Inspired by a couple of the other posts I thought I’d do an update on our 14 months in Adelaide.
Overall we’re happy, have had a great first year and are looking forward to the next year and beyond. But that’s not to say Adelaide is perfect or that we don’t miss things about the UK
My husband found work as a Carpenter quickly although was started on a low wage (he has had two pay rises in the year he’s been there) He’s currently doing his business licence so that he then has the option to work for himself/set up a business here. In order to work as a carpenter you just need to do your white card course but to actually run your own business you need to either do a carpentry business licence or a full business licence dependant on what you want to do. This can be frustrating especially as my husband ran his own business in the UK for 10 years and ultimately the reason we got our VISA was because of his skills so to then have to pay out more money to be able to do the work you want to do and sit in a classroom to learn about things you already know (not all but some) can seem long!
We decided before coming that if possible I would take the first year out to get us settled, look after our two children etc and then I would look to go back to work. We were able to do this as we are on a 190 VISA so received some family benefits which definitely helped. I started the job searching in about April and then started work in June so overall the job market has been kind to us. I worked for a global company in London, 3 days a week (after having the children) and here I work for one of their competitors, 3 days a week doing pretty much the same job so I guess timing wise I was lucky that this came up when I started looking.
We’re not as “well off” as we were in London but like I say my husband had his own business in the UK and I think it’s unlikely we’ll be in the same position financially unless he does the same here. Having said that with me working now we’ll certainly be able to start ticking some things off our to do list.
I think dependent on where in England you come from, what your reasons for coming, what sort of lifestyle you enjoy will make everyone’s experience very different. Obviously coming from London makes Adelaide a very different lifestyle for us sometimes which I love sometimes I don’t!
I miss black taxis/cabs and easiness of going out. My parents did 99% of our babysitting back home so my husband and me actually haven’t had a night out together without the children since we’ve moved here. We have started looking in to the possibility of a couple of the girls from the children’s childcare maybe starting to do some babysitting for us so that we maybe can have a least one date night this year! I miss things like next day delivery, shops/restaurants being open all the time. I miss takeaway currys, good chain restaurants like Pizza Express, Strada etc, M&S foodhall (can you tell I love food yet!)
I miss double glazing and central heating that you can put on a timer! The houses are cold in winter – I’m not sure we can cope with another winter in the current rental we’re in. Heating is expensive and a waste of time/money because the minute you turn it off all the hot air escapes through the windows/walls. A lot of people seem to rely on wood burning fires to get them through winter but it is horrible not having a warm house to come back to in the evenings/wake up to in the morning. Summer, Spring and Autumn are fine but I think 3 months is a long time to be cold in your home no matter what anyone else says.
I think the lifestyle to bring up young children is great – our children are young, love the beaches, the parks, bike riding, the nature, the outdoorsiness of it all. I’m not sure what teenagers would get up to if they were not in to sport but I don’t really know anyone with teenage children so maybe their fine! We’ve loved exploring Adelaide and still have lots to go out and explore.
We’ve been really lucky that we’ve met some great people and have had a lot of fun times at their houses, at ours, up at the wineries etc We do of course miss family and friends and seeing pictures of them doing things without you always stings a bit but I’ve been really lucky that my parents have already been out twice and I met my sister and her family in Thailand at Easter. My parents and my brother and nieces are already booked to come for Christmas and New Year so I appreciate that I’m a lot luckier than others. We’re also planning on going to the UK for a holiday next year as two of our friends are getting married and we always said it would be good to check in after two years so that we can get a good comparison and then make longer term plans.
We’ve always looked at this as a bit of an adventure, an experience and some days I see us spending our future here and other days I don’t but ultimately that’s because suddenly you have this choice – you can just jump on a plane and go back and I expect anyone who has that option on a bad day will think about it!
We still have a lot more we want to do here, we’ve booked our first camping trip although still don’t have a tent! My husband wants to get a surfboard this spring/summer, we keep talking about buying bikes, we want to go to Kangaroo Island, Sydney, Queensland etc. I want to start checking out some of the bars & restaurants in the City. There’s still lot of wineries I haven’t sampled yet!
Like I say all in all we’re good and we’ve had a good first year and I certainly don’t regret making the move – is it perfect? No. Is it living the dream? No - but I’m pretty sure no one making the move thinks it will be.