We reached the one year marker yesterday so i thought i would do a post on how we have found things.
We were both lucky enough to get jobs within about 8 weeks of arriving. Getting back into routine meant life got back to normal quite quickly and it felt less like being on holiday! We were also lucky to meet a great group of friends early on, most through this site (you know who you are!) which has definitely really helped us.
When we arrived our first impressions were how American everything was, the roads, the big cars, the houses, the TV shows etc. We had a small car in the UK, so wanted a small one here so we got a Ford Ka, we soon realised how people drive over here, so got a 4x4 and now we feel much safer. Going to drive through Bottle Os was also an experience!
When we got here it was during the Olympics so it was on TV and we were struck how patriotic people are here much more than in the UK.
Food shopping here was different too as the shops donít sell everything like they do in the UK Ė and they pack your bags for you, which felt strange as i kept wanting to do it myself!
In terms of living costs, for us itís pretty much the same and we spend the same month on month. Petrol and eating out here are cheaper but books, shoes and clothes are more. The clothes here arenít great for the price and not many places do petite so i always end up having to get things shortened. Stu has the opposite problem Ė he is really tall and not many places do long trousers so he usually has to have the hems taken out Ė so we spend a fortune on alterations!!
For us coming to Australia wasnít about a better life Ė it was more about a different life. We had reasonably well paid jobs in the UK, owned our house and had good friends. But the weather here makes a big difference and we definitely make more of an effort to get and about. Weekends weíll go the beach and evenings after work weíll have a BBQ Ė so we definitely do more here so we have got what we wanted. The summer was just brilliant we would go to the beach every weekend and most weekends there would be a BBQ. The 40 degree days were an experience Ė turning on the cold tap and having hot water come out was a first! But anything up to 35 is really actually ok.
However, i think that there is a perception that Australians are more laid back than the UK and in some ways this is true, and in others its not. We both work longer hours here with less holiday than we did in the UK Ė but we make up for that by doing more in our free time.
We are on the 495 visa and we didnít realise the implications of this until we got here i.e. no full medicare, no homeowners grant etc. We donít have children so financially we have not been hit to hard by this visa, but not getting the homeowners grant has meant we canít really afford to buy anywhere at the moment. Fortunately my work are sponsoring us for PR, so we are hoping to get off the 495 in the next couple of months.
All in all we like Adelaide, and for us the move has been good. Now we just canít wait for summer to come around so we can dust off the body boards.