Like most people, for us there was a range of things that we hoped for in our new life over here: a good balance of work and leisure time, a new adventure and a chance to experience living in a different culture, better weather (hard to write that while keeping a straight face at the moment with the wind and rain rattling the windows yet again!) etc.
Another of these things was to have the sort of house we couldn't afford in the UK. We soon realised - mostly through research and speaking to others who had made the move, either on sites like this or in person - that the days of coming here with a modest pile of money and living like millionaires was over (if it had ever actually existed) and that the myth of things being so much cheaper than the UK was just that; a myth.
Still, while we readjusted our dreams and mentally downsized the sort of house we could afford, we didn't want to come here and be financially much worse off than we were in the UK. Different people make the move for different reasons and have different opinions of where they've come from and where they've gone to, of course, and for us, the UK was and remains a great place, it's just that we were ready to explore somewhere else in the world. Both Adel and I had good jobs, we had a nice house in a lovely village, and no debts or loans apart from a small mortgage. So, while we knew that there would be some disruption to our finances while we settled into whatever new place we went to (and there wasn't just Adelaide or even just Australia on the short list), we weren't planning on being permanently financially worse off; had we thought that was the deal we wouldn't have made the move.
Between first considering Adelaide and making the move, roughly two and a half years passed. During that time, our dreams went through several more iterations as house prices here rose and the market in the UK slowed down.
Fortunately, I landed a decent job here not long after arriving, and much of what money we brought with us remained intact. As the moment, being in a rental, we're comfortable; once our house is built and we're paying off the mortgage, things will be much tighter (strange how the house has shrunk as our plans have changed but the mortgage has got bigger!)
Still, our dream is intact, the reasons for moving here remain valid and we're having our house built. All the bells and whistles that go with the house - the pool being the obvious example - will take much longer to achieve than we'd hoped, but that's simply a case of reprioritising things, not giving up on them.
Is this just how we'd imagined it would be? Not in the detail, no, but in the big themes - spending more time together, having a house built etc - then yes, it's panning out nicely. Is it tougher than we thought? No, it's just that expecting it to be tough is one thing; experiencing it is quite another.
excellent post jim :) it really is the long term dream that matters!