It has been four months since my husband and I left sunny little Perth and embarked on a road trip across America, before flying to London to live.
We initially decided to leave Perth fairly spontaneously, it definitely wasn’t something we had dreamed about for years or anything like that! Taylor is from New Zealand, but had been living in Perth for 8 years. Our initial idea was after we got married, we would move to New Zealand. However, as one of our friends pointed out to us one afternoon; perhaps we should think about moving to London. To be eligible for the tier 5 youth mobility visa (this basically is the visa that allows us to live and work in the UK for two years) we had to be under 30 years old. It made more sense for us to move to London first, and move to New Zealand later – as we can go there whenever – there is obviously no age cut off.
Like any Australian, travelling Europe was on my bucket list of things to do. Of course living in London it is so much cheaper/easier/more convenient to travel, rather than going from Perth or New Zealand – which are so isolated and far from Europe. We were already planning an America trip and realised we would save a lot of money if we flew straight from America to London, rather than coming back to Perth in between. So that is what we did! This basically gave us a few months to organise visas, plan our America trip, quit our jobs, pack up and sell our belongings, and be on our way.
This whole experience has been fairly smooth sailing so far, despite a few minor hiccups along the way. So far, the biggest things I’ve learnt have been…
1. Things have a way of falling into place. This sounds very cliche, but honestly didn’t expect this process to be as smooth as it has been. However, that didn’t mean I didn’t experience stress or anxiety at any point! There were so many things running through my mind throughout this process… What if our visa’s don’t get approved in time? How will we be able to find somewhere to rent with no job/references? How do we set up a bank account with no fixed address? How do I get a phone plan with no fixed address? What is a National Insurance Number and how do I get one? (AGAIN – with no fixed address) Honestly… so many questions, doubts, and worries. However, everything slotted into place in the end.
2. Life has ups and downs. When we first arrived I saw everything through rose coloured glasses. I was literally high on life and thought London was the best place in the world. When people would ask if I missed home, my response was always “no not at all”. I thought I just got lucky and skipped the whole being home sick thing. However, the past few weeks I’ve really felt as though this “honeymoon phase” is slowly ending. I’ve found that my emotions range from wanting to go back to Australia, to wanting to live in London forever. Both are normal and ok!
3. Flexibility (and patience) is key. Wow this is probably the biggest lesson I’ve learnt. I’m already a fairly flexible person (although not at all patient) but moving has shown me I can never be too flexible! Just when you think things are coming together… BOOM something comes up, gets in the way and changes things. I’ve learnt not to overly plan anything – because you may miss out on something better! When we would go to house viewings (sometimes 3 + in one evening) I would say “ok we have to choose one of these because we don’t have that much time left in our air BnB – we just need to choose somewhere”. Then of course; we wouldn’t like any of them. However – luckily we didn’t “just choose somewhere” because if we had not of waited, we would of missed out on finding the house we ended up moving into. Which is perfect for us, and much more suitable than any other place we viewed. Goes to show that being flexible and patient with your plans, definitely pays off in the end.
I am so so so grateful we decided to do this, and if you are ever questioning whether you should make a big move I’d say 100% do it! You will only regret not taking the risk. Even if you hate it and move back home after a few months, that period of living away from home will have likely taught you so much more than staying at home would have.