How have our lives/our childrens lives improved?
My 10 yr old Maggie can walk to school on her own safely - ok its only 2 mins away, and we used to walk to school in the uk too but she could never go on her own and more often than not the weather was against us for her to be able to walk.
She goes for beach walks weekly with her class, shes learned so much about wildlife and conservation and shes so enthusiastic about it. Her class also takes the reception class for a beach walk which she loves as she feels so responsible.
Maggies also having surf/water safety lessons for a PE lesson on the beach. She has 5 PE lessons a week!!!
Health, wellbeing and fitness is so paramount here, her school is great - they picked up on her 'learning difficulties' and did something about it in 2 weeks i had to fight for her to get any extra help in the uk and that help was usually a parent listening to her read - totally unsatisfactory.
She gets to play out and walk on the beach everyday - she played out in the UK but it was usually her & her friend in her room or in her friends room as the weather was too bad - even in bad weather here she can play out in the entertainment area.
The roads here are so much safer for her - ok theres alot of looney drivers around but in our area theyre all pretty good and the hoons are only ever out at silly o'clock when kids are in bed. Shes even riding her bike on the roads here (quiet roads not the main ones) UK she had to ride on the pavements, it was so unsafe cos the roads were so narrow cars would almost touch me as i rode next to her - with her on the path! (and we lived in a village so not massively busy)
Her confidence has grown immeasurably, its amazing to see her so outgoing and confident...i adore the way she is blooming here.
My 5yr old Seb is loving life here - being able to go to the beach almost everyday does it for him - going fishing/learning to bodyboard etc instead of sat in the house with me doing puzzles cos we couldnt go out anywhere in uk unless we were well wrapped up. And yes im taking him fishing - never liked it in the uk but i love it here.
OH has a good job - ok he doesnt like it but for now its a good payer and hel bide his time til he can move on - he loves being able to say 'im going to go fishing on way home/meet you on the beach/the play fort/lets have a bbq for tea'.
Our teens - theyre a law unto themselves - but they assure us they love the lifestyle here and have no intentions of returning to uk - theyve found school/tafe so much better, they get treated like young adults not kids.
For me - i smashed my leg up pretty badly last year, my consultant said our impending move to OZ was the best thing i could do for my leg as arthitus is going to cripple me...so i get a massive positive im not great but ive recovered so well from the injury - far better than the surgeon could have imagined.
I also get fab quality family time with the kids - instead of getting out for walks/activities occaisionally because of weather and cost - we can do it pretty much daily. Ive had to go to TAFE as to do what i want i need an extra (their equivilent) qualification - no big issue - if thats what it takes to get the job i want then i'll do it...i dont expect TAFE to just give me a job without having any understanding of their laws/legislations etc.
Things will seem tough to start with and as your name says you'll feel like an alien at times - but hang on in there - i think watching your kids running round with huge grins on their faces daily is worth it all. We had expectations, of a happier/healthier/outdoors lifestyle - we are richer in all that just not financially - but you dont come here to get rich in money.