Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to the Gold Coast, etc.
We are expat mums, Debbie and Ellie, and had lived parallel lives within a few kilometres of each other in England. We shared many mutual friends and acquaintances, shopped at the same shops and our children at one time had attended the same school but we never actually met until we had both emigrated to the Gold Coast, Australia.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
As we helped each other adjust to our new lives in an alien country, our friendship developed and it was then that we realised we both shared many interests including social media and drinking wine... quite often at the same time! It was then that we began writing a joint blog as an outlet for our feelings as expat mums.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
Ellie’s favorite blog post, ‘Snow Versus Sand’ tells of her experience of homesickness. This particular blog received many comments which were very helpful at that difficult time.
Debbie’s favorite blog post, ‘A Momentous Occasion’ tells of her son’s experience at going back to school after emigrating at a turbulent time of life.
Tell us about the ways your new life on the Gold Coast differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
It took us both about a year to settle in to our new lives. Culture shock is probably not the best way to describe it but we both experienced feeling as if we had landed on another planet!
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you on the Gold Coast? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
No, neither of us were prepared for what greeted us. Even after meticulous planning we could not have envisaged the high cost of living, poor quality rental accommodation, and a challenging job market to break into. We wouldn’t have changed anything though as you have to experience the challenges of starting again to fully appreciate the expat life and everything it has to offer.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
Haha! We do find item labeling particularly amusing, Start Ya B@stard engine starter and Nibble Nobbys Nuts along with a few more we couldn’t possibly mention! Place names can be equally amusing, Hooker Boulevard and Bald Knob Road…sorry!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life on the Gold Coast?
- However much money you think you will need, double it!
- Research internet access thoroughly! The service can be patchy and difficult to obtain especially in rental accommodation, after all the internet will be your lifeline!
- Be prepared for the homesickness and avoid knee-jerk reactions to it. Even after a couple of blissful years it can creep up on you and take you by surprise.
How is the expat community on the Gold Coast? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
The Gold Coast has a healthy expat community that is easy to find if you know where to look. We are both big fans of social media and this was a great starting point for us.
How would you summarize your expat life on the Gold Coast in a single, catchy sentence?
Our life on the Gold Coast feels like a permanent holiday, where it’s easy to find a positive in any negative to turn our days around and with 300 days of sunshine a year and all lifestyles catered for. What’s not to love about it?!