Situation overview: Iím an Aussie, returned home after over 7 years in the UK. Fiancť is English and on a temporary de facto partner visa.
Itís over 6 weeks since we arrived in Adelaide and Iíd say itís mostly ďlife as usualĒ now. We spent the first 3 weeks staying with my parents in Port Elliot, a handy base to start from but a little tiresome driving into Adelaide every couple of days to shop for furniture. It started to feel like commuting!
Then we made the move into our house (I already had the house from before I went to the UK). The first night we camped on the floor and decided it was too uncomfortable so we bought an air mattress. But since our proper bed mattress was finally delivered almost a week later, along with the lounge suite, weíve been settling in nicely. We spent a few days hanging around at home awaiting furniture deliveries or tradesmen turning up to sort things out. So now the bedroom, lounge room and kitchen are mostly filled it feels much more like home. Bought a dining table the other day too so we donít have to eat off our laps anymore! Still got plenty of empty spaces and we could use a bit of storage in the second bedroom but weíre getting there.
Despite taking a little time to get set up weíre glad we decided not to ship furniture from the UK. Everyoneís situation is different of course, but for us it just didnít seem worth sending what we had as most of it was cheap flat-pack stuff and as we were renting we didnít have any white goods. Weíve appreciated the chance to start afresh with the furniture as we start our new life together over here. The other factor is that our shipping (we sent a few boxes of personal effects) isnít due into port until Boxing Day so we wonít see it until sometime in January. We wouldnít have wanted to just ďget byĒ with nothing until then.
Just before we moved from my parentsí place to our house, we did a day trip to Kangaroo Island. I had been there on a family holiday when I was young but only had vague memories so it was great to go again and appreciate it as an adult. And of course I wanted to show my OH some of the wildlife and beautiful scenery South Australia has to offer.
A couple of weeks ago we went to Adelaide Oval to see the Foo Fighters in concert. I must admit it was great to have a break from doing stuff for the house. Dave Grohl & co always put on a good show and there was a fantastic atmosphere with around 30,000 people in the crowd!
Everyone always wants to know what things cost. We donít feel weíre spending any more on food than we did in the UK. Havenít analysed it in detail but it seems about the same. Had an electricity bill but it mostly covered the time before we moved in (my tenant moved out a couple of months earlier so I had the account transferred back to me from that date) so itís hard to get any useful info from that. Just had a water bill arrive for $162 for the quarter, although only $13 was actual variable usage with the rest being basic water & sewerage supply charges and the River Murray Levy. Petrol is definitely cheaper here, and now that weíre not ďcommutingĒ from Port Elliot we donít seem to get through it very quickly. Itís really things like books and DVDs where we tend to notice the big cost differences, although weíve just done an order through Amazon UK for a few bits and pieces so that should help fill the void! Weíve also found electrical items to be reasonably priced. The key with it all is to do a bit of research, know your prices and look out for bargains. Even when something is marked as on special I still ask for a better price. And donít be afraid to walk away if youíre not happy with it either.
In terms of communication with the outside world we bought a prepaid mobile broadband dongle and used that for a while until our wifi broadband was installed a couple of weeks ago. OH bought a prepaid mobile phone as well and Iím on my old number (using my old Aussie SIM in the UK phone I cracked) on post paid.
OH has been half-heartedly looking for work (project manager), without success so far but Christmas really is the worst time for it so weíre not too worried. I admit I havenít even started as Iíve been enjoying just easing my way back into things back home. Itís also been nice to catch up with some friends and family I havenít seen much of in recent years.
Been really pleased with the weather so far. Mostly pleasant (although my version of pleasant and my OHís tend to differ by a few degrees!) with a few hot days. Whatís been such a wonderful change is the sun being out pretty much every day and for hours at a time. I really did used to get so depressed with the weather in England! OH is less excited about the hot weather than me (bit of a shock to his system, poor thing) but admits he prefers it to the English winter.
So we're feeling more at home now and even have the Christmas decorations up. And very much looking forward to the new year in our new home.
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Note: Here's an early report I posted on PomsInOz just a week after we arrived. Mostly superseded by today's post.
I thought it was time to give our first update from Australia! Quick recap of our situation: Iím an Aussie and OH is the Brit. I already had a house in Adelaide so we havenít got much to tell that would be useful in regards to finding accommodation when you first arrive Iím afraid.
We flew in last Thursday morning. Soooo glad I used my frequent flyer miles to upgrade the Singapore to Adelaide flight to business class. Being able to use the business class lounge during our 9 hours in Singapore was fantastic (we managed to have a snooze and helped ourselves to the food and drinks) and it certainly was nice to have a seat on the plane that went flat (well, almost flat).
We're currently staying with my parents in Port Elliot (coastal town about 1.5 hours drive south of Adelaide) until we're ready to move into my place. So after a couple of days of falling asleep in the middle of the day and waking at strange times we got stuck into the furniture shopping on Sunday. It's a bit of a tough slog as we have to drive into Adelaide each time (not many shops down here and they wouldn't deliver that far away anyhow) to look at places, so we've tried to do a fair bit of research on the internet to narrow things down a bit. Had a very successful day today, having ordered a lounge suite and a bed. Once the bed is available (we've been told 7-10 days) they will both be delivered and we can actually move into the house. Also put a deposit down on a fridge on the weekend and that will hopefully be delivered soon too. I was quite pleased with my bargaining abilities and managed to get the price down on all the items. It's not like the UK where you pay whatever the price tag says. Here it's more of a guideline so if you're prepared to stand your ground (or smile sweetly!) you can often get a better deal. Also stumbled on a home wares sale at the local department store so we grabbed as much as we could carry!
OH's also been busy making himself "official", registering for Medicare, tax file number, getting a phone etc. He applied online for a bank account with the NAB before we got here and has a meeting with them on Thursday to pick up his cards.
Canít help much with cost of living information yet as we havenít had to pay for much of that type of thing while weíre staying with my parents. Will try to provide an update once weíve moved into our house. Happy to answer any questions though!