There is no doubt about it in my mind. The cons of having family that have emigrated to Australia far outweigh the pros.
I remember my family getting back from their 1 month trip to Perth and telling me how much they loved it and that they will be emigrating. I was 19, worked full time but still lived at home. They bought a plot of land whilst they were there and picked a house to be built on it and started the process of selling everything they owned. Watching the house get emptier and emptier was hard enough on its own, but building myself up for the inevitable goodbye was torture.
The day they left, there was a big party of us at the airport to wave them off. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I’m not a selfish person, I know that for them it was a great move and my little brother and sister would have a great life there, but I did feel a little sorry for myself.
It’s not all doom and gloom, I get to visit them regularly and obviously don’t have any accommodation costs to pay, but flights aren’t cheap and I’m not one to go on holiday and be thrifty so it’s not a cheap holiday. This then limits the options of family holidays to Europe etc. as you feel guilty for not using the time you have to go and visit them. Then there’s the care package you have to take with you; cheese and onion walkers crisps, dairy milk, revels, scratchings, Bovril. The list is endless.
I had a baby 4 years ago, and my parents came home for the birth, however I believe my child would still be in the womb now had he not been forcibly removed and they got to see him for 2 days before they had to fly home. They miss out on so much of him growing up. I got married last year, and again they all made the effort to come home for the wedding. I love that things like this bring us all together and it was actually the first time all 5 of us had been in the UK at the same time since they emigrated. They always bring a goody bag of my favourite things back with them as well which is great!
My parents have had a few illnesses over the years, some of them quite serious and I can’t be there. That hurts. I feel like I always need to have a rainy day fund in case I need to make an urgent trip out there.
There really aren’t any other pros for me other than the holidays. But it really does make you appreciate each other more. We try and spend a 3 weeks together every year, taking it turns to make the trip, and really if you break it down and you lived down the road would you spend 3 solid weeks’ worth of time together? Probably not. The key is making your time count. It’s limited, so don’t waste a second.
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.