Getting used to life in a new country
Just some thoughts. It takes all of us different amounts of time to get used to living in a new country, and we all have different ways of dealing with things. A quote I found by an expat author I like says this:
""Life in a foreign country is a dance of submission and resistance. Self-knowledge comes in small repeated shocks as you find yourself giving in easily, with a struggle, or not at all." -Rhiannon Paine"
What methods did you use to make the transition easier, and did you go through a rough period, or was it all bbqs and trips to the beach? How long did it take you to feel like this is home, and if it doesn't feel like home, how much time do 'you reckon' it's going to. I'm 9 months in and I say another 2 years and I'll feel settled. My methods of making it work are trying to have a positive attitude, allowing myself to get stressed when I need to without being too hard on myself, and getting involved with (positive) people and activities. I give in easily to meeting new people, I sometimes struggle with my (Aussie) husband's way of going things, and sometimes I refuse to acclimate to things that, well, I just can't yet.
Good question Suzer.
I think its purely a case of different folks different strokes. I read posts of people that have been here a while and find it hard to settle. Others settle then have a 'wobble' and find it hard to call home for a while.
For myself (Mr Laidback) I felt 'at home' when I stepped off the plane and 4 months in (all but 4 days) I have the same feeling.
I guess it may be easier for me as I moved around a lot in the UK. I think I moved home something like 7 times in as many years and over all have moved now well into double figures. Was it Paul Young that sang about 'where ever I lay my hat that's my home'?
Family life is the same. Its just better weather outside and more colourful birds flying around.
Does this sound weird? I keep reading about people struggling to settle and it is hard for me to grasp this. Apart from family I don't miss the UK one bit. Although only 4 months in I consider this is my home.
That is a great question.
I think although we planned, reccied (is that a word) and read every book going, when you, move your eyes are wide shut, you have no idea what your getting yourself into.
On our drive from the airport on arrival to friends in Gawler, well i saw the buildings on south road and thought we'd landed back in the 60's, it looked awful, and on that first night (baring in mind the difficult goodbyes) we both said we wanted to go back.
Since that day things have improved, you find you feet and you slot back into a normality of life, even if some things you do are far from what you were used too.
Clare has had moments of sadness, when her mom calls and she going shopping to touchwood (in solihull) or something, then clare gets a pain of guilt and misses some aspect of life in the Uk.
My worst time was after a work trip to the US for 3 weeks, even though we've been back to the Uk, living in the US for that time not as a holiday made me miss, 24 hour walmarts, TGI fridays, proper pints in pubs (in fact one pub served me a fish bowl of beer), things that just felt right ?
We can both still watch a british tv programs and see european cars parked on roads like Escort vans, mondeo's, outside pubs or historic town centres (like on Inspector Morse )etc and things seem correct and proper, where as here it seems, well make-believe.... i guess though having 35 1/2 years of british life, and 3 1/2 years of aussie life, well things from the 35 year period will still seem normal for some time to come..
This site really helps though, and although we didn't want to make british friends intentially, we found aussies as friendly but as they are have their own long term friends and family, on public holidays we would find ourselves on our own, which we made the most of, trips away, city breaks etc... but we've made some fantastic friends off this site, a couple we've been on holiday with and got lost in bel air national park with and I went for a beer every friday lunchtime with a bloke off here who worked near me (he changed jobs this week, how selfish is that ???), ..... making friends and knowing people like this make a good place great. It also helps giving you a sense of normality which then helps the longer term transition to Oz.
I still get a British paper most weeks, and listen to radio 5 live on the podcasts, not because I don't like things here, but because these are things I'm more used too. How long this would continue for I'm not sure, as there would be a point where everything you'd read about in the UK you'd no longer know anyway....
Will we stay here forever ??? The world is too big and the future too unpredictable.
Last edited by Rob and Clare; 15-01-2009 at 10:11 PM.
We arrived on the 16-11-08 but missus had to go back to Cornwall on the 28-11-08 to finalize the house sale, get the dogs and furniture sent out but she will be back on the 10-03-09.
But to be honest thats the only thing that has been realy hard, but with the internet and phone it not realy been that bad as we talk everyday.
Ive embrased the culture, lifestyle and the way things are done plus made some realy realy good friends. My new neighbours came round to meet n greet me and has bent over backawrds to help me get things sorted / settle here. If i said it had all been smouth sailing then i would be lie-ing.
Yes we had a good start with getting an exelent rental and brought enough furniture within the first 2 days to get started and our new neighbours helped us out with info on best places to get stuff and how to get things done.
