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Should we stay or should we go?

October 2, 2009

Moving to Australia has been in the back of my mind since Helen & Ant first spent a year there in 2006. Before this I had absolutely no compulsion to go there. It was a country which was probably very nice, but just not for me. Like Belgium or Qatar. I understood completely Ant’s urge to try a new life somewhere outside of Oldham, my god who’d blame them? I embarked on my own adventure in 2003 when I moved to China for 7 months and think everyone should try living in a new country for the experience.

When they returned they had decided that Australia was their future. Two years after that they had their visas and off they flew. Both Helen & Ant are homebodies, they are both extremely close to their families and I was surprised that they had made the decision to move to the other side of the world. I could understand moving away from Oldham, Manchester and even the North West. Hell, I could understand moving out of the UK for warmer climes. But Australia? I didn’t get it.

The first week we were there I hated Australia. It was flat, boring, quiet, and soulless. We took the dog for walks around the estate and didn’t see a single person. I didn’t meet an Australian for a week. They were all from Oldham, Chadderton, Manchester, Hull, Newcastle, London, Congleton & Stoke. They new our neighbour’s daughter, they knew my Dad’s cafe, their friend’s daughter had gone to school with my sister – everyone is English and most them are connected to each other and you in some way or another. I don’t know how, it’s some kind of Twilight Zone in Perth. They call it Little Britain, and not because they’re all in wheelchairs saying ‘Want that one’. I was quite excited to meet an actual Australian serving me in the Thirty Camel bottlo (an off license to you & me) and he didn’t let me down – he was polite, lovely and very welcoming. So, they had moved 9000 miles to live with a load of Brits. Going watching Ant play football for Wanneroo City was like watching him play for Royton Athletic. In fact I think I’m right in saying that there are a couple of lads there from Royton Athletic, plus Ant’s cousin’s husband and 2 of their children also play for Wanneroo. Home away from home.

I didn’t like that it seemed there was nothing to do. Where were the pubs and clubs? Where did you go to socialise with your friends? The nearest pub was a 15 minute drive away (although a pub will open near Helen & Ant in November), the nearest restaurant a good 25 minute walk. It was so quiet I didn’t know what to do with myself. It didn’t help that it was bloody freezing! All the way to Oz and I was chilled to the bone. I could have had that in England. So, as you can imagine I wasn’t in the bets of moods that week.

The following week though I finally began to ‘get it’. The weather brightened up marginally. We spent time at the beach, ate fish and chips at sunset overlooking the Indian Ocean, Sam went swimming and I got sunburnt (as usual & despite I was wearing Factor 30 – the joys of being a ginger).  People started to emerge from their homes. The free bbq’s in the parks were put to use, we watched Ant play football in the heat, drinking cider and chatting to fellow supporters, we cranked up the barbie and ate wonderful fresh fish and ‘roo. This was Australia. Not the pub, club & binge drinking culture we have in England but family orientated fun. Spending time with family and friends on the beach, in the park and at each others houses. Finally, I understood why it was a better life. I always thought it fickle to move to another country just because they have better weather but that better weather enables you to have a better life, to get outside, to socialise, to bring your children up in a nicer environment. I’m not stupid; I don’t see Australia with rose tinted glasses. They have their problems just like every other country but things somehow seem better when the sun is shining in a clear blue sky.

So, the point of this excessive rambling is, should we stay or should we go? Could Australia offer us a better life? I think it could. I’ve been looking at HR jobs in Perth, they pay better than over here (they have to though, I found Oz rather expensive). The houses are cheaper and bigger. The schools on the whole are good – instead of crappy PE lessons doing netball & athletics, they have surfing lessons. My parents would definitely emigrate, my Dad almost had to physically restrain my Mum from buying a plot of land then and there. My Grandma said she would move there with us – she may not go for a holiday but she’d go one way. Craig seems interested. Sam will be happy wherever there’s a nice beach for him to eat sand on. However, getting there would be difficult. HR is no longer a shortage occupation; I’d have to get sponsorship from a company. To get sponsorship I’d have to be further on in my career so I’m knuckling down to my final year of my Post Grad Diploma. If I get sponsorship Craig would come out on a Spousal Visa, my parents would come out on a Parent visa as would my Grandma. I can’t help feeling like it’s all resting on my shoulders. I’m also very mindful that Craig’s family are here and Sam has a wonderful relationship with his Nana and Grandad. Could I really deprive them of their grandchild?

Then again, what future does Sam have here? This country seems to be going tits up, ASBOs are being handed out left, right and centre to hooligans and I don’t feel safe walking around at night. I don’t see that changing; I see it getting worse.

We’re not making a decision yet though, we’ll go for another holiday in a couple of years, in the summer this time though and think about it more then. I came back to a rainy, grey Manchester, to our small Victorian terrace, to the park behind our house where teens congregate and start fires (once in our garden) but also to my brilliant friends, to a job I love and colleagues I consider friends.

What to do, what to do. Could I do it, should I do it and actually, if it came down to it, would I do it?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. the dotterel permalink
    October 2, 2009 2:53 pm

    It’s a toughie, to be sure. But you seem to have already thought through most of the challenges. Maybe when you get to the stage of getting sponsorship and it suddenly becomes real the decision will be easier?

    • notsuchayummymummy permalink*
      October 5, 2009 8:18 am

      I think the decision has been made, by me anyway. I would like to go, I hate living in Manchester. The big question is would I get sponsership?

  2. October 2, 2009 8:08 pm

    Oh, what a tough decision. I can’t believe half your family would go along though – that would be great.

    I have to say, though – if you are going to do it, perhaps you shouldn’t leave it a few years. No time like the present, eh?

    • notsuchayummymummy permalink*
      October 5, 2009 8:20 am

      The problem if we were to go now is that I’m still in a nery junior position in my job and I don’t think companies would sponser me. I need to finish studying, get a couple of years experience behind me, a promotion & I think I’d have a better chance.
      Plus, it’s a really scary thing to do!!! If my family weren’t going as well I don’t think I could do it!

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