Australians everywhere around the world are today celebrating "Australia Day" a patriotic day of rejoicing everything Australian. We decided to find out just what made Australia so great by catching up with a few expats who had already made the move.
Australia remains the most popular destination for expats around the world, with 19% of all moves made through MoveHub going to cities in Australia. So what exactly makes Australia so great? It turns out mind-blowing weather and a great relaxed Aussie attitude are just the tip of the iceberg.
When did you move to Australia?
Ryan "I moved to Australia in March of 2004 after having lived in London England for 2.5 years. On the way here I travelled around South America for a year"
Marta "June, 2012"
Why did you move to Australia?
Ryan "I initially moved here to be with my Australian partner. We had lived in London for the previous couple of years and wanted to start a life closer to her family in Melbourne"
Marta "To take a contract with a major government business enterprise there."
Ric"In 2009 I graduated in the middle of the GFC when job prospects were slim to none and Australia not only had its head above the water but was still booming across many areas. I have an Australian passport through my mum so that made it all the more simpler to make the decision to give Australia a shot."
Who did you move with?
Ryan "With my Australian parter at the time. We had met while living in London and had recently been engaged to be married"
Marta "By myself"
Ric"I lone wolfed it but fortunately had some family friends out here who took me under their wing for the first month and provided me with a roof over my head which was amazing of them."
Where did you move from?
Ryan "From London with a year in South America on the way to Australia."
Ric"My home city of Liverpool."
Do you think of yourself as Australian?
Ryan "I now think of myself as Australian but will never forget my Canadian identity"
Marta "No. Living in Sydney made me realize how small and provincial and detached from the rest of the world the country actually is. It reinforced my self image as a global citizen."
Ric"Nope! Even after having an Aussie passport since birth I consider myself English. I was a bit on the fence when I was younger but the Aussies are pretty aggressive about not supporting England even when they are playing other teams and that's pushed me firmly towards sticking to my English guns."
What is great about being Australian?
Ryan "The sense of a “fair go” for everyone here in Australia is amazing. Everyone, no matter their background is given the same opportunity to succeed. This makes for a country full of entrepreneurs."
Marta "I loved the “no worries” attitude and approach to most things in life. "
Ric"It's pretty relaxed over here and I think a lot of Aussies take that for granted until they go to somewhere like London and realise how intense work can be. I only have to work my 38 hours a week and 2 of those will generally be spent at the pub on a Friday afternoon kicking the weekend off."
What is great about living in Australia?
Ryan "With out a doubt it has to be the weather. No more winter for me!"
Marta "The absolute beauty and nature. Australians have a real respect for the environment and it shows everywhere you go. I’ve lived all around the world and the natural wonders of Australia are second to none – from Sydney to Byron Bay to the Great Barrier Reef, there is so much to explore and enjoy. They also have very progressive healthcare, retirement plans, and other systems that make it easy and safe to live there. I personally also enjoyed studying acting for film and television while I was there, and learned from some of the best acting coaches in the world. "
Ric"One of the main reasons for choosing Perth and continuing to stay here over other cities is having fantastic beaches 5 minutes drive away. The weather is amazing and for much of the year you have the choice of an endless list of outdoor activities available."
What do you wish you knew before you moved?
Ryan "Before I moved here I wish I had know more of the lingo. I felt quite out of the loop until I had added several new words and phases to my vocabulary."
Marta "That even though on the surface Australians seem “open hearted,” they are not always open minded. Many people warned me about how “clique-y” Australians are, but I didn’t believe them. However, I experienced that many times, mostly in the business context. Socially, while it took more time to connect with people than I expected it to, I made lifelong friendships. Also, I wish I’d known that I am allergic to Australian wine!!! They are huge drinkers and it’s wise to be careful before you try to keep up with them! "
Ric"I wish I'd known that opening your windows and doors isn't actually the best thing to do when it's super hot. You need to close them to keep the cool air in during the day until the evening when you can open up to hopefully let the breeze in. I spent my first summer sweating away in my bedroom until my Australian girlfriend pointed out where I was going wrong."
Looking for more reasons to move to Australia? Take a look at our guide to 20 things to know before moving to Oz.