Turning 18 is an exciting time. I remember it well, even though it seems like an age ago now. With the very different lifestyles, different fashion, music, drinks and night life coming of age in Australia is very different.
Drink driving has been a real issue in Australia over the years, to the point that they display damaged cars that have been smashed up due to drink driving on ramps at the side of the road. Some of them are truly shocking and would certainly make you think twice.
In Australia, unless you live in a city or a bustling town, you don’t just walk down the road to your local. Some people are lucky and will have somewhere in walking distance but a lot of people aren’t. Obviously having a designated driver overcomes this issue and now Uber and Ola make life a lot easier but these again are predominantly in your cities and built up towns.
The easiest solution? House parties! When I was 18 and living at home I would never have dreamt of having a house party. Partly because I would be too worried about damage and the mess, but also because it just wasn’t cool. In Australia though, they embrace entertaining at home and most houses have outdoor entertaining areas, with impressive barbecues and some with pool areas.
Don’t get me wrong there will be some times where a house party isn’t enough and people will venture into the city for a night out, but there are plenty of hotels for people to stop in and whilst it makes the night out a lot more expensive, everyone gets home safe.
So other than partying, what else can you do at 18 in Australia?
– You can go to the bookies! Or the TAB as it is affectionately known. Oh and whilst you’re there you can legally buy a drink!
– You can buy and smoke tobacco products (although I am not in any way condoning this!)
– You can vote or even apply for a seat on the council
– You can drive a car! (and buy one!)
– You can get credit, or a mortgage and buy your first home.
Turning 18 is a wonderful time. You are so excited about the endless options ahead of you, you have made plans for the next 12 years at least, you are thinking about all of the things you can do with the money you will be earning from your first full time job, and probably making plans for the endless trips you plan on taking to see the world!
Enjoy it! Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, however you are celebrating turning 18 and officially becoming an adult albeit with a few more responsibilities; make the most of every minute! And turning 18 in Australia, who wouldn’t want to do that?
About the Author: 16 years ago my parents and siblings immigrated to Australia. I have visited 12 times over the years and contemplated making the move myself many a time, including taking a 12 month working holiday visa. Now married and with a son of my own my roots are firmly planted in the UK but we take it in turns as a family to hop across the pond to visit each other.