Within the first 10 months of living down under, I have been able to compile a reasonable amount of changes that have accompanied my life since my move from Los Angeles. Moving to a different country is going to bring plenty of additions, revisions, and variations to one’s life, some for the good, and some well… for the bad. Though obviously, not everyone will relate to everything on this list, I think this list paints a clear enough picture.
Here are 20 ways your life changes when you move to Australia:
The working environment in Australia is something I cannot compare to any atmosphere I have worked in at home. Here, I do not worry that my boss is going to freak out if I am running 10 minutes late. They do not care if you are taking a bit longer on your lunch break. No one is there standing at the door waiting to bug you that you are 5 minutes past your break time. Many aspects of the job seem to be on the honor system, which I think is an amazing idea. In a nutshell, the more trust an employer gives to their employees, the better the employee wants to perform and give back to the company. Some days I do not take a lunch, some days I don’t even return to work from lunch. No one is giving strikes, no one is getting in trouble.
Just do your work and life is easy – NO WORRIES 🙂
Drinking at Lunch
It is quite the norm for people to have wine or beer with their lunch. It is a regular occurrence to have some employees show up a little bit too happy after their lunch break. At home, I can think of at least 3 bosses that would have canned me on the spot if I came to work with the smell of Strawberry margaritas on my breath. Drinking is more socially acceptable in this country, unlike America where instead it is called alcoholism 🙂
Cash, Money Money!
No that is not money from the game Monopoly, this is the Australian dollar, and we get plenty of it! The way people get paid here is great but with a bad twist. On the good side, entry-level positions start at 40,000 and minimum wage anywhere between 17 and 25 dollars depending on your industry. More cash means more freedom to travel, have a life, pay for Tinder dates, etc etc etc etc! Most people can save enough money to take a small trip every month. I make more than double than what I was making at home, with bonuses and perks to accompany it. The only problem I find with making all this money money money, is that most people only get paid once a month! NOT THE WHOLE COUNTRY, not every company, but most everyone I know. So that’s right, one large sum getting dropped in your account every 30 days. I live like a king the first week of the month, and then like a starving peasant the last three. I go from Lobster dinners and buying rounds at the bar, to instant noodles and putting booze in a plastic bag and sticking it in my bra. Budgeting is key my friends…
That cost HOW MUCH!?!
Well as you might think! Since we make more we pay more 🙂 Your average meal will always be around 20 dollars, with your average drink around 15 dollars.The cheapest I have found to buy a “cheap” bottle of vodka/rum was 45 dollars. A decent dress is 50 dollars, a pedicure 35 dollars, and a cup of coffee 4 bucks. Those numbers on tags will come to you as a shock at first, but within a few months, you won’t even notice the difference. Prices can be pretty harsh, but if you do not enjoy shopping like myself, it’s not too hard on your wallet.
Tea Time!! OMG do they love their tea here! Even though people drink tea in the states, we do not exactly dedicate times of the day for it. In Australia, we have morning tea, afternoon tea, and late tea. Every morning around 10 am many people go down to get their “morning tea”. This usually consists of tea and a muffin, or coffee and pastry. They then repeat this act at least twice a day (usually 10 and 3). There are many places all over that are specific for tea times. Tea rooms are everywhere and always busy. When I used to think of tea time I would think of old ladies having a glass of gross tea wearing silly hats, but that is totally not the case. Tea time is for everyone, especially those with a wonderful sweet touch. I have to say Australia has some of the best pastries I have ever had, so tea time is 100 percent in order, right???
You Must Look for Cars
Oh, yah! So you guys already know this. Cars just fly at you like from nowhere, well not quite, but they sure do come at you from all the wrong directions. Be prepared to look left right left right left right a thousand times before trying to cross the road. And then don’t be surprised if you somehow still end up getting hit. Spending your entire life conditioned to look for cars in one direction and drive on a particular side of the road causes major issues when trying to live abroad. I now no longer get hit by cars (regularly), but I am a very long ways from being cured of this car hitting syndrome.
Meat Pies and Sausage Rolls
Whether you like it or not, these will become part of the steady diet that you wish you didn’t have. They are so unbelievably delicious, and when you are in the mood for one – you must get one. Nothing like it at home, NOTHING! It’s no longer Del Taco runs at 3 am, but meat pie runs to help sooth your drunken tummy.
