If you haven’t yet read Vivienne’s email to me which was the subject of yesterday’s post, it might be an idea to do that now before reading my reply.
Firstly, wild horses couldn’t drag me back to England now, I love my life in Australia and I’m here to stay. We all love it here, so if I did want to go back I’m pretty sure my wife would say “bye” and my daughter would say “bye daddy”.
Luckily that’s not important, we’re all staying.
So now for my thoughts on Vivienne’s comments starting with those that I feel I can answer.
Cost of living.
I really couldn’t agree more with Vivienne’s comment here, there isn’t much between the UK and Australia in terms of cost of living and I’m sure Australia used to be much cheaper than England a few years back, but it certainly isn’t now.
In fact as the pound weakens, and it has done significantly even since I first posted my cost of living comparison on petrol back in June this year, Australia will begin to appear to be much more expensive than the UK.
But because salaries in Australia are around 30% higher on average, that isn’t the case in reality. As I said to Vivienne in my reply to her, neither Australia nor the UK are “cheap” places to live, if you want cheap there are plenty of other countries to choose from. But you probably wouldn’t want to live there.
Quality of houses.
They certainly knew how to build a good quality home back in England 100 years ago. But modern estate homes which are prefabricated and erected real fast these days are not in the same league.
Homes in England do need far more insulation to keep out the cold and almost always have double glazed windows. So I’m not surprised she can’t hear her neighbours. I on the other hand do not have double glazing and almost never shut any windows because it’s just too hot. I can’t hear my neighbours either, they are just too far away.
I have only lived in one house here in Australia, but it’s a pretty solid construction as far as I can see. Like with the cost of living, I don’t think there’s much in it.
England’s rich history versus Australia’s bland scenery.
Vivienne’s biggest argument seems to be based on the bland scenery of Australia compared with the rich and fascinating history of England and the surrounding Europe. And I’m not surprised, because she is right!
There are five continents in this world and in my mind, without any doubt, Europe is the most fascinating. Is there anybody on the planet who would disagree? So much history and so many different cultures in such a very small space.
So, as Vivienne says, the UK and Europe beat Australia hands down for history and tradition. Anyone who has read my about me page will know that for five years our intention was to move to France. We had already holidayed in Australia and discounted it because it was just too far away from Europe and all that wonderful architecture and history.
But in the five-year run up to our move to France, we saw more and more of Europe as we continued to holiday there. Finally, we felt we’d “almost” finished it and because of that, Australia became very attractive because it was so different.
Of those five continents I mentioned earlier, the two we had seen the least of were Australasia and Asia. But now we live in Australia, we’ll be seeing plenty of both of them.
Why we moved to Australia.
There are two reasons why we moved to Australia. The first was so that we can bring our daughter up in a better environment. As Vivienne herself says “I am totally in love with England apart from the crime and the really cold weather”….. well us too! We decided we wanted a better outdoor life and less crime. Australia is perfect for that.
The second reason is that I believe we only get one life, why would we want to live in the same place ALL of that life? It’s a big world, surely it would make sense to experience living (not just holidaying, but living) somewhere else?
So that is why I AM RIGHT and Vivienne IS RIGHT! We have both chosen to move to the opposite side of the world at “around” the halfway point in our lives and we are both loving the new scenery. I suggest everybody else does the same.
But that does mean at some point I guess I will be hearing the question “Daddy, there must be more to life than Australia?” or, if she’s in her teenage years it will more likely be “Why did you make me live in Australia? I want to go back to England! I want to be there NOW! It’s not fair! It’s all YOUR fault!”
But if Elizabeth could hang on until she was around 40 years of age before deciding she wanted to live in another country or declaring she was going to return to England, I wouldn’t argue with that.
But then I’d be 90 something, I’d probably just say “Okay dear, will you be back for tea?”
And the comments I can’t answer….
Vivienne did remind me with a couple of comments that I am living in a country in which each state has different rules. So in future posts I will be trying to cover:
- School fee variations from state to state.
- Ambulance fees from state to state.
- Anything else I find that varies greatly from state to state.
- I will also try to compare education standards between Australia and the UK.
- I’ll do a more comprehensive look at doctor’s fees and medical insurance costs.
But before I go, here’s BobinOz’s quick and easy guide to the differences between Australia and the UK.
The UK is good for:
- Cold and rainy weather.
- Pubs and football.
Australia is good for:
- Barbecue parties.
- Hot and sunny weather.
- Outdoor life and sports.
- Community events.
Has that cleared everything up?