Stuart winchester in Travel 34 minutes

The Wanted Down Under Formula

If anyone doesn’t know it, there is a TV show called “Wanted Down Under” aired here in the UK. It has become somewhat of a slight obsession of mine since I did spend almost 10 years in Australia, although for me the move was something of an accidental opportunity which turned out to be a fantastic 10 years resulting in gaining Australian citizenship and I really hope to move back one day.

What I do like about the show is that people really need to consider their options. And it is always great to have options (isn’t it?!).

Anyway, the TV show takes a family or couple, and each family is guided through the following:

  1. Housing
  2. Jobs
  3. Activities
  4. Finances
  5. Emotional attachments and family

What a lot of this boils down to is value. And the show is somewhat cleverky set-up to swing between high and low. Say the “dream house” is more expensive and comes as a shock, later on the couple will find out that potentially higher wages would balance this out.

At the end of the show the family make a decision whether they will move Down Under.

Housing

Why focus on housing? Surely you’d really want to rent for a while and really try it out before fully committing to a big move. It goes to show how obsessed the brits and the aussies are about housing. Coming from the UK it was hard to ignore that the housing in Australia is as varied as the state and suburbs you choose to live in - and with that comes the cost.

The AUD / GBP exchange rate has been the subject of massive swings - and of course the EU referendum had a big impact on this.

Jobs

Just goes to show that some professions are able to get much better paid work in Australia in comparison to the UK, however, although some of this is tackled in the finances section for me it really isn’t black and white. Generally if people are on the skilled occupations list then they will probably have a satisfactory salary.

I have to commend some people that embark on career paths which are on the skilled occupations list purely to get to Australia (or with Australia in mind). I would certainly recommend if you’re planning to go and you are on the SOL it may be worth getting a Working Holiday Visa and see where it could lead.

Activities

Depending on where you are in Australia, there are usually plenty of activities for you to do. Australia has such a great foodie (and drinky) culture, so many people take part in sporting activities and for much of the year the weather allows you to do anything outdoors (and you do get used to liberally applying lots of sunscreen regularly!).

However, once you are in Australia you are a long way from anything (except Australia and New Zealand). A trip to Bali, or South East Asia is also doable (depending where you are in Australia).

Finances

The cost of living in Australia is comparable to the UK in my opinion. I returned to the UK when the AUD was low against the GBP which also skews opinion. I find London incredibly expensive. But, of course, it does depend where you spend your money.

I love eating out at cafes and restaurants and I have no doubt that the range and quality of food in Sydney is comparable to London. And for asian cuisine you can find some real bargains.

Emotional attachments and family

The one thing you can’t move with you is your family, unless you have a lot of money and can pay to accommodate them - plus they have to be willing. What surprises me most on this segment is the number of families who are dead set against their son/daughter going to set off and have a “better” life.

The world is getting smaller and if you book early enough then a return trip to Australia is relatively affordable if you save.


In summary, there is no summary - but if you are looking into settling in Australia it may be worth checking out settleTo. Definitely do your research. Sydney and Melbourne may now be out of reach for many people, but Australia is a HUGE country. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.