Unhappy with the move to AU

Moving to AU was always on the cards as my brother lived here and I liked it when I visited him. Prior to moving, I visited AU three times and I saw Brisbane, Sydney and Perth. When I finally moved here, I was 30 and married for a year.

I'm a techie and I started my career in Bangalore, India. I am one of those guys who worked their ass off to get a head start. In the first five years, my salary grew ten times and then I nailed an interview with a global bank in Singapore. I moved to Singapore and worked there for a year, before moving back to Bangalore to make my relationship work. Finally when I made the move to AU, I thought life would become more stable and comfortable. I was wrong.

I got an interview shortlist my first week in Brisbane and I got the job offer in another week. It was not a dream job, but the pay was close to what I was expecting, so I took it. First month was marked by culture shock, but once I rode past that, I expected to be happy soon. It's been more than a year now and I'm not happy yet.

Some of the key negatives:
1. Friends - this may seem trivial, but you realize how important friends are when you don't have any. In Bangalore, my house was the party spot and weekends were fun. There was always someone over drinking and doing other fun things with us. We had no friends in Brisbane and a few people we did make friends with were either weird or scheming. Some were gay and wanted to get it on, some wanted to take advantage otherwise and left me wondering how do I need someone who just want to hang out and have a good time without an agenda. I have lost hope on this one, and this is the most depressing factor. So, socially, moving to AU was a mistake.

2. Job - I work in IT and IT in AU is very backward. There are fewer jobs and the stakeholders have no idea of how to operate. Census is a good example! I feel like I have messed up my career. I have been in the present job for more than a year and office politics sucks and I see no future for myself. I did appear for another interview and get the job offer, but the pay was not as good. To put things in perspective, i'm getting paid the same as I was paid 3 years ago in Singapore and that is in the top 90% as per salary survey. I fail to understand how some of my colleagues who get paid half of my salary manage to live here. I live paycheck to paycheck and no, I don't gamble or have a drinking problem. In India, I spent freely and I could still save more than a third of my salary. So, financially and career wise, moving to AU was a mistake.

3. Early shutdown: One of the things that hit you the first week in Brisbane is how life shuts down by sunset. This was a big surprise to me, I understand that everyone deserves to spend time with their families, but at the same time I find it depressing that shops close and roads go empty by dusk. This, however, is not a major concern and I'm used to it by now. Netflix and chill is lame, but that's how we spend evenings.

4. No hope - I try to tell myself it will get better. I'm an optimist, but I can't see how my life is going to magically get any better. I am considering a move to Melbourne. Partner was in Melbourne for a few months and loved it there. I'm still skeptical.

1. Fairness: One of the main reasons I moved out of India is that I'm an honest person and Indian society rebukes honesty. "Smart" people know how to fudge tax returns, bribe the right officials and bend the rules. I didn't do that and I wanted to live in a society where honesty and fairness was rewarded and was the norm. At this, AU wins hands down. Except for dirty office politics, which is everywhere, people and fair-minded, respectful and honest. AU rules in this aspect.

2. Quality of life: Quality of life is good. Beef tastes awesome, groceries are good quality. Roads are wonderful and attention to detail can be expected. Again, on this aspect, AU wins hands down. Singapore was as clean, but I couldn't help feeling like a robot when living there. But I still love SG.

There are many other positive factors about AU, but unfortunately none of them ranks as high as good times you have when kicking the night with friends and not having to worry about money.

Go back to where I came from: I am thinking of going back, but it's not going to be easy. I had to spend well over 20 grand to move my dog here and he barely got here alive. … al-flight/ … ay-street/
If I move him out of AU, it will be in a private jet. And I will probably have to save up for a year for that.

The purpose of my post is partly to rant, and partly as a heads up on what to expect for people considering the move. I'm sure there are others who would tell you a different story, but chances are that you may not live happily ever after. Or may be, happily ever after is only in fairy tales.

Hi there,

Thank you for your post.

Moving to AU is a dream for many people, you made it come true, congratulations it is not the case for everyone, and you got a good job!

