Brit ditches UK for sunny country with higher salaries and ‘cheaper property’

Many of us are sick of low wages, the cost-of-living crisis and, of course, British weather. While this week is bright and sunny much of the year is gloomy and cold – and Australia’s higher wages are a huge pull for many at the moment.

On top of struggling to pay bills plenty of Brits are having to settle for a staycation at the beach this year – which can be wonderful, but only if the sun holds up. In contrast, Australia boasts bright blue water, sunny weather and excellent surfing and snorkelling.

So it makes sense that as many as 35,000 British nationals emigrate to start a new life down under each year. In fact, the government of Western Australia announced it was looking for 50,0000 Brits to make the move this year.

READ MORE: 'I was an NHS nurse but ditched UK for country where wages and lifestyle are way better'

Thankfully for anyone wanting to try out Aus, the rules about working visa holidays are set to get easier in the next 24 months for anyone under 35-years-old. But, one British man claims he’s made the move permanently – and for good reason.

Ben, 30, from Epping in Essex, first travelled to Australia in 2015 to play cricket. He quickly fell in love with not only the lifestyle, but a woman he met in Victoria. He decided to make the move full time and now claims that the "cheaper" property market is a massive bonus.

Speaking to the Daily Star, Ben explained: "I first came to Australia in October 2015 to play cricket for Maffra for six months. I decided to stay as I met my now wife and loved the lifestyle Australia could offer.

"It was so relaxed and friendly and I loved the people I met in Country Victoria. Everyone I have come across have been extremely friendly and welcoming.

"Apart from being called Pom every now and then and poking fun at my accent, everyone was lovely! The property market is a lot cheaper in Australia.

"Comparing where I live now to what I could get where I was from in the UK is miles apart. We actually built our house which tells you how much space there is in Australia, especially in Country Victoria where we currently live."

It sounds like the dream, but Ben says there are a few culture shocks to prepare for if you want to make the move.

He commented: "One of the biggest culture shocks was the amount of people walking around with no shoes on! Another was how cold everyone likes their beers, there wasn't a pint of Bitter in sight anywhere.

"Also, having warm weather on Christmas Day is something I still can't get used to but would take it over snow any day!"

Plus, there’s always the family you leave behind in the UK to consider. Ben told us: "They were very shocked at first but understood why I wanted to make the move. They have visited numerous times now and completely understand why I wanted to move."

Ben doesn’t plan to return home to the UK for long. He added: "I can't see myself and my family moving back to the UK, I can however imagine us going for a 9 month stay to work and let our children experience a year in school in England.

"There is nothing I really dislike about the lifestyle there are some aspects of UK culture that I do miss. A traditional English pub is something I often crave and a real Sunday Roast dinner too!"

It seems like the draw of Australia’s beach lifestyle is too strong for Ben to come back to Britain.

He said: "I love the slower paced lifestyle and friendly people. The lifestyle is very different, I have found the work life balance to be much better in Australia.

"We sometimes take a trip to the beach of a Sunday morning to walk our dog as it is only a 30 minute drive. I also cook a lot of our evening meals on the BBQ, especially in the summer, as the weather is a lot nicer."

However, if you’re considering ditching the UK for Australia there are certain things you should consider like work and visas.

Ben explained: "The working holiday visa I initially came to Australia on was very easy to get. I had confirmation within an hour of submitting it. As for the visas to stay permanently, these take a lot longer and there is a lot of detail and processes involved.

"I work full time. I am a junior accountant, I have worked in the role for a few years and have just started my university studies as I wasn't able to study before I became a citizen. I earn around 20% more in Australia compared to a similar role in the UK."

While Ben earns a good fifth more working in Australia other roles can pay as much as double for the same work. The average weekly earnings in Australia is $1,807 AUD, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics – that’s £956 a week or £3,824 a month.

In the UK, the average weekly earnings are estimated at £638 according to the Office for National Statistics. So, in Australia the average worker is making an extra £1,272 a month.

Ben’s not the only person to move to Australia and fall in love with the lifestyle and extra cash.

Former NHS nurse Beth, 23, from Nantwich, Cheshire, decided to travel over and live in Sydney.

She worked in intensive care – and finds that the salary and opportunities in Australia far outweigh those on offer in Britain. UK nationals qualified in healthcare professions are in huge demand by the Australia Healthcare Service and so are likely to snag a visa if they apply. Beth added: "The wages are quite a lot better. Especially because I am a qualified nurse."

To find out more about Australia check out Tourism Australia. To discover if you're eligible for a working holiday visa head to the Australian Government website.


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