Diary Life Moving Travel

The Real Reason I left Australia

Why I left Australia Cover Page via @BryJaimea bryjaime.com blog (10)

Well, we’re into the second month of Summer here in Scotland and it is absolutely bucketing with rain outside. Oh, and the temperature also hasn’t risen about 18C in about 2 weeks, and the forecast today is for a high of 15C.

Summer indeed!

Anyhoo, with this beautiful weather in mind, I’m more often than not asked the same ol’ question whenever I meet someone new:

“Why the hell would you give up the sunshine in Australia, for Scotland?”

I’ve been asked this question so often I usually just laugh and say “The weather!” hoping they’ll think it a bit of a joke, and the conversation can move along onto more important things (like shoes).

Now, y’all know I love me a bit of rain, but that doesn’t really explain why I relocated here, and what inspired a life upheaval, and international relocation.

I decided in 2014 to give up my entire life in Australia – friends, a job, an amazing apartment, a fabulous lifestyle. In order to move to the other side of the globe, I sold all my stuff (furniture, books etc), gave away most of my clothing, and pretty much had to start my life from absolute zero (ok, I did have all my shoes sent over so y’know, not zero but close to.)

My new life in the UK began in London in January 2015, before making the move to Glasgow in the November. Below is the view from the window of the first place I lived in London (Notting Hill).

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I love London. Love. And I’d move back there in a heartbeat if I was ever given the opportunity. It is such a huge and friendly city that embraces everyone and lavishes them with attention and opportunity. It was a city in which I was never bored, had some amazing friends, and experienced some truly amazing adventures.

However, I had all that in Sydney also, so clearly that wasn’t a motive for relocating. Money wasn’t a motivator, as to be quite honest, I would be living far more comfortably in Sydney than I could ever hope to live here in the UK due to extortionate cost of living.

So, why did I give up everything I knew for the UK?

Opportunity.

Plain and simple.

Although in Australia I enjoyed my lifestyle, there was little opportunity for me: I would never be able to afford to purchase property in Sydney by myself (I enjoy avocado toast too much), would never be able to afford to further my education, and (amongst many other reasons) would never be able to travel as often as I would like to due to the cost of flights and also the fact Australia is in the middle of nowhere.

So, I gave it all up to start from almost zero.

I made a lot of sacrifices, and you know what? Those sacrifices have completely paid off! I mean, look at this blurry view of Royal Exchange Square in Glasgow:

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Sure, I don’t have as many friends here as I did over there, and sure it costs a little bit more to import stuff from my favourite overseas online stores, and yeah, I may not earn as much here as Sydney, but each and every one of these sacrifices is well worth the opportunities that this move has afforded me which anyone reading this blog will join me watching unfold during my life here.

I took a huge risk, sacrificed my entire life for the hope of opportunity, and it paid off; I love my life here in Scotland and can’t imagine living my life anywhere else.

Or, you know, I moved here for the weather!


Have you moved internationally? What inspired your relocation to another country?

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  • I love the mental image of you rocking up at Glasgow Airport one day with a rucksack full of shoes and NOTHING ELSE. I don’t care how accurate that picture is, I’m sticking with it 😉

    • Hahaha! That sounds much more glamorous than what really happened. I think I’m going to adopt your story instead 😂 x

  • Ashlee

    Hey, it is such a breath of fresh air to hear a story like yours, I have recently hit my “dirty thirties” as they call it and have found myself completely lost and scared and looking for a new adventure but have been down trodden a little by hearing I’m too old to move abroad, my biological clock is ticking, everyone you meet at 30 will have baggage. Just settle and save your money to invest…It’s really got me down, but after hours and hours of searching on the internet to find other people who have similar interests, who want to see the world, make a change as scary as that change may be.
    I hope you don’t mind me msging you, I know everyone is busy in their own lives, but I was hoping to perhaps gain some insight as to how you moved abroad and made a new life for yourself.
    I’m Aussie, 30, my passion in life is good food good wine and good company, I love my industry which is hospitality because it combines all my passions. But getting older I’m struggling to find a place to settle or call home. I recently got a visa and moved to Manchester England for 7 months… naively followed my heart with a guy from there but the cultures seemed so different and sadly it didn’t last. He left me and it was a tough time. But one of the few places I saw while away was Edinburgh, I fell in love.
    Being back in Melbourne now and having nothing to keep me here, I can’t afford to buy an apartment or set up my own business, no love life at all. I am thinking very seriously about making the most of my visa.
    But I have been struggling to find any forums of people like me who I can discuss it with.

    Then I came across your blog and your story. Any ideas or even how you did it I would love to hear…thanks sorry for chewing your ear off

    Ashlee

    • Hi Ashlee, no need to apologise! I completely understand where you’re coming from, and what it’s like.
      I was 31 when I moved over here on my Ancestry Visa which gives me 5 years to live and work in the UK before I can apply to stay here permanently. I couldn’t bare to live in Australia anymore – not because I hate it, but as you read, it simply doesn’t provide the same opportunities locations like the UK or the US do. As much as I miss Sydney, I couldn’t imagine moving back.
      So, I first moved to London, and I found it incredibly easy to settle into life there – it’s so cosmopolitan and friendly it’s easy to make new friends, meet new people. I was working as a temp literally within two days of landing, and was offered a permanent position within two weeks. However, London was a frustrating place to live (even though I loved it and the lifestyle) so I moved to Glasgow.
      Bad decision on my part – there’s more work in Edinburgh. Edinburgh is a beautifully cosmopolitan city full of other cultures, and more importantly the bigger CBD in Scotland (even though Glasgow has the higher population).
      It’s strange though, isn’t it, how different the cultures are between Australia and the UK despite our close ties? Especially between Scotland and Australia (or more specifically, Sydney and Glasgow!).
      I highly highly HIGHLY recommend taking the plunge and making the move – it’s really easy to plan 90% of the move from Australia so you can hit the ground running, and a city like Edinburgh is so warm and welcoming towards people I think you’d absolutely adore your time there.
      If there’s anything in particular you want to know, ask away! I am more than happy to let you pick my brain xx