I am sure many Americans who live in Australia still refuse to touch this tangy stuff, but for me, I like it! I do have rules, though. 1. Must be on toast, lightly 2. Must be covered with avocado mash 3. Must also have cayenne pepper 4. Only eat it on Saturday morning. Even if you don’t eat this, it is everywhere and on every breakfast menu you see. Just remember DO NOT SPREAD IT ON THICK – IT IS NOOOO PEANUT BUTTER!
THE LINGO MATE!
Get ready to start to hear some weird things! Australians definitely speak Australian, not English (I am going to get shot for saying that). Once living here, you slowly begin to start saying “Are you keen?” “How are you going?” “Do you reckon” and “Heaps“, as they start creeping into your everyday talk. It is at the point where I have such a weird combination of American English and Australian English coming out of my mouth, the shit I say sometimes even surprises me!
No More Driving
Unless you are some type of magical unicorn you most likely will not drive in Australia. Only if you move to the outer outer cities will not driving be an issue for you. Public transportation and those ugly things in your shoes will become your new best friend. How much are gas prices now???? Oh, that’s right, I DO NOT CARE 🙂 It has been almost a year now since the last time I put the world at risk with my awful driving and I certainly do not miss it one bit.
Loose Contact With Friends
Sadly one of the downfalls of moving across the world is the lack of communication you keep with everyone from home. 59 percent of the people who say they will stay in touch, DO NOT. 90 percent of the time when someone says “Lets Facetime this weekend”, – DOES NOT. You can only contact people at certain times due to the time difference and different work schedules. Relationships change, people change.. It takes two to keep relationships going and it has become a sad one way street with me for many.
Shops Close Early
Every day is a race to get to retail stores after work. Everything closes around 6 during the week, 7 at the latest. Which doesn’t leave any time to get anywhere. They have late night Thursday, which is the one day of the week everything stays open laterrrrr- ish. Sunday, oh my don’t even bother! Many places are closed and those that are not closed will be by the time you realize they weren’t closed.
Welcome to the land of hang drying. This is something I have never done, nor is it something anyone I know does at home. We use this machine, it’s called a dryer, it dries shit. I have never lived without one, I didn’t even know life could exist without the powerful awesome drying gods. Balconies, front yards, and backyards are filled with cloth-lines instead of an extra box in the laundry room. Even the people who do own a dryer will choose to hang dry due to high electricity cost. In addition, many people, not all, live without microwaves! I think it’s amazing! Americans couldn’t do it at home. How would we reheat our cheeseburgers?
Cafes At Every Corner
Imagine having a Starbucks, Panera Bread, Sprinkles and Sees Candy all combined in one and located at every corner. The cafes here are amazingly delicious with new types of sandwiches and salads to try weekly. Fresh produce, amazing coffee roasts, and rich yummy lollies and treats all there for your consumption. Moderation is key for this one.
You will find yourself watching less TV and doing more of everything else. American Netflix, Hulu and other American streaming services are not available in Australia (though people find their ways). You can watch the Australian Netflix which is completely influenced by the UK but it is not the same. This limits the inventory to watch extremely. Plus, AUS cable is quite horrible with on 4 major networks – people need to get outdoors just keep sane.
Compulsive Jaywalking Disorder
This one could just be me buuttt I don’t think so. I jaywalk here more than I have ever in my life. There is not a morning that goes by that I do not see at least 2 dozen people randomly walking the streets at any point in the intersection. As my coworker, Andrea said, “Traffic lights in Australia are SHIT! It leaves people no choice”. I agree with that, but I also follow the crowds, and most just have no patience to wait.
The Travel Bug
You cannot move to Australia without developing the urge to travel. Travelling is a large part of the culture here. From all the backpackers and working holiday, to the 4 to 6 weeks paid vacation Australian’s get each year. You will get the travel bug. And if you don’t, you really should go to the doctor and get it checked out.
Tip at Your Own Expense
No Tipping!!!! At first, you are confused, very confused on how this is even possible, and most likely will still continue to tip the first month or so. Then you start LOVING the fact you get to save this 2 to 10 dollars every time you go out. And then you realize that even though you are no longer paying for the tip, you ARE paying for it. No tip = no service. You will have to develop your own tipping rules, as you start measuring out the level of service to money paid.
If you enjoyed reading this post, you might enjoy the sequel! 15 MORE ways your life changes