So many people keep one eye on the UK when they make the big move to Australia. They keep their property in the UK and rent it out, or they employ someone to run their business for them, and this in my opinion makes it too easy to become a Ping-Pong Pom.
The first 6 months are a dream! It feels like a long holiday whilst doing all of the fun things like marvelling at the fact that you can rent a house with a pool for not much more than a 3 bedroom semi in the UK, picking all of your favourite colour schemes for your new house, doing your food shop at Woolworths and getting excited at all of the new and exciting foods.
But then the reality starts to set in.
You start to miss your family and friends back home, you realise that the Cadbury’s chocolate just isn’t the same in Australia and it’s that hot you would kill for a bit of rain! At this stage it is so easy to start reminiscing and thinking about moving back “home” but my biggest piece of advice to you is stick it out! You will never stop missing the people that you left behind, and being truthful, over the year’s new challenges will arise, but you will probably get through them……
Here are my top tips on how to avoid being a Ping Pong Pom:
– Commit to the move! Sell your house, make a clean break, and don’t give yourself an easy option to return
– Give it at least 2 years
– Join some local communities like a gym or fitness club to make some friends with similar likes to you
– Video call your friends and family. Just because you live on different continents, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be a big part of each other’s lives
If none of this works and after 2 years you are still homesick at least you know you’ve given it your best shot. A long holiday back to the UK first might be a good shout. When you’re back in the cold and there isn’t a beach within 5 minutes from you it might not take you long to want to return to the sunny land of Oz.
From personal experience, the goodbyes will never get any easier, the worrying about your family on the other side of the world won’t subside and there’s always going to be little bits of the UK that you miss. However, they will diminish a little, you will get used to it, and there will be some days that you don’t give it a thought. Life in Australia is so different, it’s not for everyone, but give it your best shot and don’t be a ping pong pom.
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.