob, I love your website. I’ve recently been really interested in travelling and moving to Australia permanently. However, I’m worried most about the racism and prejudice– do you have any words or advice? I’m a brown Muslim-American (born and raised in United States; I also wear a headscarf)– I don’t really think it would be worth moving if I’d be treated unfairly. Thank you so much!

  • Mary Kenney November 10, 2015, 12:29 pm | Link

    Dear Bob,
    I live in North Carolina, and my boyfriend lives in Brisbane. What happens when an American citizen marries an Australian citizen? We would like to live in Brisbane where he currently resides. He is a doctor, and I am a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree. Is the process of moving to Australia as painful? Any advice would be helpful. Sincerely, Mary

    • BobinOz November 26, 2015, 9:39 pm | Link

      Hi Mary

      I’m afraid this isn’t something I can advise you on, only MARA migration agents can give direct advice about the visa application process. I’m simply not qualified to do it, see my page Would I Qualify?

      So I do strongly advise you speak to a MARA agent, because I know the process is quite complicated. I have a MARA agent who works with me on this website, you’ll find a link to his service on that page. Good luck, Bob

  • Kingsley May 24, 2015, 11:04 am | Link

    To meet new friends

  • Annie April 21, 2014, 9:03 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    You moved with your family. What about extended family. Was it difficult for them to see you leave? Grandparents who wouldn’t see their grand child? At this stage our families would be happy to come visit for extended visits but they aren’t getting younger. Although they would be happy if our visa was granted they would also be devastated not to see their grandson. We on the other hand wouldn’t have the closer proximity and weekend help with our 1year old. How did you negotiate that? And what do other expats think about the lack of wider family help? Do you mind sharing your experience? Cheers, Annie

    • BobinOz April 22, 2014, 6:09 pm | Link

      Hi Annie

      For some people parents and grandparents are a big issue, so I can understand your concern.

      It wasn’t difficult for me, my parents no longer live on this planet and my wife’s parents were happy to holiday here. My view is that one of the main reasons to move here is to make a better life for your children, and let’s face it, they have their whole life ahead of them.

      Grandparents, on the other hand, have most of their lives behind them, and they lived those lives where they wanted and how they wanted, hopefully anyway. So something like this shouldn’t be about the grandparents, it should be about the children.

      Yes, it may be tough, but providing they can come and visit every now and again, then all will be good. They will be able to see for themselves what a good environment their grandson is being brought up in, so they will understand why you made the move.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Annie April 24, 2014, 5:53 am | Link

        Thanks, Bob, that is actually really helpful feedback.
        And yes, we do feel it is our live and we decide for our family unit. We weren’t that close to our families before our son was born. We all lived in different countries anyway. Just a closer flight! I do thin about heritage and about family a bit. But then if we did get the visa granted we would be so thrilled to live in Australia that we would be willing to compromise on some things, like closeness to family and friends. Thank you!

        • BobinOz April 26, 2014, 2:45 pm | Link

          Thanks Annie, and I hope it all works out for you and your family.

  • Sean August 24, 2011, 2:07 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I am in the early stages of applying for my 175 visa (just at the skills assessment stage), what i wanted to comment about was friends reactions to telling them I’m moving to Oz.
    My best friends have been really supportive with a ‘good for you’ sort of attitude, however there have been many that seem incredulous that I’ve actually made the decision to go. When I tell them all of the reasons I want to go (like I have to justify myself!) such as the skills shortage, better pay, better weather, nice people, huge houses etc. etc. etc. they always seem to try and shoot me down!
    I’m wondering is this jealously, ignorance, or both?
    Has anyone else experienced this sort of reaction, or is it just me?

