Ok thought it was about time we posted an update as we have been here since September 2012. When we were making the move we found all posts informative but we really took notice of those 3-6 month in posts – is it what they thought? Have they settled? What went wrong?
Well we were fortunate to have jobs sorted before we made the move, Craig went to work in Marketing at the University of South Australia and Kathleen a Nurse at the RAH. The Visas were through Craig so most of the work was done by the University and done very quickly (only decided to consider coming to Oz in March 2012). The house sold in the UK in a week which gave us the big go ahead to make the move. We sourced a 6 week rental through www.auseelife.com.au at Woodcroft which gave us a great base to explore the areas we thought we may want to find a long term rental. Our first mistake was that we only gave ourselves just over a week from arriving in Adelaide to starting work which with hindsight should have been 2-3 times longer. We had arranged a car rental for 2 weeks to help us get about, but a car was top of the to-do list along with the accommodation search. In our first week we did the usual Medicare and tax number registration which was fairly straight forward. We then started visiting real estate agents to register ourselves as looking for a rental. I know others have found it helpful but as we will come onto explain it didn’t really help us. We also started looking for cars and quickly decided we wanted to treat ourselves to a new car. The first week passed too quickly and before we knew it our days were being filled with work and little time to go looking for houses and cars. Weekends were the main days for doing this but with Kathleen being a nurse (nurse=shift work/weekends) that meant we had to do it often independently i.e. Kathleen did it during 2 days of the working week and Craig on a Sat/Sun.
The problem with this is we found quite a few houses had their open visits during the week and during a time when we were at work, and car dealerships closed at 5pm during the week and not open on a Sunday (big difference to the UK). This is why we would have liked to have given ourselves 2-3 weeks before starting work to really focus on finding long term rental/car. We tried going through real estate agents but started finding we were missing houses because by the time we heard from the agent that a good house was coming up it had gone. In the end we just spent a lot of time on realestate.com.au and searching ourselves.
It got close but just before our short term rental was up (Though Russel offered to extend if needed) we found a house at Craigburn Farm near Blackwood. We found that even though some of the suburbs way in the South were lovely that with us both working in the CBD we needed to be either close to the train lines (not much good at the moment!) or be closer. We found that being at Craigburn Farm meant we had a train station 10 minutes walk away and if we drove in then it takes us 20-30 minutes in Traffic. When we travelled from the south the times could easily be double that and the commuting was a big reason why we left the UK. Some will say we should be even closer but we want our Cake and to eat it too! We love visiting the city but being just that bit out gives us a feeling of being out of the city. We also finally agreed on a new Ford Territory (didn’t know what these were before arriving here) and got a deal we seemed happy with after 2 weeks of playing 3 ford dealerships off one another. The other major part of our move was bringing our dogs with us. It was the most stressful part of the move as you are constantly asking yourself if you have made the right decision in putting them through the stress – well we are glad to report we made the right choice. We left them in the UK for an extra month before sending them over and we were fortunate of having Craig’s sister in Melbourne to visit them during their 30 day quarantine stay. After a long 30 days we drove over to Melbourne and picked them up (17 hours driving in 36 hours hurt though!). They looked fine and soon settled into their new home (though are still getting used to the heat). We have great walks and open spaces around us and take them at least once a week to O’Sullivans beach and they love it. For anyone reading this with dogs please remember you need to get them registered but you get discounts for training, neutering and vaccinations which made it really cheap - we forgot!
We can’t believe the benefits that both of our jobs provide us with which has meant our budget has increased dramatically. Even though prices are higher we have been able to buy things for the house we would never be able to afford in the UK and we still have enough to save and spend on eating out etc. It took a good 3 months to feel like we were staying and not on an extended holiday but we are really starting to enjoy life in Adelaide. I think it is too early to say if its going to be long term but there are some good signs there. Christmas/New Year was OK as Craig’s sister came over from Melbourne but it would be lie to say we didn’t feel the distance between us and family back in the UK, a visit to the beach Xmas day soon helped us feel better though. The first 3 months were really busy with setting up our new lifes and finding our feet so our social lives were limited but now we are starting to make friends, go out more and visit a few wineries. Christmas helped with the various work parties etc. Our next objective is to get into sports a bit more (we have a "new life in Australia" list) so are starting to look at what we can do/get into, which will hopefully help us to make more friends. Craig bought his big BBQ at Christmas so he feels like his Australian Adventure is well under way now!.
We came out with the attitude that we had made this opportunity for ourselves and we are going to give it everything we can to make it work, better that then never trying it. So far it’s looking promising and we have no regrets but I guess only time will tell if we have found our long term home. We still miss family but we thought we would miss more like silly little things (Gravy, Sky TV, Digestive Biscuits) – Craig missing Man Utd was his biggest worry but Foxtel has fixed that!. In reality though there is little we miss about the UK so far, that is not because we have found Adelaide to be exactly like the UK – It is very much different including culture and language!! What we have found is things to replace those little things we thought we would miss! Who needs Digestives when you have TimTams???
Happy New Year to All
Craig (31) and Kathleen (28)