How does one leave their parents’ house, move away from home, start a life of their own, a new life in Australia? Well, firstly they need to go through some serious teen angst and make their parents accidentally agree on them moving to Australia, the other side of the world.
Or as my mum puts it, they grew tired of me and thought “It’s not like she’s gonna die, but we get a year of peace”.
And so we bought one-way tickets HEL-BNE for 29.8.2011 with my friend. We had a Working Holiday visa, a hostel room booked for the first month and we felt like true adults (19- & 20-year-old..) taking ownership of their own lives. Little did we know.
First day at the new hoods! Waiting for CityCat riverbus to take us see city centre.
So we left Finland 29.8., arrived to Australia 31.8. in the middle of the night. Taxi took us to a random-looking house which did not look like a hostel. Turned out it was! We were greeted by Mark, a guy who maintained and lived in the hostel. We did not understand a word he said, we were not used to the Aussie accent yet. Basically we just gave him all our cash money and went to our room to sleep. And realised we had just moved across the world from everything we knew.
“It’s not like she’s gonna die, but we get a year of peace.” Right
Our room for the first month in Australia – cozy?
The first morning we woke up we were clueless of what to do. We decided to just go out, go see the city centre, try to get our heads understand where we were. And so we did! Go out I mean, not understand where we were. And outside it looked like this:
Starting a new life in Australia
We didn’t experience major culture shocks when moving to Oz but we did both have the worst jet lag of our lives. We slept 10-12 hours/night + 2-4 hour naps/day for the first two weeks. We were awake less then asleep which is also frustrating when trying to get your life together. We didn’t have a home for the next month, no work, no relatives.
“Find a grocery store, launderette etc. for maintaining a regular life.”
Our to-do list which we put together the first day in Oz consisted of:
- find an appartment to live in for the next 6 months
- get a job
- (find websites for finding an appartment and a job)
- get a social life
- find a grocery store, launderette etc. for maintaining a regular life
- call mum and ask how to do laundry or cook bolognese (not even kidding, I made this phone call after two days of leading an independent life)
- beware of spiders – and don’t forget after the first month!
- maintain your sanity, do not go crazy doing this stuff
Simple stuff. One could seal all that in one sentence: build a life.
Our everyday life consisted of hanging out in the back of the hostel, cooking and again hanging out. We tried to go see new places in the beginning but grew tired of it rather quickly which might sound ridiculous, but we were living there. It doesn’t feel like a holiday so you don’t do holiday stuff, if that makes sense to anyone. We just tried to find the closest grocery store and get a job!
Luckily over the course of 6 months of living in Brisbane we visited some of the surroundings. Brisbane Zoo, Stradbroke Island, Gold Coast.. what else? South Bank Beach near city centre almost became our second home. And then of course came all other travels in Oz: Uluru, roadtrip to Tasmania, skydiving in Cairns, living in the middle of mountains in Nimbin, flying to New Zealand for a quick holiday.. just to name a few things I did during my year in Australia.