Life in Australia

Settling Down In Australia – Part I

Time flies by so fast; it’s already 3 months ago that we arrived at Melbourne Airport with our backpacks fully stacked and all ready for the next chapter of our adventure. The only thing we had prepared was an AirBnB booking for 7 nights. With our site being “in maintenance”, we couldn’t share the rollercoaster ride we went through till now, so let’s fast forward and get you all updated. It’s safe to say that we didn’t really have a soft landing. Traveling around in extraordinary countries like India suddenly seemed like a piece of cake, compared to the stuff we’ve been through here.

Why did we settle down in Australia?

We’ve been asked this question so many times by now, but the funny thing is that we don’t really know. I mean, we don’t have an actual rational explanation for it. It actually emerged as an idea three years ago when we were preparing for our world trip. While traveling, we would logically run out of money on a certain point and Australia together with Japan were the two countries on our route  where we could save up the most. Australia seemed to be a better option on a long-term basis because of the better visa- & job opportunities and the multicultural society which would make it easier for us to get to know people from different backgrounds. Japan would be more challenging because of the fewer people who speak English. Furthermore, Japanese people can be quite introvert and formal, making it even more difficult to get in touch with them. Because Mursal is allergic to cold weather, Australia’s nice weather seemed way more attractive as well than Japan’s cold winters. And last but not least, there are just too many places we want to visit in Australia and New Zealand, so why not take our times and live there for a while. Why Melbourne? We read and heard from many people that living expenses would be slightly lower and people way nicer and laidback than Sydney siders. Still, your jaws will fall open once you read about the struggles we’ve been through to find our place and how much it costs us.

The struggle was real

Just to emphasis once more again, settling down here wasn’t easy. We had decided not to live like typical backpackers who come here on a Working Holiday Visa and count every penny just to save up money. We wanted to have a decent place for ourselves, good jobs, save money and make short trips in Australia and New-Zealand before we’d continue our world trip. After 10 months of low-budget traveling and sharing rooms and bathrooms, we just really needed our own place. Nevertheless, during the 3 months in Holland we thought we’d have enough time to do some preparations for our Ozzie Adventure. Of course, we did literally none. The only thing we’d done was booking a place through AirB&B in Richmond, one of the suburbs near the city center of Melbourne. That was it! We had a room with a private bathroom in a newly renovated big house which was great, but little did we know we would be sharing this place with a crazy woman. She surely wanted to earn money through AirB&B, but wasn’t really into sharing her place. She would make inappropriate comments when we used her pots and pans or when we made use of her office when she wasn’t home (for which she had given permission in advance), but she went all bananas when we supposedly had left a heat mark on her coffee table. We stayed there for 3 weeks and every day we would search and apply for jobs online, look up information about living options (which would be totally dependent of our jobs and how much we would earn) so we didn’t really went out to explore Melbourne. Too much stress. And we were running out of money of course. Since it was quite expensive to stay there (and we weren’t pleased with the paranoid owner), we had to move on and find another place in the meanwhile until we had found jobs and an apartment. And of course, the second place was even worse! We had only one room for ourselves, the rest was shared (aka really dirty and a total mess). The owner (around 50-55 years old) who lived there was an emotional wreck and totally unstable. When things were good with her boyfriend (who she’d bring home and have loud sex with), she would be super friendly and helpful and when they broke up once in a while, she would be cranky and neglecting. There were always all kind of people in the house, even people she just met during a night out (who’d have fights with each other in the middle of the night).

Though we tried to fast forward through our first 3 months stay in Australia, too much has happened to put it all in one post. You can read in the next post about our job hunt and how we worked out all of this financially….

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