However I totally share your feeling on the life in AU.

What is the point of going so far away if you cannot rebuild a social group over there?

It is true that the AU society structure is hard to dig in. I believe that after a certain age creating new friends is becoming hard everywhere, a process that request time, energy and mutual interests. Positive result is not guaranteed it is part of this though challenge.

Many candidates do not realise how hard it can be until arrived. It really depends on what you are leaving behind. If you leaving a good life to go AU It is probably even harder.

In my case I hold a Master degree, I lived in Melbourne for almost a year, I did not had the chance to find a skilled job in there but the reason I left is linked to the hard social life....missing friends, family and of course the money stress you feel everywhere in AU.

Moreover I cannot say OZ are so friendly. The discrimination system created by the VISA competitive atmosphere is not pleasant. In my case I am permanent resident but that does not seem to be an advantage to make friends.

I do not say it would be easier or better in EU for an AU immigrant. It is just that human nature complexity and its own history makes it sometimes impossible to adopt to a new country likee AU or to be adopted by AU.

If I could chose between SG and AU.. SG has probably more to offer and not that far away, you can feel quite isolated down under.

All the best to you

From the posts it seems you are very lonely and find it hard to make friends.  Maybe you have had bad experiences in the past and they are making it difficult to move on.  Why not decide what hobbies you like and join clubs to do them where you will be with like minded people.  Maybe throw a BBQ and invite some neighbours over, can you ask some workmates out for a beer.  Its hard to build a social life but the only way to do it is to make some effort at making friends.  No one will come up to you to be a great mate it takes time and effort.  Do more outside the house and join clubs, ask workmates what they do for a social life, maybe they might invite you along.  Dont forget Australians are settled in their life and have all the family and friends they need - they are not going to make a "foreigner" their next best mate unless they show more willing themselves to be friends.  Maybe all the pressure has been too much for you and you need to destress.
Did you introduce yourself to the neighbours when you arrived - it helps to break the ice, if not do it now.  The friend steps really have to come from you and not waiting on anyone to do it for you.

Hi malex, thanks for sharing your experience.

I agree age is a factor in making friends. I think I was more likely to gain friends if I was younger. Time and again, I have heard migrants say that finding the right job or the job they deserve is hard. I think the decision to stay or leave depends on what you value most - social life, job or something else. I hope you are doing good now. Are you planning on giving AU another shot?

Again I agree with you that Aussies are not the friendliest, they aren't rude either. I have chatted with some Kiwis and Dutch, and I could tell immediately that they were not local because they were much friendlier. I have learned that if you start a conversation, Aussies are happy to chat, but there is no real depth or connection. On the other hand, some of the Singaporeans I chatted with when I lived in Singapore, soon became good friends, showed me the city and dined with me. Yet to come across an Aussie who'd do that. I'd think it is easier to make friends with the Indian community over here, but I'd like to learn more about other cultures and have friends from all over the world, so I'll keep trying.

Thanks again and good luck to you too.

Hi mate, thanks for your comment. Yes, I am lonely here and I don't wish it on anyone. I will try joining a club, thanks to your suggestion. I am a keen cyclist and I have just got back on the saddle and see a lot of club rides happening in my suburb. I also understand I'm not going to come across as amicable when I'm being needy and bitchy :)

Drinks with colleagues - we do it now and then and I enjoy it. My team members have quit and I am sort of a loner at work. Most others who I work with are elder and choose to spend time with their families. I do get invited for dinner by some of them and I get to host them too, at times. While that's nice, it's very different from having mad mates who will crash on your couch and do dumb stuff with you. I think it's mostly because I don't know anyone in my age group yet.

Neighbors don't talk much to each other where I live. I do talk to them and have helped them a bit, but I think that's about it. I don't see neighbors inviting each other over and stuff, so I'm not sure how a BBQ/dinner invite would look. I definitely need to destress, you are spot on about that. I guess I will try one thing at a time and see how I go. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

Wandering wheels.....

