Living Traveling

Differences and What to Bring

December 29, 2020

Differences and What to Bring

So, I know there’s not many people moving right abroad now due to the global pandemic (although I do know one who inspired this post), however if you’re considering the move in the future, I thought I’d get back to my blog while I’ve got a little break over the holidays.

I’m sure you’ll adapt to living in Australia, but if you find yourself missing things that remind you of home or things you’re used to from the US, I’m sure you’re not alone. The differences are part of what makes it exciting to be somewhere new – but sometimes you may want or miss the comfort or convenience of what you’re used to.

Thinking about making the move? Wondering what you might want to bring? Here’s a little starting point. And some other differences that I’ve learned along the way, making the move from the US to Aus.

• I recently learned (after living here nearly 5 years) that the mail man/woman does NOT pick up your letters and send them out for you! I did find it funny that there was no flag on our letterbox to notify them to pick up my mail – ha!
• Things close a lot earlier [there’s usually one day of the week that stores stay open longer] than in the US. You might find some 24/7 grocery stores, but many of them close earlier than the US.
• Less one stop shops – I’m from Michigan, and grew up close to Meijer where you can get most anything you wanted at anytime of day – groceries, toys, clothes, small pets? You get the idea. You won’t find that most places here.
• Less variety in the stores too for certain items or foods
• Gas stations (called petrol stations or “servos” here) – there’s no pay at the pump option
• The bank drive through tubes – those don’t exist here (although I never used them much in the US)
• Tipping is not expected for services or at restaurants
• Customer service – you might not get the same level that you’re used to in the US (although some places are great!)

Things I like to stock up on in the US
• Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Seasoning – or anything from TJ’s in general
• If you do have specific foods you crave, they might not have it here, it might not be readily available, or the price might be inflated! (e.g. Graham crackers for the 4th of July – you can find them but it might be a search) (also, I came across Twinkies in the store for nearly $30)
• Bath & Body Works loofahs [this is probably just me being weird, but they’re my favorite]
• Running shoes [cheaper] – in general, I’d say clothes/shoes/etc. are cheaper in the US not factoring in the conversion rate
• Deodorant [yes, they do have deodorant here – but if you’re partial to stick/solid deodorant, there are way less choices – mostly sprays here]
• Tampons – some don’t like the tampons here (there’s no applicator on them)
• I’m not entirely sure – but someone told me they stocked up on some of their favorite makeup in the US

Other
• If you plan on bringing plug-in things from the US, you’ll need a converter (you can buy converters here, but just something to think about)
• Phone plans – I do a monthly prepaid plan that gives unlimited calls to the US (although these days I mostly use Facetime anyways)

Happy Moving!

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