How to Settle in Australia.

In Wednesday’s post I talked about Ping-Pong Poms; that’s Brits who come to Australia to live and quit to go back to the UK again, maybe several times.

They are welcome to do that, of course, but what does that make me? I’ll tell you….

A Lead Balloon Pom.

That’s right, I’ve landed in the Land Down Under with a thud, and there’s no way I’m going back up again. I’m here to stay.

I love it here and have no thoughts whatsoever of going back. So what makes one person become a Ping-Pong Pom whilst another becomes a Lead Balloon Pom? I think it’s quite simple.

Friends and family.

I knew I would be leaving some of my friends and family behind. I knew there would be 11,000 miles between us. I also knew I might miss some of those people, so I knew I’d have to learn to cope with that.

I wasn’t going to spend all that time, money and effort securing a permanent residency visa in Australia only to fail to settle here due to something I knew was going to happen right from the start.

So I wouldn’t let that happen and in any case, any of my friends and relatives are welcome to visit, and many have.

Making new friends.

I’ve written many posts about making new friends, that’s because it’s an essential part of settling in Australia. If you want to read them, you can get to 3 of them from here:

Do whatever you can do to make friends, surviving in isolation is so much harder. I made friends, you can too, it’s not difficult.

Enjoy Australia.

Australia is a country to be explored and enjoyed. We try to get away whenever we can to see something new. We’ve been camping, we’ve been on a road trip and we’ve been on weekends away and weeks away.

This weekend is a perfect example.

We are off to Byron Bay, we’ve been there before. You might remember from my post called a day at Byron Bay or maybe you remember seeing my video when I had my first real live snake encounter.

On that occasion, it was just me and my family. This time we have booked our accommodation on four acres of land which has three habitable buildings and a treehouse for the kids. In total, there will be 10 adults and eight children.

Byron Bay is a hugely popular tourist destination, it’s by the sea, there are loads of pubs and restaurants and it is known as a bit of a hippie town. Perfect!

So do you think we will have fun? It’d be hard not to, wouldn’t it?

Byron Bay is also known for its surfing. I have no idea how surfing is humanly possible, but some of these dudes do…

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{ 10 comments… add one }
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  • Steph November 16, 2012, 1:56 am |

    Hi, Bob.
    Me and my Husband are thinking of going over that way. I am originally from New Zealand and think i would prefer to go back there after 11 years and i really don’t do SNAKES, SPIDERS and all the other creepy crawlies. I feel i coped once there before and Oz has more. I am trying to do plenty of research to see if i would manage as it is my husbands dream to move to Australia and he see’s more opportunities there.

    I am just wondering what your opinion is on NZ to Oz and how often would you see snakes, spiders of enormous size like the huntsman and nasty ones like the funnel web and white tail. We would be looking at area’s around the cities but still quiet (New South Wales, South Australia).

    • BobinOz November 16, 2012, 10:07 pm |

      Hi Steph

      I can’t speak about NZ, I’ve never been, although I can’t believe they have as many creepy crawlies as we do here in Australia, the climate is more like that of the UK over there.

      Here in Australia though, I reckon I’ve seen about 10 snakes in five years, but I do actively look for them, just so I can take pictures of them and videos and put them on this blog. If I wasn’t actively looking, I think I would have only seen about three.

      Since getting the pest treatment in our house, I hardly see any spiders at all, maybe I’ve seen one huntsman. I used to see more spiders in my UK home than I see here and I think that is down to the pest control. I may have seen one funnel web, but I couldn’t be sure, there are spiders that look almost exactly like them but aren’t funnel webs. So who knows what I saw.

      So I really don’t think any of these things are issues, they certainly shouldn’t prevent anyone from moving to this country, not in my opinion. Good luck choosing a country.



      • Steph November 16, 2012, 11:44 pm |

        That makes me feel a lot better about it.
        I think i would have a heart attack if i saw the huntsmen spider often although harmless i think the sheer size of that one scares me more.
        Thanks again.

  • okorie novelthy September 16, 2012, 1:05 am |

    hello Bob, my names are Okorie Novelthy Izuchukwu.
    am from has always been my dreams to live and raise my family in Australia,due to the love i have for the Country and its environs.But these dream of my is yet to be a reality.
    i do not know how your blog pals can help me actualize this.
    i studied computer science technology also wish to have a vocational study on information and communication engineering.

    • BobinOz September 17, 2012, 2:34 pm |

      My website can’t actually help you achieve your dream, you need to get a visa from the Australian government. Check out my page about Visas.

  • Gerard burns December 23, 2011, 8:13 pm |

    Thanks bob, said it several times but love your blog, I sometimes think its catered just for me needs, just shows how relevant and contemporary it is. You have lots of natural empathy and are obviously a “people person”. I have lived in other countries and as you allude to the glass must be half full to succeed.
    Thanks again

    • BobinOz December 29, 2011, 7:41 pm |

      Strange as it may sound, I think Australia has made me more sociable. Back in England, staying in and being grumpy was a lot easier to do. That’s not so easy here, things keep happening! And I love it.

  • stewart naylor December 16, 2011, 12:18 am |

    Hi Bob, i like your positive onward blog.
    My name is Stew and I am a “ping pong pom”.
    I immigrated to Western Australia back in 1991 with my wife and two children.
    At first we found it a bit difficult but as soon as the kids had settled into school
    we just couldn’t help make new friends, we had a house built within six month, we had no money to speak of but we took advantage of a house and land package and worked hard.
    Fantastic, kids loved school, we had a great social life and great friends. I was in and out of work quite a bit in the early 90’s but it was all good and the weather was fantastic.
    Things went a bit wrong in 1996, we came back to the UK for a three week holiday, we hadn’t seen almost all of our family and friends for five years and it was also late august and the weather was great.
    All of this unsettled us and we ended up moving back in early 1998. Things started out ok until the October of 98, I had forgotten how miserable the weather is and didn’t think it would affect me, I lost my job and went into a bit of a depression. The wife didn’t want to go back to Oz so got on a plain and went back to Perth.
    As its just so relaxing and easy going in the warm, by the sea all my problems with the UK left me and I was back on a plain to miserable England once more.
    To cut it short I did this a few times and eventually the wife and I split. Same thing happened with the next two women in my life.
    My ex wife got re married and because we took citizenship she and her new husband moved to the Gold Coast, that was about four years ago. A year after she moved to Oz my two children move as well.
    I’m now at a junction in my life, to stay in the UK (still have lot of family and friends) or to haul ass and get to the Gold Coast.
    I have been over twice to the Gold Coast to see my kids who love it there.
    So my thoughts to anyone who is thinking of immigrating to Oz are. Things may not come easy at first, put some effort in and you will be rewarded but DON’T fall into the trap of the “ping pong pom” it can hurt. And don’t fall prey to the “rut” in the UK.
    Australia is a fantastic place with a sense of freedom with its wide open spaces and the biggest bluest sky you will probably ever see.
    If you have read all of this, well done.

    • BobinOz December 16, 2011, 10:35 pm |

      Hi Stew, self confessed “ping pong pom”.

      I have read all of it, but no need to say well done to me, I say well done to you. Thanks for sharing your story and let’s hope it helps some of the others who are attracted to the ping-pong Pom lifestyle. It really isn’t the answer.

      I love your honesty, I love that you have shared this with us and best of all, I love this comment “Things may not come easy at first, put some effort in and you will be rewarded…”.

      It’s what I say to people too, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks it.

      What ever you decide to do at this stage in your life, wherever you end up, I hope you find happiness. Thanks again for telling us your story.


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