Why I Don’t Want to Live in Australia (For Now)
There were lots of moments during my recent holiday back home where I was tempted to stay. My time spent living outside the country caused me to fall back in love with it. Being home brought me into close proximity with things that I once took for granted and now missed – time with my family, friends and dogs, nature and the amount of good quality food, to name a few. On more than one occasion I was tempted to throw in the towel and cancel my ticket back to the United Kingdom.
Yet, I didn’t. I caught the plane back to London and I do not regret it for one second. I don’t want to live in Australia just yet for several reasons, which can’t quite be overlooked.
The dollar is incredibly low
I was shocked (and admittedly somewhat gleeful) when I converted my pounds into dollars during a recent trip back home. When I went to Europe for the first time, I was buying £0.58 for every dollar. In AMERICA only two and a half years ago, the AU dollar was buying $1.04 USD! There was a lot of shopping involved. Unfortunately, the Aussie dollar’s heydey seems to be over for now – for each pound I was getting around $2.10 AUD. Wonderful news for businesses, but horrible for any Australians wanting to travel abroad. (Ie. as it seems, most of the country).
I know moving back to Australia would not keep me from travelling overseas. With the pound being far stronger than the dollar, it makes financial sense to keep earning in this part of the world for the time being.
Travelling within Australia is ridiculously exy
I did make the argument (to myself) that if I were to move back, I could use the opportunity to see more of my country. I would love to go back to Darwin and Tasmania, see more of Northern Queensland and visit Western Australia, at long last. My recent trips down the coast and to the outback squashed that fantasy. Travelling within Australia is EXPENSIVE, yo. I’ve procured a flight to the USA for less than what it costs to travel from Sydney to Perth. Food outside of the capitals is priced at around twenty dollars a meal and you often don’t get what you pay for. It is very hard to travel around Australia on the cheap – no wonder so many of us choose to holiday abroad instead.
Everything is going up in price
That being said, I was surprised by how much food and amenities had risen in price during the year I had been away. I have always heralded Sydney as being an affordable city to live in – once you take rent out of the equation. From eating out, to transport – heck, even hearing what my friends were paying for basic amenities such as electricity, shocked me out off my skin. I died a little bit on the inside when I went to my favourite sushi train for dinner one night and saw a sign that stated the meals were going up from $3.00 to $3.30 later on that month. It’s all downhill from there.
The Internet SUCKS
It is a maddening thought to realise countries such as ICELAND have faster Internet than Australia does. From capped downloads, slow connections and ridiculous restrictions on mobile phones (how anyone can survive on 1.5GB of data a month is beyond me), my four weeks back in Oz made me feel very grateful for England’s super speedy Internet.
My country is really isolated
With technology making it pretty easy to keep in touch with people from home, I had forgotten just how far away Australia was from, well… everything. The 24 hour flight there certainly helped remind me! Living within the country’s borders was even more of a indication of how removed Oz is from everything that goes on in the world. In the United Kingdom, the media is saturated with stories about the Greek economy, and the unrest in the Middle East. All Australia could talk about was Bronwyn Bishop and a shark. A large majority of Australian’s just don’t care about what is going on outside of the country. Being that far removed from the rest of the world, I now understand why.
I want to shake up my comfort zones
The overriding reason is simple. I am not ready to. There is still a lot of the world that I wish to see and it is just too hard to do so from Australia.
I know when I eventually head back to Oz, I will embrace it with both open arms and heart. But the timing just isn’t right.