You have the perfect opening with you, for casually meeting like minded people.
Your dog..... out wandering around thru parks etc, you have the opportunity to interact with other with dogs.  Dog owners are generaly very friendly people.  If they are walking in a park near you, they probably also live nearby.  Strike up a conversation..... it costs nothing....and the return could be immense.

Hey AussiePete2, thanks for your post. Yes, I do chat up with other dog parents. I still haven't made any friends among them who would come over to my place or say hang out with me. I do have acquaintances though and it is good to have people who know me by name. I have made a couple of other friends in my neighbourhood through some websites.

I have come to accept that I may never make friends here like I used to have back home. While that is disappointing, it bugs me less now, but over a year I have become more introverted. I am considering a move to Melbourne, and I have a few friends there so that might help.

I have a shaved head and used to sport a goatee. I should say I look kinda Arab, but I'm a Hindu Indian. I am agnostic, so I don't care about religions anyway. I got asked by quite a few Aussies if I was Arab or in more subtle cases, if I moved from UAE. I also noticed many people didn't smile at me and just turned their heads away on eye contact. I have since shaved my goatee and people are more friendly now and smile at me freely. So, yeah that is a positive change too.

Aren't there Indian gatherings around?, so you meet up and make parties or have fun together, it usually happens, people of same nationality gather and meet up together

you made moving to AU look scary bro

best of luck :)

Wandering wheels......
For some reason, you are having difficulties either fitting in or being accepted.  But only you can change that.  Yes, you have stated that you are Hindu and at the same time agnostic...but that does not mean that you cannot attend a Hindu Temple, and mix with your fellow country men.  Through those people, you may have the ability to meet others and their friends.  Nothing good just happens over night.  It all takes time....and effort on your part.
I 'm sure that most members here have experienced what you are going through when arriving in a new country.  I certainly did  back in 2008 when i first went to The Philippines.  But now, i have been returning every year and have built up a circle of friends, of locals and expats.  It did not take long to do, but it was all about puting myself out there in order to be able to meet new people.
Now, when i return, i am almost accepted as being a local.
If you keep trying, you too have a chance of succeeding.

@Islam kotabi: Yes, there are Indian gatherings, mostly to celebrate religious festivals, but I guess anyone is welcome. I could definitely try going to one of the meets. Thanks for the suggestion.

Sorry that my post came across as scary to you. Let me add that I have never had a bad experience where someone was rude to me. The racism is subtle and not like overseas media portrays it, at least in my experience. I've had people tell me - oh but your English is very good, upon telling them I'm Indian. I'm usually unsure how to respond to that :) Also people generally think you were poor where you came from. I think these are common misconceptions people in developed nations have about developing nations. There are also people who had traveled to India and who asked me why I moved out. It's definitely not scary mate, but good or bad - it is up to you to decide. I think if you have at least a few friends here to begin with, it's a good idea to move.

@AussiePete2: Thanks for sharing your experience. It's good to hear. Yes, I do have difficulty fitting in, or my experience is not as good as I had imagined it would be. I understand that it takes time and effort, so yeah I will persevere.

To clarify about my statement, I was born in a Hindu family, but I shouldn't call myself Hindu because I don't practise the religion. I definitely don't fancy going to temples but as Islam kotabi suggested, I could try going to a gathering and see how it pans out. I have signed up to a few groups and most of their meets are in the evening. I am moving closer to CBD in a month, so I'd be able to attend them. Thanks for your comment again, makes me realize the importance of patience.

i think it will get better hopefully

if your english is good , you are great man :D
i know indian english, it is strange somehow, as well as egyptian english too :D :D :D

I totally agree on everything you've said. I lived alone in Melbourne and Bendigo for several years. After a few years, i've found a nice friend in regional Bendigo, a not so high paying job as i used to have in my home country but i enjoyed the lifestyle in Melbourne. Love the good quality food in Aus. I was happy there but I missed family and friends, therefore made the move back to my home country. Never been happier here.

