Goodbye Sam, Goodbye Samantha.

Moving to Australia: Missing Friends and Family

Ahh, Sir Cliff, now there is a British icon! Does he still sing at Wimbledon when it rains? Of course, his song from back in 1971 was actually called “Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha” and was about saying goodbye to boys and hello to girls.

Today’s post is about saying goodbye to both.

Officially my series called Moving to Australia has finished, unofficially it rambles on. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome when making your decision to move to Australia is “but I’ll miss my family and friends” which is often made worse by your family and friends saying “don’t go, we’ll miss you”.

My Family. Publishing this picture should get them out here - Just to punch my face in!

My Family. Publishing this picture should get them out here – Just to punch my face in!

To overcome this hurdle we all convince ourselves our family and friends will come and visit us. Then, instead of seeing them for just a couple of hours a week or so, we will see them full-time for say, three weeks or so whenever they visit. This will easily compensate for the problem, so there is no problem.

Who will visit you when you move to Australia?

Think about this. Four criteria (probably, but everyone is different) need to be in place before someone will visit you.

  • They need to have a history of travelling.
  • They need to be able to financially afford it.
  • They need to be able to find the time to come.
  • They probably should have a strong desire to visit Australia.

I could also add that they need to care enough to bother. But for now, let’s just assume they do.

So what’s the reality? How are we doing for visitors? Well we’ve not been here two years yet, but we’re not doing too bad. Already we’ve had five sets of visitors. Let’s take a closer look.

On my wife’s side, she has had a cousin come to visit. She had already done a great deal of worldwide travel, having spent several months working in the Philippines and couldn’t wait to see Australia. She was a student who came during the college break and had the funds to do it. All four criteria in place.

Next to come was a friend of my wife’s, Lisa, and her family. She has known Lisa since she was six. I can’t even count how many decades that is! (It’s okay, my wife doesn’t read this blog). Lisa’s husband works as a principal at a school and they came during school holidays. They are also regular travelers, have been to Australia before and have applied and been accepted to come and live here permanently. All four criteria in place.

Again on my wife’s side, her parents. Both retired, financially okay, been to Australia before and travelled plenty, and also looking to come and live here permanently. Couldn’t wait to see their daughter and granddaughter again. All four criteria in place.

Now on my side, my first visit was one of my nephews and a couple of his mates. They were all in their gap year, had been travelling for some time, over a year I think and were visiting about five different countries including New Zealand and Australia. So they popped by to stay for three days as they were passing through. All four criteria in place.

Finally, our most recent visitor was my son whom you will remember from my post on scuba-diving. He also loves travelling, having already spent six weeks in India and four weeks in Sri Lanka. He had saved some holiday from the previous year at work so that he could book off the four weeks he wanted. All four criteria in place.

Can you see the pattern here?

In the future, I expect both of my sisters to come and visit at some point. Both have a comprehensive history of travelling around the world and always find the time and the money. And obviously, they can’t wait to see their little brother again, can they? HaHaHa!

My brother, who lives in America, has also threatened to visit. But he tells me he is waiting for his dog to die first. His dog is about 110 years old in human terms, but still going strong. Keep barking Chay!

So, why am I suggesting it’s goodbye Sam and Samantha? Well, if you use my four criteria formula on all of your friends, you can soon work out who you will never see again.

You can read more on this subject in my post:

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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{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Arfin Syed July 8, 2020, 4:32 pm |

    What about bringing my old parents to Australia? I heard that it’s difficult to bring your parents here.

    • BobinOz July 9, 2020, 8:52 pm |

      Very difficult, in some cases, impossible. But you would need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent to find out what chances you really have of bringing your parents.

  • Arfin Syed July 8, 2020, 4:29 pm |

    Is Australia safe for Muslims and Indians (South Asians). Many Indians here experience Racism and Aussies have a reputation for being racist. Will it be a good idea to move here as a Muslim South Asian?

  • Jacqui January 23, 2019, 1:33 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Having been to Aus twice several years ago, I was determined to make the move but gave in to the guilt trip of ‘we’ll never see you again’ and stayed put. Now I’m married with a 7-year-old daughter, live in a small village and don’t see family from one day to the next due to distance and both me and my husband are determined to give it a go in moving to Aus. We’ve got the opportunity to start a business in SA but now, despite me being the driving force, I’m suddenly doubting every decision and wondering if I’m making the right decision, feeling guilty, etc. We’ve not told the family yet as we have no firm go ahead, though will possibly do so over the next month or so and I’m absolutely dreading it as I know it was bad before, and now will be worse because ‘I’ll be taking their granddaughter away’.
    I know the move is different for everyone, but was just wondering if you (or anyone else here) felt guilty and doubted you were doing the right thing as it became more ‘real’. On the one hand I’m excited as it’s an adventure (we only live once, right?) but I guess family will always be the stumbling block for everyone! We have a reasonably good life here, so I guess that’s the other thing that’s been playing on my mind lately.
    Sorry for the long post. Just thought I’d pose the question to see if this is relatively normal as my brain is all over the place (figuratively, of course!)

