Naturally, each time we tell people we are moving to Australia we get the same general series of questions. I thought I’d put a post together to answer some of the most common ones…
Why are you moving to Australia?
My husband, Matt, got offered a job promotion to become the country leader of his company’s Australian office. He’ll be with the same company he works with here in the U.S. and will be doing generally the same thing (investing in telecommunication infrastructure), but with more of a focus on managing the office.
When do you leave?
Our flights are booked for the end of June. Our visas still haven’t come through yet though, so it isn’t guaranteed.
How long will you be there? Is it forever?
We committed to a minimum of two years, but with the possibility to extend up until three or four. We’d like to feel settled and committed to our life there, which will be easier the longer we are there. However, our goal is to definitely be back before Theo starts kindergarten. We’ll just have to see how much we like it.
Will you come home to visit? What about the holidays?
As part of Matt’s relocation package we get two flights home per year, per person, for the first two years. So, we’ll definitely be taking advantage of those free flights. Right now we are thinking we’ll come home each spring and fall since we’re expecting most visitors to come between Nov-March (Australian summer). Our first trip home may be as soon as this September. We’ll probably come home for 2-3 weeks each time since Matt can work from his U.S. office without taking much vacation time.
We plan to spend Christmas in New Zealand with Matt’s mom and stepdad who have a house in Gisborne. We went with them about 10 years ago and have been wanting to go back ever since, so this is the perfect opportunity.
What are you doing with your house here?
We put in our 30 days notice for our apartment in Leucadia. We are so sad to say goodbye to this place and our wonderful community after 3.5 wonderful years here.
Our rental has existing tenants who will stay and we’ll keep managing it ourselves from Australia.
Do you have a place lined up in Sydney where you are going to live?
We have an AirBnB for our first month we are in Sydney. It’s a 2 bedroom home in North Sydney just a couple of blocks from Matt’s work. As soon as we get there we’ll start exploring neighborhoods in the Lower North Shore and Northern Beaches area. We want to be as close to the beach as possible, but with a short commute for Matt.
We are a bit intimidated by the prospects of house hunting in Sydney. From what we’ve heard, it is very competitive and very expensive (more than San Diego!). Places are listed as soon as they are available and go within a week. It seems almost impossible to rent a place before we get there, and we don’t want to since we have no clue where we want to live. I’m sure we’ll be writing posts about how this process goes shortly after we arrive.
Are you brining Mae (our pup)?
Yes, definitely! This was a huge factor in our decision to go/not go. After researching the requirements we determined it was feasible to bring her since we couldn’t bear to leave her behind for a few years. She began her 180 day home country quarantine (it kicks off the day of the rabies titer test) at the end of April when we got home from Mexico City and will be eligible to fly to Australia and begin her in-country quarantine at the end of October. Since we’ll be leaving four months before her she’ll be shuffling between our parent’s and some friends homes. At the end of October she’ll fly direct from LAX to Melbourne and will spend 10 days in a quarantine facility before we pick her up and reunite our family.
Are you bringing all your stuff?
Nope. We are bringing barely anything. We filled up 3 large suitcases that Matt brought with him when he went for two weeks in May with some of Theo’s toys, a bunch of winter clothes, linens, toiletries, etc. We’ll be brining 6 additional large suitcases with us when we fly over and that is it. Everything else stays behind (stored in our parent’s houses) or gets sold/given away. We’ll buy all new (or used) stuff when we get there. Shipping just seemed to expensive and took too long (3-4 months minimum) – and then we’d have to ship everything home in 2-3 years. Plus, they inspect things closely during quarantine when shipping and if anything is ineligible for import you have to pay for them to destroy it.
Are you going to keep working?
Yes! I work for an incredible company that has been very supportive. They barely batted an eye when I told them I was moving to Sydney and asked if I could keep working for them. I have transferred all my projects to other project managers except for my *favorite* project (I am working with the City of San Diego to analyze the potential environmental effects of treating the City’s wastewater to drinking water standards and creating a new potable water supply). Since most of my work is done via computer and conference calls not much should change. I’ll only be working about 15 hours a week as well, so hopefully will have lots of time to explore and play with Theo.
Can we come visit?
Please do! As you all know, Matt and I love hosting visitors. We’re hoping to find a 3 bedroom place so we have space for visitors. We’d love to share our new home and see familiar faces. If you are willing to make the trek, we’d love to have you.