Should I move to Australia?

Martin Darke has spent most of his working life overseas. In 1998 Martin was living and working in Hong Kong as the Director of Executive Recruitment and Human Resources Consulting for Ernst & Young.  He moved to Australia in 1996 to new and exciting career challenges, culminating in eight years proudly supporting people with disabilities. Martin recently returned to his home town of Nottingham in the UK to reconnect with old friends and reach out to new ones. Martin has a wry, dry sense of humour and has agreed to write a number of blogs that reflect his personal perspective on Australia and Australians … warts and all!

Should I move to Australia?

If you get the chance to live and work in Australia, just do it. Millions of people all over the world have this aspiration, but very few achieve it. I’m one of the fortunate ones. Back in 1996, when my (then) wife and I landed in Melbourne, we genuinely believed we had won the lotto. We felt that good.  We felt so lucky.

Now it’s 2018, and I have just moved back to my home town of Nottingham in England. When I tell people that I have returned to my roots after 42 years of living overseas (20 in Hong Kong, 22 in Oz), they look at me as if to say, ‘Are you completely and utterly mad?’

Do I miss Hong Kong? No. Do I miss Oz? No. Circumstances dictated that the best thing for me to do with my life, aged 65, was to come back to Britain, and I am very, very happy with my decision. I’m even looking forward to experiencing a British winter again. After all, 60m Brits put up with it!

I still have loads of friends in Hong Kong, and love going back for a holiday, but the pollution is horrendous. I have very few friends in Oz, but I was privileged to live in such a vast and beautiful continent with such unique wildlife, and one day (thanks to my dual citizenship) I may well return and undertake that dream I still have of joining those 150,000 ‘Grey Nomads’ and visiting some of those 8,000 beautiful beaches in my motorhome equipped with all mod cons.

So getting back to you (and maybe your partner/family as well), moving to a new continent is a life-changing experience, but at least in Australia they speak English. It’s possible that you won’t like it at all, get homesick, and return to your roots. But the chances are, with prior research and planning, that you will settle, embrace the lifestyle, enjoy your job and live the dream. Who knows what lies ahead? One day you might return ‘home’ and your kids will say, ‘Sorry, Mum and Dad, my life is here in Oz, and if you want to see the grandkids, you’ll have to come on holiday.’

But all that lies ahead. What matters is now, and whether you make that decision. The purpose of this blog (warts and all) is to help you make that decision. Should I stay or should I go? That reminds me of a song.

Martin Darke


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