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Russell I know your happy and with your life here I would surprised if you weren't.:D My point is that just because people aren't happy it doesn't make them whingers. I, like you, love the place. The people, the city, the suburbs, the beaches and the whole package. I see Adelaide the same as you. Others, for whatever reason, don't see it in the same light. I wasn't suggesting that the likes of us were gloaters because we like the gaff. I was more trying to make the point that by not liking it and/or struggling it doesn't make you a whinger either.;)
Django,think you have made a very relevant point,there is a world of differance between constructive criticism and just being a whinger.
In addition if my husband had been told the reality of the job situation here before we came, we would not have in a million yrs given up well paid jobs,with security and benefits,which we had worked long and hard to acheive over the last twenty years.
In my 20s i had nothing to lose ,in your 40s is a very different matter.
We have stayed to try, but circumstances of crappy jobs and health problems have meant that sadly we have failed.
So whilst Adelaide has lots of good points, for us i will always wish we had never left what we had, because for us, it has meant a lot of loss and not a lot of gain.
My cousin came here 10 yrs ago and has done brilliantly, but readily admits that he believes if he came now it would be a very different story.
So good point,if it has worked out, good for you,but dont condemn those trying to enlighten people with the rosy specs that it doesnt always, as a bunch of whingers.
Hi from a newbie. I've read all of this (very long) thread with considerable interest as I too am originally from Adelaide (born and bred) and moved to the UK in 1996. I went back to Adelaide in 2000, absolutely hated it and returned to the UK 12 months later. Now 8 years on, I am seriously considering going back, particularly as all my family live there.
I have residency in the UK because of my Mum - one of the original 60s £10 immigrants to Adelaide - and 40 years on she still says every day she wants to come back to the UK. For that reason I grew up always hearing her saying how wonderful the UK was and it was the reason I came here. I have however noticed a big difference in the UK in the past few years, for all of the reasons that many of you have mentioned.
I do think that I may well have considered staying in South Australia back in 2000 if I'd given it longer than 12 months, or perhaps if I'd gone back to the Eastern States of Australia first. London to rural South Australia is just too big a move (even for a South Aussie). If you've lived anywhere near one of the UK's big cities, you may well find it hard to adjust to South Australia.
I recently went to one of London's Australian migration expos and left very p'd off. All of the companies, and the governments, exhibiting at them do stand to make a profit out of those that go - yes, Australian governments do make a lot of money out of migrants through visa, education (international students) and money into the healthcare system (from those that have to bring enough funds to pay for healthcare in the initial years. I listened to all the seminars and went to all the stands, and no where was the other side of migration mentioned - ie the cons of moving. Any decision on moving yourself, and your family, to the other side of the world needs an honest view of the pros and cons. A reccie trip is essential and not just viewing it as a holiday trip. As I mentioned, I am considering returning home, but only after I take a trip home to see for myself how things are over there before I pay moving costs (thankfully visa costs are not necessary). Hopefully I won't see any Huntsmans as I really hate them and that would put me off!
Anyway, a few tips I have (some from experience) for those Brits in Adelaide:
1) This is going to sound strange, but try and tag along with an Aussie housewife/househusband when she/he does the grocery shopping - when I went back in 2000, I shopped the same way I did here and was averaging a till bill of in excess of $100 at Coles a fortnight (very high for a single girl) - when my sister (never left Adelaide) came with me she was mortified! I have no idea why my shopping was so different, but I do wonder if it was because I was eating the same types of foods as in Britain (which is more expensive) or whether I was doing the mental comparison of pounds to dollars each time and buying more expensive brands as a result. Also I seem to remember fast less pre-prepared food in Australia. Oh, and I never understood why, particularly as it's a UK institution, but fish & chips are always considerably cheaper at your local chippie in Australia - and generally better!
2) In Year 1, it's highly likely your electricity bill will be astronomical - particularly as you'll have the air-conditioning on 24/7. You will start to use it less and less (saving it for the really hot days). Follow the example of Aussies in your street - if you see them opening up their windows (make sure you have mozzie screens) and screen doors - do the same, they will know when the breezes are coming in. If you have a pool, go for a pre-bed swim (wear a swim cap if worried about chlorine hair) - it will cool you down considerably and you'll sleep great without air-conditioning (unless of course it is 40C+). Do the same with the kids - when I was growing up, if we got hot in the night, it wasn't uncommon for my mum or dad to take us out to the pool for 5 mins at 3am!
3) State school education is very good. I was in state school for all of primary. I then went to a private girls school from Years 8-10 which was girls only. It gave me a good opportunity to learn science, maths etc in a girls only environment. If you can afford to send your children private for Years 11 & 12 (equiv to A Levels) then that's good, but the state school system is just as good at that level, particularly as by that stage, those trouble-makers have left the school at age 15/16 or been expelled, and only those that want to learn are still there - that's what I did.