    Sean

    • BobinOz August 24, 2011, 9:55 pm | Link

      Hi Sean

      I’ve got to say when we announced to people we were going, the most popular reaction was “don’t blame you!” But perhaps people were glad to see the back of us 🙂

      On the other hand, I’ve noticed that people who really care for you, mothers, fathers, grandparents, sisters, auntie’s, that sort of thing, can tend to say anything in an attempt to put you off if they think they are going to miss you, or more importantly, miss your children, ie their nephews/grandchildren etc)

      So I’d say that sometimes there is an ulterior motive, but sometimes maybe it is just jealousy, ignorance, both, or something else. Just don’t let it wear you down.

      Bob

  • Jay Harris November 27, 2009, 12:56 am | Link

    Thanks Bob, appreciated.

  • Jay Harris November 25, 2009, 10:59 pm | Link

    Thanks Bob, for your reply. Havent quite started filling out the paperwork, but spoken to a few Job agencies. There is work that suits my skills and they have asked for my CV. Next thing will be to see some more and whether i would get sponsored by an employer not too sure if that would work. Suffice to say havent stopped researching! I like your comment about having 1 life and why stay in the same place! Right. What is a good wage in Aus? Obviously in the UK if you earn £50k thats a good wage, Not in london, but elsewhere you cant certainly have an enjoyable life.
    had a skype call from a family friend in Hobart!!! showed my the weather there! I showed him the dark skies, rain and wind! No contest really!

    • BobinOz November 26, 2009, 7:05 pm | Link

      Hi Jay

      That’s good, you’re moving in the right direction. As for salaries, the average here according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics is $62,270, so I guess a good salary is anything above $90,000 a year.

      In my series on the cost of living in Australia there is a great post about salaries in Australia, well I think it’s great…. hehehe. Look for the link in that article that takes you to a website about Australian salaries, you can look up your occupation and see how much you might expect to earn.

      See you here soon….

  • BobinOz November 24, 2009, 6:12 pm | Link

    Oh yes Jay, I remember those dark and miserable winter evenings very well. It always felt cold, damp and well, miserable. Australia would do you the world of good, if you get the chance to give it a try you really should.

    It’s hard to be miserable when it’s hot and the sky is a beautiful deep blue colour without a cloud in sight. Which is almost every day here.

    All the reasons you are thinking of coming here are all the reasons why I did. And I don’t regret it for one minute! Start filling out the paperwork, what have you got to lose?

  • Jay Harris November 24, 2009, 3:13 am | Link

    Hey Bob, been on your website with great interest. My wife and i have talked about a move to Aus many times but not really done anything. But now thinking a bit harder. I work in construction and things arent too great here. whilts i am lucky i should always have work here, its the horrible weather and general climate that gets you down. As i write this 4.00pm its dark raining and very windy, you must remember those days! Anyway its not just the work issue, crime politics, its all too much. I have a young family and would love to be able to spend more time with them, and the outdoor life appeals. we must spend 6 months of the yr stuck indoors due to the weather. I, like you, have hit 40 and wonder should we do something now or live to regret it in 10-15yrs

  • BobinOz September 29, 2009, 3:20 pm | Link

    Hi Paul

    It’s got to be the best way to find out whether Australia is for you, doing 12 months on a working visa. It will be interesting to know what you think of it, so do stay in touch. I have known people who have done the 12 months, looked forward to going back to their friends and England but when they get there, they just want to come back to Australia again.

    So while you are here for 12 months, try to set up a way you can come back permanently, just in case you want to.

    Cheers

    Bob

  • Paul Standing September 29, 2009, 10:07 am | Link

    Hi BobinOz,
    Interesting site 😀 I’m currently at the dreaming stage of moving to Australia, I have an Aussie girlfriend, and will be travelleing out to Brisbane at the end of November to spend 12 months on a working holiday visa. I have spent a lot of time thinking about what would happen if I could move out there permanently, how often I would talk to friends family etc, but I suppose considering I’ve not set foot in the country yet, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Thanks for all the insightful blogs!

    • Mary Kenney November 10, 2015, 12:33 pm | Link

      Dear Paul,

      My name is Mary, and I have a boyfriend in Brisbane. Please contact me with any and all advice! Thanks, Mary in Raleigh, North Carolina

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