1) Why did you decide to move to Australia?
I went on holiday to Australia to visit some friends and whilst on the flight, somewhere between Los Angeles and Sydney, I was offered a job! I figured that this was a once in a life time opportunity so I jumped at it!
2) What were the visa requirements for you to move to Australia?
I had to be on a 457 visa which is a temporary skilled worker visa.
3) What was the moving process like? Did you take all of your stuff or was it minimal?
I didn’t have much stuff as I was coming only two years after university. I shipped six boxes to Australia, and a few months later, they arrived.
4) How does Australia compare to your expectations before moving?
I wasn’t really sure was to expect at first even though I had been here before. I gave myself 3 months minimum to fit in and if I didn’t, I’d decide then whether or not to stick it out or go back to America. Luckily, the beaches are amazing here and I fit right in!
5) Do you feel that the cost of living is more in Australia than where you are from?
Yes! I really had to decide what I wanted and what I didn’t want. In the US, I never really had to ration before. For example, I had a gym membership but hardly ever used it. I found that the gym here was five times more expensive, so if I wanted to go to the gym, I’d really have to commit myself. I’ve found that with a lot of things too. I really think about what I want and don’t want before purchasing, and you know what… I hardly miss the stuff I had in the US!
Find out more about the cost of living in Australia here.
6) What 3 things do you wish you could have known before moving to Australia?
Gosh, this is an interesting question – I’m not really sure. Perhaps one thing would be that Australia would completely change your life – I mean it. I went back to the US just last year and Australia has changed me. I wasn’t like the people I grew up with. I was culturally different. It was a bit hard to fit in with Americans again. It was actually really interesting – I never felt anything like that ever in my life.
7) What is the best thing about living in Australia?
The lifestyle here is incredible. The people are really nice and wow… it’s just good all around. I feel like I’ve really fit in here and I never want to leave. Australia is really home now J
8) Which aspect did you find most difficult about being a new expat in Australia?
Language! Even though I’m an English speaker … I found a lot of Aussie slang terms hard to pick up. Now, I use them in my everyday language. It’s quite funny too, because I still have an American accent, so a lot of Aussies laugh at me!
9) What's the biggest cultural difference in Australia compared to where you are from?
I think the biggest difference is life in general. It’s incredible here. The beaches are fantastic; the lifestyle here is good. Everyone seems pretty happy all the time! I can’t complain really!
10) If you had to take someone around where you live in Australia for the weekend, what would you do? Where would you take them?
Oh this is a good one! Well, I’d probably do a magical mystery tour around Sydney!
I’ve got a little motorbike so we’d go down to the Rocks for a coffee and stroll through the markets, then hit up Mrs Maquaries Chair and the Botanical Gardens… then, venture out to Bondi for a nice dip! Then, end the evening at the Glenmore hotel for a lovely view of the harbour.
The next day, I think we’d head out early to the blue mountains and go waterfall spotting. Then head out for a walk around the three sisters and finally go for some lunch at a fantastic little cafe in Katoomba called The Yellow Deli. OMG. Amazing food!
11) Please list your favourite Australian…
Beach: I love Bondi for atmosphere, but Freshie beach if you want to feel like you’re in Queensland but still in Sydney.
Place for shopping: I love the atmosphere of Pitt Street mall!
Restaurant: There’s the Best and I mean BEST Thai place in Glebe called Tom Yum Tum Gai - it’s cheap, it’s amazing and you just can’t go wrong!
Bar: I love the rooftop of the Glenmore hotel. It’s so worth it going for a drink.
12) What one piece of advice would you give to someone moving to Australia?
You really need to take your time and not rush things. I’m American so I completely understand rushing, but people just don't do that here. They’re totally laid-back. They just go with the flow - the term No Worries rings true…
Tara is embarking on a solo bike tour of Ireland, you can follow her journey here: https://twitter.com/hashtag/AroundIrelandOnAPushie?src=hash / #AroundIrelandOnAPushie
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