Hi WanderingWheels,

As an Aussie living abroad these past 15 years; USA - 14.1/2;
UK: WALES - 12 months & ENGLAND - 7 months. 
Finding your feet in your adopted country can be a struggle.  I'm a people person and so I feel your pain!   Without friends I can't settle into any new place!   Especially given I don't work; hubby has his Wk collegues.

I do find it all depends on the area you live in; as to how friendly people are.  The closer in towards a City; the chillier and more unsociable people become.  They go to work and come home and don't tend to mix or socialize other than through Social Media! 
Outer suburbs bring a different group of people. More sociable and if your lucky be a more Community Orientated - so they tend to mix at these!  But I've found in all Countries; including my own Homeland of OZ.  With today's Technology; Social Media has basically wiped out people meeting up.  If they do; it tends to be a meet-up of 2 people at a Coffee Shop or Pub for a bite to eat.  Sadly Not too many social home visits these days. 
America was easier to settle into because we had a child; so it's easier to meet other parents through them.  However, we arrived into UK as Empty Nesters.  I had to become proactive; in Cardiff, Wales I joint a online group called Streetlife; I was lucky, our Postcode offered many socially meet ups at various coffee shops and eating establishments.  I acquired many social acquaintances and a lifetime friend through this group.  However, once again; sadly, social media had folks opting to communicate via social media instead of by phone and in person. 

However, I struggled to make friends in England; Reading.  That was until I joint Sunday Assembly: a large GLOBAL (non religious) Social Organization / Group - it also offers meet-up options in between their Once a Month group Gatherings. 
Through this group; hubby and I have begun establishing personal friends and I've become content in my new adopted Country of England, UK. 

I'd recommend you try it out for yourself.; Give it 3-6 month trial to judge it.

Brisbane and Melbourne are 2 different Worlds.  Melbourne is mostly cold and wet.  More European in weather and culture too.  If it's a grey looking water of the River, cooler, grey, wet weather - with a vibrant cosmopolitan lifestyle you seek; then you'll like.  However, I prefer Brisbane and Sydney myself.  Blue Water and sky's wins my vote anyday!  Melbourne has a better lifestyle than Sydney; can't speak for Brisbane to compare. 
Either way; get yourself involved in a Sunday Assembly group where ever you end up living and you'll be sure to meet a lot of new and interesting, like-minded, friendly folks who'll gladly welcome everyone into their family! 

Here's some links to follow: they are Globally and always expanding. 
Follow the, on Facebook to get a feel what they are all about 1st if you prefer and Good-Luck with your future life journey!   

If I can sort through my Aussie Pension concerns; I'd like to stay living in UK.  The weather in Wales was nasty; rained and overcast everyday.  Love England.  Weather here in a reading; past 7 mths: been pretty good. 

To make a difference; it'll be up to you to step outside and make the 1st move towards making new friends.

Check Sunday Assembly link to find a SA location nearest where you live:

Sunday Assembly Australia - Google Search … ent=safari

Sunday Assembly Brisbane (Brisbane) | Meetup
sunday assembly brisbane facebook - Google Search … ent=safari

sunday Assembly Melbourne - Google Search … ent=safari
(1) Sunday Assembly Melbourne. Facebook.

Moving around isn't the answer unless you hate your job and chosen location to reside within! 
However, after giving it a fair go on your behalf and you prove it's not the area for you; then Move! 

Good Luck Mate......  Hope you and your Wife work it all out.  The Grass isn't always Greener elsewhere or in a different country!  Although, I am happier and we do enjoy living in England way more than in OZ.   
However, I must say I do very much miss the vibrantly noisy and colorful bird-life in OZ. 
Location for National and International Travel and the cost of living (other than housing; which is cheaper than OZ but not as affordable than it was in USA) is way better here in UK.  Climate is not as hot; but you don't get the blistering heat or humidity and  No a/c required either.
No pesky fly's, Mosquitos or ants which is blissful.  So England with it's cooler climate has more pros than cons for us!

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