4) Choose your suburb wisely to live in. Many straight away choose the most expensive beach suburbs for the novelty of being by the beach. Don't pay above the odds for a rental property long-term. Likewise if you are used to living in an area in Britain with lots of cafes etc - make sure you choose a similar area. Many people who immigrated 10 years ago or so had the opportunity to choose house/land packages in areas like Golden Grove, where as now it's mostly buying new courtyard homes or larger established homes.
5) Don't think it's just migrants that have a tough time with jobs. South Australia has an 'interesting' work culture, that if I was being pessimistic, I would refer to 'nepotism is rife!'. While Australians are friendly, when it comes to getting work, many are fiercely competitive. I know if I go back I will struggle to get a good job, despite some seriously well-regarded qualifications. So I know how the poster on here who is a lawyer feels. Many of my South Australian friends are in exactly the same predicament. A lot of South Australia works on who you know - and it doesn't matter if you are an Aussie or a Pom - becoming friendly with people will always open more doors professionally and socially.
6) One thing I've noticed over here when you socialise is that often if you are invited to someone's house for dinner, you take wine and flowers. The host supplies the rest. The norm in Australia is quite often BYO, or Bring Something! At a BBQ, typically someone would bring the bread, everyone brought their own drinks, someone salad, someone dessert - and often everyone would chip into the bulk meat pack. It was usually the fight to get the potato salad option - huge back of potatoes, jar of mayo and some parsley flakes!
7) Get your wine direct from wineries. There are less margins and you can try different wines before you buy - it's also a great thing to do.
8) Get the kids to save up pocket money for Adelaide's annual Royal Show - it's an institution. Yes it's expensive for ticket etc, but it's a full day out and most kids will enjoy doing the Yellow Brick Road showbag. Set them a budget (or get them to save) for showbags, and they'll spend many hours reading the showbag guide printed in The Advertiser the week before the show.
9) Find all the free things to do that don't involve just the beach. Drive through the Adelaide hills, walk through the Parklands, go to the National Parks for a picnic or just relax at home.
10) Regarding clothes - why not arrange second-hand clothes sales through this website - particularly as your children grow out of their UK clothes? You might be able to pick up 2nd hand UK clothes for the children as they get bigger. You'll also need less clothes in Australia - and the kids certainly will need less. The great thing about Australia is stuff drives so quick - so you can wash out their favourite clothes while they are at school (if you work, stick it on the quick wash when they go to bed, hang it out in morn and it dry when they get home). They won't care and it's fairly typical Australian attribute! Many people assume we are just unhygienic wearing the same stuff day in and day out - but because we can wash & dry so quick - we can wear the same stuff!
This has been a very long post, but just to finish - so many of my friends who left Adelaide to live elsewhere in the world - or in the Eastern states - are returning to Adelaide once they have families, which I guess proves that Adelaide must have some positives for families. Many are giving up good careers for work in Adelaide.
Best of luck to you all (oh and please exterminate all huntsman that you come across so that just maybe they might all be gone for when I get back!)
Just a quick post to put you in the picture of the cost of living here back in the UK
Fuel costs have risen, as a result our Gas and Electric Bill DD have BOTH been increased to £90 per month as estimated for the next 12 months!!!!!
I'm now on basic hours. lots of unemployment all since you left in October
Will hope to be out there next year ABW.
Please give it a chance, nobody said it would be easy!!!
we are worried about missing friends and especialy Family.
we plan to make GOOD new life long friends once out there.
start small and build up!!
Just to say I think you've written a really informative post, with some useful information. My husband too is from Adelaide, we have been living here since 1997 and for a long while he had no desire to go back and live there. After two bad summers the last two years he is now desperate to go back!! We went over at Easter to finally make up our minds, and came back to the economy falling to bits and house prices crashing all around us (so are still here). I know what you mean about the SA economy being a bit weird and unpredictable, we moved back to England mainly because job prospects were so much better here. I also know what you mean about late night dips in the pool - we didn't have any air-con so when it was really hot I used to go and have a cold shower in the middle of the night, and when the mattress got too hot (and was radiating heat) I slept on the blow up bed in the lounge with the front door open (and the screen door locked) just to get the sea breezes. I can see that going from London back to Adelaide will be a big change. Good luck.
Backpacked round Australia 1992. Married Australian husband in Adelaide 1994. Lived in Adelaide 1994-1997. Moved back to UK & lived in Essex/Herts 1997-2009. Returned to Adelaide November 2009. 2 kids dual nationality.
Great first post. Welcome to PIA. Some good points well made. One issue though, I come from London itself but have found myself loving it here. :p Mind you you did say 'may' so I'll let you off. :D