This article is more than 1 year old
Worst … commute … EVER – Surrey to Sydney
Chap moves to Oz, then moves back, then keeps moving
The expat files More than a few of the expats we've quizzed have moved from the UK to Australia, but only Simon Pearson has found himself bouncing backwards and forwards to between the two.
The developer-turned-manager came for the lifestyle, but went back to Blighty for … well that'd be telling wouldn't it. So read on to hear Simon's tale of advanced jetlag management and fun in the Sun.
The Register: What kind of work do you do and with which technologies?
The Register: Why did you decide to move to Australia? And why did you move back again?
There came a pivotal moment: when on a very hot January day (you remember the 45.8°C record Friday in 2013? [Oh yes – Ed] Well, a few days before that...) I was sitting with colleagues outside the Bucket List at 2:00pm, drinking cold beer, eating shrimp, watching Bondi do what it does best. And I was sold. This was work? Hell yeah, sign me up! Let's go for an adventure!
The Register: How did you arrange your new gig in Australia? And how did you pack a parachute for the return journey?
I had a fair bit of savings which covered the costs. The wife attached a condition to the move, that we maintained a savings account with enough to cover moving back "just in case". Yeah, that lasted until the time it took to land, and I bought a car... but as it happens I invested wisely in the right car which eventually paid for our way back.
Rough costs? Around $55,000 in total.
The Register: Pay: up or down? In both directions?
I'm still working for the same company (in a different capacity) on the same money.
The Register: How do workplaces differ between Australia and the UK?
Switch down under and it's the opposite. You get up at 6:00am, walk, swim, grab a lazy coffee, drop the kids at school ... oh then hit the office 8-8.30AM, catch up with the guys, and get on with the day with a huge smile on your face. Maybe that was just me, but I truly worked to live, and spent every day with my family. I admit I got a great gig working 2km from home in [the satellite CBD] Bondi Junction, so this is not representative of the majority of the population.
(In our office, we worked out that only five per cent of the employee base were genuinely Australian.)
The biggest difference was our clients. I met some amazing people from all walks of life, and each of them genuinely wanted to help you succeed. I have never worked in a company where your clientele truly believed that you are their partner, and were continually accommodating.
The Register: Will your expat gig be good for your career?
The Register: What's cheaper in the UK? What's more expensive?
The Register: What do you miss about Australia?
We loved Centennial park, the Entertainment Quarter with the markets, the Clovelly hotel, the Bronte-Bondi walk, Bronte beach (did I say that one already?), Bondi school markets, the people... and of course the weather. Even in the winter when you don't have any heating in the house, you still don't feel "cold".
The Register: What's your top tip to help new arrivals settle in?
The Register: What advice would you offer someone considering the same move?
We went on the understanding that we would have an adventure, and perhaps spend a year or two there. [We] even talked about eventual residency if all went well.
Don't expect to move to Australia and be British - you have to become pseudo-Australian, and get into the lifestyle there.
The Register: What's the Australian weekend activity you wish you could keep doing in the UK?
The Register: What's this commuting from the UK to Australia about? How often are you doing it? How long do you stay in each place? Do you now have a black belt in jetlag management?
And yes, I have a black belt in jet-lag avoidance techniques. I go a bit OCD on planning each trip!
Tell us your tale of life abroad and win ... erm ... the thrill of seeing your story reproduced in these pages. Don't be shy! Just send me a message and we'll sort you out. ®