Well its been one year since we arrived in Adelaide so I wanted to share our experiences with others. This is how I have found things so please don't take offence at anything.
Leaving family and friends is harder than you can imagine so try not to give it too much thought after you have made the decision to go as it will be worse than you think!!
The day we arrived was sunny and 23 degrees, we thought that was hot but have since realised that's just pleasant.
We were greeted at the airport by my Dad (who was here on holiday), my Uncle, 2 aunts and 3 cousins. We realise how lucky we were to have family here and admire those who have come out knowing no one. We stayed with my aunt for 2 weeks until we got a rental through my Uncles friend. It took both of us almost 3 months to get jobs both of which we got through friends of family. We bought a house in May, it is very outdated and needs a lot of work but it was priced for this and our mortgage is less than the average rent so it made sense to buy as soon as we could and the size is so much bigger than we had at home.
As previously said I know we have been lucky in a lot of ways but being here on a temporary visa and having 4 kids has been financially very hard. My husbands wages are a lot worse than we thought and when I lost my job in July we finished off the last of our savings within a month and had to borrow money from my Dad. I have recently got another job and so has my hubby, the company he is working for now is going to sponsor us for PR. We are hoping this comes through very soon as I will be out of work over the kids summer holidays which is almost 7 weeks without my wages and as the new visa will cost us almost $4000 including meds we will again be without savings. I am only stating all this to make people with children aware that being on a temp visa is very hard. Childcare for me with 4 kids during the schoold hols is $152 a day, unfortunatly I woulldn't earn that, if on PR then I would get help towards those costs and therefore could work. We were 5 points short for PR and therefore are not entilted to any family assistance. Family assistance for us will be the difference between staying in Australia and having to go back. Again this is just MY experiences but I want to tell things honestly and not with the so called rose tinted glasses.
Apart from financial issues I am enjoying Oz, I miss my only sister so much but I believe we have made the best move for our kids. My O/H has loved every minute of being here as have the kids. They all play soccer during the winter and Futsal (indoor soccer) during the summer. All have settled well in school and made lots of friends. The boys joining a soccer club has been great for us as they have all made great friends as have we. We find we have more of a social life here as so much of it involves bringing the kids.
On the whole I don't find it more expensive here, some things are dearer, some cheaper. You do need to change the way you shop though. Unlike Ireland where I done all my weekly shop in either Tesco or Asda, here I have found a small local fruit shop, butchers and bakers and only use the supermarkets for anything else. By doing this I have knocked about $80 a week off my grocery bill. Stock up when things are on special and shop in the cheap shops like the Reject shop for toiletries, washing powder and cleaning stuff.
Nothing can beat taking the kids to the beach after school and swimming as the sun goes down, eating a BBQ breakfast at the soccer club while watching the kids play, going to a park and having a BBQ with new friends and loads more things that don't cost much and can keep my boys entertained and off their computer consoles.
I feel the Aussie's are the friendliest of people and admire you for upping sticks and leaving your country to move here, and therefore help you whenever they can. On the day we moved into our new home we had 3 men take the day off work to help us move, 6 months before we didn't know any of them.
I wish I had of made the move 10 years ago when my hubby first wanted to come but unfortunatly I didn't have the guts then. Oz has a lot to offer and I hope my boys will reap the benefits.
Good luck to those still waiting to come, there were days in Ireland when I didn't think we would ever sell the house and get here and now we have finished our 1st year so hang in there.
Well enough of my babbling I have to go celebrate with my family.