Once in a while, the subject of locational change comes into conversation in our household. As you may know, we are a Greek and a Romanian who have been living in Northern Ireland for the past 20, respectively 9 years, with a daughter born and bred here and a son in heaven.
Although we were both raised in countries where summers can be really hot, it is only Alex who misses that aspect. But he misses it so much that he would move back to Greece in a heartbeat, he says. Me…I am not so sure.
For starters, Greece is not my home country so the heart connections with the place are simply not there. There are also aspects that really put me off moving to Greece. There is Emma’s education in English and her being rewarded with a good work place here on account of her local education, a thing that never happened for me, since my degree was obtained in Romania. There is also the serious issue of a suitable occupation for me, not to mention social relationships in a country where all I can ask in the native language is parsley and fish at the local market! I am also aware and can get really distressed over the general attitude towards work in Greece and the permanent partying mode, which is not something I want my child to accept as norm. Life is not only work, it is true, but to fantasise all day about getting out there and having a good time cannot be a healthy thing either.
To date, we have not found a solution which can work satisfactorily for both. Well, except for moving to a place which would meet both the warm weather and the work prospective, that is!
In 2009, when I was only pregnant a couple of months with Emma, we travelled to Australia for a week of travelling and work.
I was left with a deep, deep admiration for the place and the Australians. I loved Sydney, as for all its financial district’s impressive suits, the mood in town was still laid back and friendly and very much family oriented.
I loved the fact that the beach is never far away and you can always go for a dip after work, just like in Greece, but that people still seemed to enjoy working their normal hours and I never heard anyone grumbling about their work load, like they always do in Greece!
Partying is also common occurrence, with families barbecuing and having a good time everywhere, in special and well organised camping spaces but not once making an absolute mess of the place or being loud to the point of chasing their neighbours away.
I loved Australia’s vastness and wilderness; its unusual animals and its friendly folk. Its distance now from all the European power re-shifting and the very worrying threat of an extremist Islamic State make it even more appealing as a place of peaceful residence.
If we moved there, I would not have to worry about Emma and her education, nor her future work prospective.
Although I loved Sydney and I could not fault it, I wouldn’t say no to moving to any of the big cities in Australia, be it Melbourne, Canberra, or Perth.
Although the crisis that crippled the UK financially and lead to the collapse in the housing market a few years back never occurred in Australia, housing is still much more affordable there than here. With houses for sale in Perth starting at 225,000 AUD (£108,494), the dream of a beautiful, brand new, four-bedroom, two-bathroom detached home beckons me strongly towards that side of the world.
Would you consider relocating to Australia? Which would be the deal makers and breakers for you?
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