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An Expat Talks about Living in Perth, Australia

Submitted by milesawaygirl


Kings Park in Perth, Australia

One expat who moved to Perth from the UK expected an outdoor lifestyle and a laid-back culture. In reality, the weather can be unbearably hot and the rules and regulations are very stressful.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Perth

Describe how you "dreamed" expat life would be before you moved overseas. Please provide as much detail as possible.

I dreamt it would be more laid back with less stress and more time to relax and enjoy life.

I expected to have a more outdoor orientated lifestyle in beautiful weather.

I thought career wise I would take a step back and work to live rather than live to work.

How has your expat experience met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?

It hasn't at all - the weather can be beautiful but it hasn't resulted in any tangible benefits.

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Expats living in Australia interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

How has your expat experience NOT met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?

Not at all, far from being laid back the rules and regulations in WA create a more stress (especially when you don't understand them). The only way in which people are 'laid back' is when it comes to providing a service - the local 'joke' is that WA stands for wait awhile and that is so true it's not funny. Any suggestion of complaint is met with the accusation of being a 'whinging pom' and as many a bumper sticker proudly boasts 'fit in or fuck off' (absolutely serious).

The weather can be fantastic but it can also be unbearingly hot and although not cold by UK standards the poor standard of housing means it is really felt. I have had some fabulous bush camping experiences but overall unless you are a beach bum the outdoors is pretty uninspiring.

Working hours are longer, annual leave is shorter than in the UK and corporate thinking is immature. Rather than stepping back in my profession I stepped up, quite simply because there was no one else to do it.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Sep 25, 2012 06:23

Sounds like your honeymoon period has finished and you're in the "I hate everything Australian" stage. How long have you been living there?? If you chose to work longer hours and take on more stress then that's your choice. You are an adult and you do have choices remember that. All in all Australians do work to live and not live to work. If you want the lifestyle you dreamnt of then obviously Perth is not the place for you to be. Pick smaller city or major town to realise your dream and to enjoy life. I'm currently living in Northern Italy and I'd give anything to be back in Oz. My husband works 12 hours days just to make the cash we were making in Australia. Our three children and I never see him. Finding work for myself is proving near impossible with the economic crisis. Sorry to have sounded harsh but you can realise your dream, you just need to look for it elsewhere in Australia. I lived and worked for several years in Darwin. Now that runs on Darwin time, which is super frustrating however I got to live the lifestyle you've described. You jump in your car and just 1 hr down the road you're in a National Park swimming in the waterfalls. For a weekend you can spend it in the middle of Kakadu National park camping and chatting with the local Aboriginals. I spent some time in Central Arnhem Land and met the most amazing traditional Aboriginal families still living off the land. It was inspirational. You are probably already aware of the stages of living abroad. There's the Honeymoon stage, Frustration or Rage stage, Understanding stage and Acclimation Stage. Have you experienced any of these and if so where do you think you're up to? I definitely did and after a year and a half I'm wondering when the hell I'm going to reach the Understanding stage. Mate give it time. If it's not working for you there try something different. Look for a different job in a different city/town. Don't give up on your dream. Do you think that maybe your experience hasn't met your expectations, therefore you feel disillusioned? Surround yourself with positive likeminded people and you'll see a change in you and the life you live. I sincerely hope you are able to realise your dream. Life's too short. You had the courage to make the move don't let it go to waste. I've never written a response to a post on this site yet yours struck a chord in me. I really really really hope you can turn your experience around and see that living in Australia can be a wonderful experience. Big hugs x

guest
Sep 27, 2012 02:26

Strange, I have been here for over 40 years and I've never seen a bumper sticker that says 'fit in or fuck off'. You are so lucky.... but it is human nature to ask people, "if you are so unhappy, why are you here?", you always get the same excuses. As to issues here, as someone who lives in Perth, there are lots of problems to deal with on a daily basis, truckloads more than you know of, I'm sure. I know lots of people from England and few verablise their opinions the way you have. Maybe their egos are not so huge. Did you think Australia was going to be as depressing as most poms say the UK is. I find, most poms here are very positive. The ones that are negative, I usually ask just for curiosity, why don't they go home. At which point they become either vague or evasive. Some of these people have been here for over ten years and still haven't adjusted to the different set of problems Australia or Perth presents. Your last comment, "coporate thinking is immature". Most large Australian corporations are currently being led by 'imports', Ireland, UK, the US. ha ha. You also said: "Rather than stepping back in my profession I stepped up, quite simply because there was no one else to do it." Sure you did. Let's see who you are ? My bet is you are cleaning toilets at the local pub. Step up to your bowl sir with brush in hand. I wonder why you don't go home? Because you are the same negative person, with unbalanced opinions wherever you go. Have you heard of a pros and cons analysis.

guest
Dec 27, 2012 22:59

As a 'Perthite' - born here and lived here for 38 years, I have to say that I have never seen or heard of the bumper sticker quote you have mentioned, and I have never heard of the joke 'wait awhile'. I'm sorry that Perth did not meet your expectations..have you explored all options in Australia and other areas? The south-west of Australia has a cooler climate and most areas down there are beautiful, as well as having smaller towns which increases the notion of being 'laid back'. Perth does have it's heatwaves, this is why the majority of people have airconditioning, swimming pools or go to one of our most beautiful, white sand beaches. Surely you researched Perth before you moved here? Additionally, I believe that we have four weeks annual leave a year - which I understand is longer than in the UK? Finally, I don't understand what you mean by poor standard of housing? Like everywhere else in the world, you get what you pay for. Building quality is extremely high, however, if you choose to have cheap rent or purchase a cheap house, of course you are going to end up with a place that may need a make-over! I hope you can find your dream life where ever you end up and wish you best luck! :)

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