The weather in the UK is just beginning to brighten as we edge toward summer, but each year after winter thousands of Brits start to think about moving somewhere hotter. In fact, around 35,000 British nationals emigrate to sunny Australia every year.
For those under 30, this might be for a working holiday as Brits are able to work down under for up to three years. The Aussie government is also set to make it easier for people up to 35 to do this in the next 24 months.
But, even while being tempted by the beautiful sandy beaches and blue waters perfect for surfing many Brits will wonder what it’s really like to move 24 hours away. After all, it has to be worth it to make you leave your friends, family and familiar country behind.
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Well, former NHS nurse Beth, 23, from Nantwich, Cheshire, went on a working holiday to Australia in September. She totally fell in love with the lifestyle and when she was offered a job with the chance to study for a postgraduate certificate she jumped to take it.
Before moving, Beth 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 told the Daily Star: "I work as a nurse in ICU. I decided when I was at Uni that I wanted to experience working abroad so after a year working in the NHS I decided to move here.
"The wages are quite a lot better. Especially because I am a qualified nurse.
"The visa process for me was so easy. Because I planned to go into hospitals I had to have a health check but as soon as that was done it came through straight away."
The average ICU nurse in Australia earns around $86,317 according to talent.com. While the same role in the UK pays an average of £37,000, reports nurses.co.uk. That’s an extra £10,000 a year if working in Australia.
It’s not just the higher wages that lured Beth to the tropical nation. She also loves the change in pace and, of course, the weather.
Beth explained: "I enjoy the lifestyle here more. I feel more encouraged to enjoy my time off work and work around my life more rather than the other way round.
"I have been able to travel around my job. At Christmas, we had a BBQ on the beach and I’ve started playing tennis as the weather has been so nice it was so good to get outside.
"I also go on long walks and hikes more as there is so much beautiful scenery just outside of the cities. The weather I think is a huge factor.”
Thankfully, the people are also a massive bonus according to Beth. She claims the friendliness was a culture shock!
Beth commented: "I do miss stuff about home but everyone is so friendly and welcoming. Everyone is genuinely interested in how you are and how your day is. It’s a very laidback place, people are very relaxed compared to home.
"Everyone I have met has been so welcoming! Most people I have met around my age have been travelling and are like minded and have either been to the UK or plan on going to do something similar."
While Beth is thrilled to be in Australia there can be some downsides. The cost-of-living in Australia is fairly high and renting a room can be tricky, but Beth says it’s not impossible.
The nurse explained: "I’ve been very lucky with my houses. I’ve rented a flat and now a room in a flat but I found both through friends and people I know so I think that’s the easiest way to do it as everyone is so helpful.
"I know there’s a really high demand for rentals in the cities as everyone wants to move there from the outskirts. From what I’ve heard property is quite expensive to buy unless you’re willing to live really far out of the city (like 20km) but the quality of what you can get here is vastly different.”
Beth isn’t the only one to make the move recently. Cressida Barrett, from Brill, Buckinghamshire moved to Sydney, Australia with her boyfriend six months ago. She says living seconds from the beach makes her 'feel alive’.
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Cressida told Daily Star: "I live 60 seconds from the beach and the quality of life out here is incredible. I feel alive living here and that I am really benefiting from what the outdoors has to offer.
"I also do morning workouts on the beach whilst the sun rises, it’s pretty epic. The Australians are so so friendly. Possibly the friendliest people ever! Extremely welcoming to Brits as well, but I guess that’s because there’s so many of us here."
To find out more about visiting Australia head to australia.com.
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