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?
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.
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.