Ive now started work and get on well with everyone there, theres a lot of P-taking between us all but i do see what they meen by whinging poms, ive met quiet a few now and i just ask them "why did they come here and if there not willin to embrase the way things are done, the culture and the lifestyle then what are they still doing here?". There answers normaly are " well we done things this or that way in the uk" and it makes me laugh as they seem to forget that there not in the UK anymore. So i see why some people find it harder to adjust if there not willing to change.
Personally ive never been more settled in an area, i thought that i would miss Cornwall and i do but its so much like Cornwall i think that why ive settled so well.
Would i ever move back to the UK? NEVER, NO-CHANCE IN HELL, good buy to the british pc bridgade, political correctness gone mad, being over run with asylum seekers, open borders, a usless and pathetic excuse for a goverment, seriously underfunded public heath system, 10 different languages in one area theres so much more i see whats wrong with the UK and yes the Australian goverment is not much better and i pay a lot for my health care but i know my life has a better future and prospects here than what i would ever have in the UK.
good question Suzer,For us i think it was preperation and being prepared to be flexible after we arrived . We are only 9 months in and think we have made good progress so far but still there is along way to go.
In the start we said no matter what blood, sweat and tears came our way we would give it 2 years which i think everyone has to do and anything under this is no where long enough to settle. Maybe this is the one mistake that catches people out , thinking that you can pick up where you left off in the uk.
Expect the worst,be very patient,and go with the ozzy flow and for the ones who aren't lucky enough to visit first, try to remove all expectations alyhough it's a hard thing to do.:)
Good point mate "Maybe this is the one mistake that catches people out , thinking that you can pick up where you left off in the uk." I guess some people just cant imagine life being different to what they are used to in the UK.
Some great words of wisdom on this thread. We have had 4 months here, renting in Seaford Rise, made a few mistakes but things are going well now.
That is a good point about some people expecting to pick up where they left off. New life new country you have to take a step back but yes its for a different and better life style.
Personally, I hated my job, the weather and many other politically sensitive issues. Australia is not utopia but I LIKE IT !!
Stay for ever ? who knows ?? The world is a big place...
Happy days folks.. have a great weekend. I am sure you will find time for a BBQ and a bit of Glug..good on ya !!
Yes Im a bit mad sozz..
Well, we made the transition easier by thouroughly researching the place before we came. This made us familiar with the place as we had never visited Australia before never mind Adelaide. We also read the good and the bad stories via pomsinadelaide and pomsinoz and this made us take off any rose tinted glasses we may have been wearing. We said to each other the second day we got here how we felt like we were at home and I really wasnt expecting that I was wxpecting to be a bit of a wreck as id hear about so many people who cry for the first six months. We have done nearly 3 months here now and love, love, love it.
HOWEVER, I started crying unexpectedly a few days ago and still now I find myself crying at the most unexpected times ! (be warned anyone who I may be seeing over the weekend !) So this is my wobble but its definately not a wobble where I am thinking I want to go back to the UK, far from it I think it is just the enormity of the whole thing finaly catching up with me - I have been a women of steel up to now - through the whole visa process and then the whole move etc.
Anyhow I would say to anyone yet to make the move - research, research, research - listen to the good and the bad - be sure its what you really want - expect things to be different and be willing to adapt - mix with positive people - and everything should fall into place - EVENTUALLY !!
Awwee !! Sont cry..I agree when you are strong for yourself and everyone else too sometimes it just hits you and you collapse a bit..just take a deep breathe, relax and spoil yourself a little ..take care..
Originally Posted by sjs
A good question, and many different answers. I think we have been very luck so far and appear to have settled well in the 3 1/2 months we have been here. Yes, you do make mistakes, we made them in the UK so why would it be different here? Yes I get lonely sometimes with OH at work and me still looking for work, there is only so much cleaning and washing you can do for just the two of you. However, would we consider going back? Never say never but at the moment NO. The UK has very little to offer at the moment, even if we wanted to go back, which we don't.
Just getting up in the morning and seeing that great big blue sky is a huge thrill. Seeing parrots in yuor garden is another. Being able to plan a BBQ or beach day weeks in advance is a miracle!
We have also made some wonderful friends here, and they are a great solace and help when things get a little frayed. We have joined (a local motorcycle club (no not one of the nasty ones) and that has been a great way to fit into the Aussie lifestyle and make friends with the 'locals'. You have to be prepared to go out there and mix, the mountain won't come to Mohamed (or is that not PC?)
If I am a bit low I just try to remember all of the things we disliked about the UK and then things seem much better here again. Keep a positive attitude, mix with positive people and it soon rubs off.
Good luck to everyone trying to make a go of it.
Mall & Kev