13 Jan 2007 7:25 PM
|To Lauren and all of you still in the UK
Yours doubts and fears are all normal reactions and I went through them too. I was in a relationship that wasn't very good and I was leaving my home, my job, my friends and my family to come to the other side of the world to try and improve my relationship. I had the guilt of leaving my mum (a recent widow and still grieving for my dad) and taking her only grandchild away from her too and I felt awful. However, I felt it was more important for my son to grow up with his parents together. That was an error, so please make sure that if you are migrating with your partner then you are doing it for the right reasons and not to save your relationship, because if you separate after you have migrated then you cannot 'just go home', as the children come under the law of Australia and unless your husband/wife/partner agree to you taking them home then you are trapped here, as I was. If you then decide you are going to just up and leave anyway because you feel so alone, unable to support yourself financially and with no entitlement to benefits from the Aussie government because of your visa status (as I did) your ex can have you done for child abduction and use the law of the Hague Convention to have the kids ordered back to Australia (as mine did). I don't wish to dampen anyones spirits (as you will read later) but I want you all to be aware of this as migration agents and Immigration do nothing to warn any families of this horrendous law. For full details of it please see my earlier posting I put up called Beware Of Migrating With Children. You can also watch Channel 4 news this Monday 15 January at 7pm as I have done a TV interview to warn families who are thinking of migrating.
Anyway, having been forced to return to Australia 19 months ago with my 3 year old son I again had to be separated from my friends and family for the second time. As the legal system to fight for the right to return home legally took so long I eventually decided to enjoy life here and try and settle. Having been forced to change my life I decided to enjoy it rather than endure it, and now I love it in Australia and would like to stay here if Immigration will let me. My family have eventually forgiven me for wanting to make a life here and my mum has flown over for the third time in less than two years, my dearest friends have emailed me every week and I've made some great new friends over here. I've gone from being a high paid career woman in the UK to a full time single mum and I love the time I can spend with my son. I've gone from driving a brand new Mazda 6 to a 1988 Ford Falcon Station Wagon (a bit like a Ford Escort Estate car) but it goes and it has air conditioning and that's the main thing. I have a very poor income, but I am happy. The lifestyle here is lovely, the people are friendly, the weather is unbearably hot at times (in England when it's really cold or pouring with rain we all stay at home and don't go out, well here we do the same when it's 38 degrees and over - and yes, the Aussies moan about the weather too, not just the poms).
In my experience, the advice of 'you can always go home and visit' is not as easy as it sounds. When you first arrive here with your pounds sterling and mentally convert everything into the English equivalent then everything seems so cheap. However, once you start earning Aussie dollars and stop converting everything you buy back to the English equivalent, then the flight back to the UK for two adults and one or two children would be very expensive in Aussie dollars and you cannot really justify spending that much for a two or three week holiday back home. People going from Aus to the UK need lots of money!! If this is an option you wish to have if you get homesick then ear mark some money as soon as you come over and put it aside so you can have a trip home without worrying about the expense if you do get really homesick.
Second hand cars in Australia hold their value really well so it may cost you more than you expect to buy a car (my old 1988 Ford is worth the equivalent of about |