MOVING TO AUSTRALIA
I constantly get so many people asking about my move to Australia. Most of the time I get asked how it was when I first moved here, where I lived and so on. If you’re interested in moving to Australia or even coming for a visit I HIGHLY recommend it!!! I’ll warn you now this post will probably be super long, but I’ll try to sum it up as much as I can. (If you need more details feel free to comment below)
Ok where do I begin…? To be honest, since the very beginning when I purchased my flight, my intention was to stay in Australia for a year and come back after my one year of university in Griffith. But, as you may know… things do not always go according to plan!
What made me choose Australia? During my last year of college, one of my teachers told my class about an opportunity to do our University degree in Australia. My initial thought was “OMG that would be so amazing!” but I never gave the idea much thought. A few weeks later, I heard about this opportunity again from another teacher who also mentioned that there would be a meeting for all those interested. A couple classmates of mine were interested, and I decided to tag along to see what it was all about. It was at this moment when reality was starting to hit, what do I do with my life…; I finish school; would I just find a job? Would I go to University? And if so, what University I would go to? I figured if I didn’t take this opportunity I would miss out on an incredible life experience and probably regret not going for the rest of my life. (I might sound dramatic, but hey, it’s true)
A few months before my departure, I remember telling a few friends that I was going to Australia in a year, no one really thought I was serious. As the departure day approached, it still didn’t feel real. I honestly did not know what I was getting myself into but at the same time nothing was holding me back. I guess it’s because I was at ease knowing I’m going to a English speaking country and I knew that if I didn’t like the experience I could always buy a ticket and make my way back home.
I started packing 3 days before the trip and let me tell you, packing was a nightmare! Imagine packing basically your whole life into 2 suitcases… mission impossible. Majority of what I packed consisted of summer clothes, lots of shorts, tee’s, about 20 bikinis (of course) and shoes.
Finding out where we would live in Australia was a big decision. One thing that makes a big dent in your wallet in Australia is rent. We (My 3 friends from college) thought about living on campus but read so much about how it’s cheaper to find a place once you get there. We decided that we would live in a hostel for the first couple of weeks while we find a place to rent.
As I mentioned before, I had no idea what to expect. On one end I heard Australia to be this paradise and on the other side some dangerous species infested place. This might have been from all the crazy videos my friends kept sending me of giant spiders jumping out of toilets, poisonous snakes, kangaroos boxing in the middle of a street, shark attacks, and scorpions in the outback.
The flight is LONG, 21 hours of boredom. I was the “lucky” one who’s TV monitor didn’t work – take a moment and just imagine that, pure torture. I flew from Toronto>Vancouver>Auckland>Brisbane. When the plane finally touched down in the land down unda, I felt the heat, saw the palm trees and I couldn’t stop smiling. I remember taking the shuttle bus to our hostel and I was constantly scanning the trees looking for koalas. (Such a tourist)
I was so happy at the fact that I was going to live in a place called Surfers Paradise. As soon as our driver drove past a sign “Surfers Paradise” I was in shock. The place looked like Miami, Florida. Everything was so perfect, palm trees everywhere, stunning beach, everyone in beach wear. For about the first two weeks my roommates and I lived in a hostel while we looked for a place to rent. Apart from all the cockroaches that came out at night, the place was pretty cool, nice pool, close to the beach and walking distance to pretty much everything we needed.
Finding a place to rent was a bit tricky, since there was 4 of us we needed a big place that was close to public transport and grocery stores. After 2 weeks of looking, we managed to find an amazing unit at the Chevron Renaissance Hotel right in the middle of Surfers Paradise. For those of you who are wondering we looked for places on gumtree.com.au, flatmates.com.au and the real estate Australia app. Anyways back to the hotel…This place was a dream. We were on the 24th floor, with incredible views. Our apartment (cough cough…hotel) had 3 pools, a theatre room, a gym, saunas, and a grocery store literally downstairs below the building and a beach 2 blocks away. Public transport was right across the street so we only had to catch one bus to get to school (about a 25-30 min ride), super convenient, probably the reason we all got so lazy after a while.
One thing I loved about Australia was the fact that you don’t have to tip. Definitely helps out with that student budget. Food here is expensive compared to Canada but at the same time minimum wage here is between $16-$20 an hour. Once you find a job you’ll realize that the prices are pretty fair in relation to your paychecks. I didn’t find it hard when it came to finding a job, I literally found one the same day I handed out resumes. One thing that I found interesting is that many jobs in Australia will ask you to come in for a trial shift. This basically means that you work one shift and after seeing how you preform they will decide if they want to hire you or not.
Living in Australia has been awesome, I went on many trips and ill share those with you sometime soon.