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13 Things That Inevitably Happen When You Move to Australia

Australia Student Work
by Sara Schneider Feb 22, 2015

1. Most of your income goes towards beer.

The rumors are true. Australians love their beer. Unfortunately, it’s also true that shit is way more expensive on their massive island. Remember the good old days (before you lived in Australia) when you could get a 30-pack of PBR from the local liquor mart for under $20? Those days are long gone. Add a beer category to your monthly budget because $50 for a carton is bound to take its toll on your bottom line.

2. You miss the sound of geckos when you travel.

To answer your first question, yes, geckos make sounds. You immediately learn this fact when trying to fall asleep in your newly-renovated Queenslander. Chirp chirp chirp. At first, you are disgusted that tiny lizards wander in and out of your house as they please, but after a while, they sound like home.

3. A “flat white” is now your go-to coffee order.

Thought coffee orders were universal? Think again. Flat white and long black are actual drink orders down under. After a few months, you’ll understand that an Australian cappuccino is not half foam like the Starbucks brand you know and love, but it does come sprinkled with delicious chocolate powder, so that’s a bonus.

4. You learn the true meaning of BAMF: Ned Kelly and Chopper.

Forget about James Bond and Die Hard. Australia’s got their own breed of real life bad asses, and they are damn proud of them. Once you unpack your suitcases in Australia (originally founded as a penal colony), there is no way around adopting Ned Kelly as your new Robin Hood and viewing Chopper as the legend that he was.

5. Elite status never came so easily on your chosen airline.

Once you move to Australia, you truly understand just how big of a country it really is. Traveling also helps to show you just how far away it is from every other country in the world. While this doesn’t do wonders for your wallet (especially if you don’t live in a major Australian city), it does accelerate your climb up the mileage ladder. You’ll be getting free upgrades to first class in no time!

6. Wearing a floppy sun hat is for everyone, not just movie stars.

With skin cancer being a box commonly checked on most Australians’ medical records, sun protection is very important. Instead of laying on the beach basking in the UV rays like you originally intended when you moved to the land of sunshine, you now have an array of floppy-brimmed hats that are completely acceptable to wear at any outdoor occasion.

7. Everything takes 6x longer to download anything.

You’d think that a developed first world country like Australia would have hopped on the broadband wagon long ago, but sadly this is far from the truth. According to a recent report from cloud service provider Akamai, Australia ranks 44th globally for internet speed. And after your Dropbox files take nine hours to sync, you’ll know they aren’t lying…

8. You suddenly don’t understand a single thing about politics.

Sooo… there’s a prime minister and some people called premiers that all hang out in Parliament and force you to vote. Somehow the Queen is still involved, yet you met last week with your town’s mayor for coffee. For anyone who moved to Australia from a democracy, you’re in for a treat. Time to get your British History notes back out from high school and piece together this political puzzle. Or, just join the Aussie masses who also have no clue what’s going on in Tony Abbott’s world.

9. “Mate” becomes the most used word in your vocabulary.

Whereas before you only used the word when cheekily putting on your best Aussie accent, now you don’t even realize that it creeps in every other sentence. “Dude” and “man” have entirely left your vernacular (thankfully), and accompanying a friendly wave with a “G’day mate” has never felt more natural.

10. Friends finally want to come visit you…but never do.

“I’ve always wanted to visit Australia!” But do they actually ever spend half their monthly income to buy the plane ticket? Nope. When you move to Australia, you get used to it. Of course people want to come visit the beautiful Gold Coast beaches and schedule a photoshoot snuggling a joey, but the reality is, you live thousands of miles from all your non-Aussie friends. Get used to FaceTime.

11. Your wardrobe no longer includes wool.

All those sweaters and pea coats seemed to have magically disappeared from your closet over the years. You now own more bikinis than pairs of socks, and your long underwear sits packed away with your snowboard gear. Although, on those Victoria winter nights, you sometimes wish you’d kept your Peruvian alpaca sweater handy.

12. Good Mexican food ceases to exist.

Sure there might be the occasional Guzman y Gomez on the corner, but they don’t even hold a candle to Qdoba, let alone those delicious hole-in-the-wall finds awaiting you back in America. Fill up on your burrito quota while racking up those frequent flier miles, because Australia definitely doesn’t live across the border from Mexico.

13. You finally start understanding cricket.

Ha! Just kidding! No one understands cricket.

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