    • BobinOz January 23, 2019, 5:28 pm |

      Gosh, this is a really, really, difficult one. I can fully understand the doubts and the feelings of guilt you are going through, I think that’s pretty normal. I think it’s also fair to say that ‘missing family and friends’ is almost certainly the number one reason why some people don’t make it and return back.

      Funny enough, I didn’t really share those doubts myself when we moved here back in 2007, I was all in, 100%, up for the adventure. And I never really looked back, but interestingly, now that I’ve been here for some time (11 years) I do find myself now thinking about and missing my old friends from back home and my family.

      Being a bloke, I don’t do texting, or regular phone calls, or the Facebook. I just lose touch. Even so, still no regrets from me, my primary motive of moving here was for the happiness of my then three-year-old daughter and also my wife, who was keen to come here.

      They are both enormously happy here, it has certainly been a great place to bring up my daughter (now 14), so for us as a family, it’s been a great move.

      I always say that if you get the chance to move here, and don’t take it, you will always wonder ‘what if?’ If you do come here, and then go back for whatever reason, at least you can always say you tried. Although that can be a costly exercise financially.

      The third outcome is that you come here and love it, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a tough decision though Jacqui and only you, as a family, can make it.

      I hope it works out for you, whatever you decide.

      • Jacqui January 24, 2019, 12:18 am |

        Thanks for your reply Bob. I appreciate your advice. I do think the doubts are more over upsetting people even though I’m excited by the whole adventure stretching out before us! We’re prepared to do this as a move for us as a family, which is what matters so I’m keeping my fingers crossed all goes well!

        • BobinOz January 25, 2019, 5:18 pm |

          I have my fingers crossed here too 🙂 Hope it all works out, cheers, Bob

  • Imran sadiq December 4, 2017, 11:02 pm |

    I m pakistani and i want friends in austrlia austrlia very good country i wany weandind in austrlia reply me i need a good girlfriend and marry me

  • Danquah Kwasi Boafo November 20, 2016, 4:11 am |

    how do I make friends in Australia

  • emma January 11, 2014, 7:49 am |

    Hi Bob,I am really enjoying your site, we are 95% certain we’re going to make the move down under, my big concern is my nearly 8 year old daughter, she’s very settled and doesn’t want to leave everything in the UK, obviously we see the potential benefits for the whole family, but any advice on how we can help her to?! We can’t afford a holiday as well as a move in the short term (we have been to Aus before) any advice gratefully appreciated! Emma.

    • BobinOz January 13, 2014, 2:19 pm |

      Hi Emma

      It really is quite a natural thing for children to not want change, they like things exactly as they are. Our daughter was much younger when we came, so she was happy to come along, but when she got here she didn’t like it and wanted to go straight back.

      We couldn’t drag her back to England now, she loves it here.

      I suggest you tell your daughter that you are going to try it out for a year, bit like a long holiday. If any of you don’t like it, you will go back. She won’t want to go back after a year, because that would be another change, and children don’t like change.

      Your job, during the first year, is to make sure your daughter loves the place, makes lots of friends and it’s really happy. And I’m sure she will be.

      Cheers, Bob

  • BobinOz October 9, 2012, 6:45 pm |

    Ah, I can almost smell the cockle sheds 🙂

    Yes, I think you will find the beaches are a bit better here, and I’m sure you’ll notice the difference in the weather. Anyway, sorry, I can’t recommend a MARA agent in the UK, the one we used who was based in Docklands was actually an Australian woman who has now returned to live back here in Australia. And who can blame her?

    If it helps, I know almost everything is done electronically these days so I would highly recommend my MARA agent who works with me here on this website, you can click this link to check out the details of my Visa Assessment Service. Yes, he is based in Australia but with both the Internet and Skype, I don’t think that makes much difference these days.

    Good luck with your plans.


  • HaWran August 7, 2011, 2:38 am |

    preparing to move to AU, found your blog and reading throuh it. applying the points to my friends… i can already say I never see them there 🙂 nevermind, we’ll move anyways.

    • BobinOz August 8, 2011, 2:59 pm |

      Well, hopefully you’ll make a bunch of new friends. Best have a mega farewll party though!

  • Milla June 30, 2011, 8:50 pm |

    Bob that 4 step criteria could not be more true. I’ve been away for over two years (in Oz and NZ), and the only people who have made it over from home tick all four of those boxes. My parents only tick one, but I’m not giving up on them yet!

    • BobinOz July 2, 2011, 9:58 pm |

      Give up on them 🙂

      Or maybe not, they are your parents!

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