Who are you?
I’m Carolyne, a late twenties young professional on the quest to discover, grow, and understand social cultures.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
After having moved to France from Canada for work single, I left 2 years later but this time with a French partner in tow. We moved to Australia as a personal investment in our future. Australia provided us with the great opportunity to discover a new land all while my partner learned and gained confidence in English.While in Australia, I started Project Y U DO Australia, where I search to determine why people decide to pack up their lives and move to Australia. For more info on the project, you can visit www.projectyudo.com.
I try to keep grounded, always apply a curiosity factor to everything that I do, and simply enjoy life. I like to describe myself as the Grounded Traveller.
What challenges did you face during the move?
One of the unforseen challenges that I faced when arriving in Australia was the language factor. As I am a native English speaker, I quickly saw with my own eyes the stress the English language brought upon my partner. Although we were a couple, the administrative processes of setting up a new life in a new country where my responsibility. With this being said, I must say that I gained immense patience and also greater respect for my partner as I saw just how much he was trying to linguistically and socially adapt in Australia.
How did you find somewhere to live?
This is an interesting and funny question, as I have never lived in so many types of places, emphasis on types, as I experienced when moving to Australia.
The Internet quickly became my best friend!
When we arrived in Australia, we used Couch Surfing for a week. This was followed by the purchase of a car, and living in a Ford Falcon that we converted into our sleeping quarters, followed by tenting for 2 months at a camp ground, and followed by securing a house share through the website Gumtree.
When we moved to Melbourne, we also used the website Air BnB to find suitable hosts in different areas of the city. We used this approach for about 1.5 months as a way to gain a better appreciation of the various parts of the city before choosing a suburb to live in.
During our various moves, I based my decisions on gut feeling and a direct communication whether it was over the phone or in person with the different people. As of yet, this has proved to be quite successful.
What do you like about life where you are?
Australia is a special place to be at the moment. The recession as it has been felt in North America and in Europe for the past 5 years has not affected Australia in the same way. People are generally content with their lives and place a great importance on work life balance. As a young professional, living in a country where the citizens have been able to find this balance in their lives is quite an attractive characteristic to have.
Personally, Melbourne is the best place to live in Australia. It is so diverse, multicultural, and there are always events for everyone’s likings happening.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
Being a Canadian and having lived for almost half my life in North America, I must say that the biggest cultural difference, although said by many other expats, is the way in which the Aussies are laid back.
I’ve read about it, and people have told about the catch phrase No worries mate however this philosophy is quite literally felt through all realms of society.
I thought as Australia is an industrialized country and a country that has a similar lifestyle to Canada that it would be same however it simply is not. Business transactions and decisions take time. You just have to go with the flow. And while I wait for things to happen, I pinch myself and open my eyes, look around and take the tram to beach!
What do you think of the food in your new country?
As Melbourne is very multicultural, you find pockets around the city to satisfy your taste buds and I love this. Each part of city is very proud of their cuisine.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
Always be curious.
Be aware and accept your own values, your own goals, and your own limitations.
Make the mental decision to ground yourself with this belief system.
Be open to change and be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Ask, research, ask again, and take action.
Life is too short not too.
I’m always pleased to discuss my experiences and exchange with others. If you want to contact me, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.