Life in Australia vs. life in England - my journey...
Since more and more Europeans are making the move over to Australia and many of you keep asking me how I managed to move from one continent to another in a short period of time, here is my post on how I made a fresh start on the other side of the world. It's been over 5 years since I left England and almost
14 years since I left my second home, Poland.
I've always had itchy feet and felt I had to be somewhere else to get various things done because I didn't belong to one place. Helping people has always been on top of my 'to do list'. Life is so much better and more meaningful in my eyes when we help one another. We were made to do that.
When I was a few years old, I noticed Australia was a remote island and thought it was a nice holiday destination. I didn't plan to move there as a teenager. I had other plans to travel, study and volunteer either in the US, South America or in the UK. I chose the latter because of the distance and the connection that my country has with the UK. I knew there was a lot of work waiting for me there and I had limited time to get it all done. So, as soon as I graduated from high school, I took a gap year, travelled around England and applied for diverse courses in the UK. I have always been fond of arts, foreign languages, culture and education. Eventually, I ended up studying teaching English and linguistics in London.
However, I made some friends in Ireland and discovered there was something I had to do there before heading to London. I spent almost 3 years in Ireland, living and working in a networking company.
I helped many people and contributed to the progress of their businesses as well as their personal growth. My company was stable despite the credit crunch and the people who I met made progress. I was pleased and decided to carry on my life in London - a beautiful city full of hustle and bustle. I didn't realize what I signed up for back then. I first visited England when I left my country at 17 and lived in Bath, Cambridge and Oxford for a while but London turned out to be completely different from little English towns. Nobody notices you while you walk down the street and hardly anyone says 'hello' to you unlike in the South of England. Everyone lives in their own world.
Life in London - facts
If a fast-paced lifestyle is your cup of tea, you will definitely make the most of living in a big city, such as London. Although I kept being surrounded by hustle and bustle on a daily basis, I learnt to live in the city full of culture and life of all sorts. There are obviously pros and cons of living there, like in every place on the Earth. The rich diversity of the city, its cultural heritage and beauty at night, its unreal art and entertainment make living in the English capital an unforgettable experience.
There are over 10 million people living in London excluding tourists. Can you imagine how many people you can meet there every single day? I met plenty of interesting earthlings from all over the world and made lots of great friends during my time in London. Another benefit of residing in London was being able to admire all the architecture. I couldn't help but be humbled by all those buildings, and those epic places. Regent Street, Oxford Street, Lancaster Gate, Notting Hill, Portobello Road, Carnaby Street, Bayswater, Camden Town, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, South Kensington, Kensington High Street, Old Brompton Road, Paddington Station, Shepherds Bush, Porchester Square, Hyde Park, the National Gallery, Covent Gardens... These are just a few names of the places and streets that are stuck in my heart. I love going back to those places whenever I'm in Europe.
In addition, there is always something going on in London. There are plenty of festivals, concerts and events every week. Check out timeout London for more details. It's guaranteed you will never feel bored. It's also a perfect destination for clubbing and partying as London has a vibrant nightlife. Nevertheless, if you aren't fond of running around and feeling like a sardine squeezed on the tube, on the bus, in the shop and everywhere you go, then you should probably opt for a different lifestyle in a more peaceful location. You should always take into account the costs of living which are pretty high in comparison to those in Oz. For instance, the rent of my current beachside apartment is equal to the rent of a double bedroom in London. On the other hand, you can fly anywhere from London in just a few hours, whereas Australia is a remote continent on the other side of the globe.
Life in Australia
Can you picture waking up to the sounds of nature streaming inside your bedroom, inhaling the fresh air and feeling the ocean breeze in the air? Or even better waking up to the most stunning sunrise you have ever seen? These are some of my top reasons for leaving London's rat race.
Australia has one of the lowest air pollution levels in the world. Since I deeply care about the environment, love green space and healthy lifestyle, it is a perfect location for me. Furthermore, it's got
a large variety of beautiful natural ecosystems and unspoilt nature. There are plenty of golden sandy beaches with clean water, tropical rainforests, arid deserts, picturesque mountains and some ancient landscapes worth checking out. There are over 500 national parks in Australia and 14 world heritage areas which you must add to your bucket list! Uluru and Great Barrier Reef should be on top of that list! You can spend the whole year discovering this marvellous country since it's so enormous!
Moreover, Australia is truly a multicultural society with a very laid-back lifestyle and a friendly approach which is appealing to me, since I love diversity and foreign cultures. 43% of Australians were either born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas. Each year Australians celebrate diversity on Harmony Day (21 March).
Most importantly, Aussie land has a low level of unemployment and a lot of work for everyone. So, you can expect a good work-life balance since you will be living in a holiday destination with a strong economy and plenty of work opportunities. You will find a job in no time! Also, you can work remotely if you like this sort of work.
At last, the mild climate and over 300 days of sunshine are another advantage. Say goodbye to your winter coats and boots! I haven't used my winter coat since I left England, expect for in Europe! I can't get enough of all the lush days at the beach as well as the breathtaking sunrises and sunsets!
It is your decision where you want to spend your days and depending on your preferences you can weigh all the pros and cons of living in both locations to make your final choice.
So, would you prefer to live in the city full of hustle and bustle, that is rich in arts and cultural events, has plenty of theatre and live artist performances, some of the top award-winning restaurants, pubs and clubs and also some beautiful parks where you can run and train? Or would you rather live in a beachside apartment in a tropical destination with a peaceful atmosphere and a hot weather all year round on the other side of the world?
I made up my mind and I'm not coming back to London. I believe that travelling and living in multinational cities helps us to understand each other better and it contributes to the development of our personal growth. This can be achieved by learning to respect and understand each other’s diversity and culture. Therefore, I don't regret living and working for fast-paced international companies as it has bolstered my learning experience and improved my career prospects significantly. Even though I will never forget all the amazing places I lived in where I left a part of me, such as England, Ireland, Poland and France, I feel like I have finally found my paradise and I'm going to keep living, working and volunteering here. I guess I gave my heart to Australia!
Extra info - Prices
In central London, rent can be high: about $4000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment in a decent spot, that's double of what my rent is in Australia for a 2 bedroom beachside apartment in a lovely city of Gold Coast. Outside London you could find bigger houses. Food prices are reasonable and similar to those in Oz. Water and electricity are cheap – around £150 ($300) per quarter. Eating out can be pricey if you care about the setting mostly and not just the food per se, so this is where one needs to watch the budget. The restaurants tend to be beautifully designed and may charge you hundreds of pounds for just the setting or location. Cooking is more affordable and often healthier. Fuel is about $2.5 a litre in the UK, which is high. I don't like driving lots and I don't drive at the moment. I try to save the environment by decreasing my carbon footprint. I find that it is easier to achieve this while living in Australia in a warmer climate. If you have any questions, you can email me or comment on this post.