US Expat Living in Australia - Interview With Alex

Published: 18 Feb at 9 AM
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Filed: Interviews,Australia
Alex is a southern girl from the United States who just moved to Australia a few months ago. Having spent all her life in the US, she decided to tag along when her boyfriend was transferred to out in the "middle of nowhere" Australia with the attitude of "Why not? It will be an adventure". She writes about exploring her new world and each new adventure that comes along with it. Alex's expat blog is called New Adventures in Oz! (see listing here)

Meet Alex - US expat in Australia
Meet Alex - US expat in Australia

Here's the interview with Alex...


Where are you originally from?
I have lived all over the United States. I was born in California and lived there off and on (short stints in Hawaii and Pennsylvania) until I was about 13 and then moved to a small city outside of Louisville, Kentucky. When I was 18 I moved to Lexington, Kentucky for University and stayed there up until my move to Australia.

In which country and city are you living now?
I live in Jerry's Plains, Australia which is in the Hunter Valley (WINE COUNTRY!).

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
I just recently moved to Australia a little over two months ago. We plan on being here as long as we're welcome and needed.

This is me and my boyfriend
This is me and my boyfriend "N" on Christmas day before dining at Catalinas
Why did you move and what do you do?
I moved because my boyfriend was transferred with his company and I am currently a free agent.

Did you bring family with you?
Unfortunately we had to leave our two children at home. His lab Jimmy and my rhodesian ridgeback Rook both have good homes on a farm where they can chase rabbits, lay in the sun on warm days and cuddle on couches.

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
At first it was a little overwhelming. It's a rush of emotions all at once. You're really excited because everything is new but it's overwhelming because....Everything is new. It's a lot to process at once.

Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
I'm still in the process of meeting people and getting my bearings. Everyone has been so extremely nice and I have met a few people I would consider to be friends. The company my boyfriend works is Irish so a lot of people around the area are Irish (my boyfriend included). We mainly socialise with them and Australians. A good bunch of people.

This is one of the first pictures I took when I arrived.  It was the view from the hotel room we stayed at on my first night in Sydney
This is one of the first pictures I took when I arrived. It was the view from the hotel room we stayed at on my first night in Sydney
What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
If you're in the Hunter Valley everyone should check out the wineries and restaurants. The food is amazing and it is very relaxing. Sydney is wonderful, I would tell people who we're coming here to definitely check out the beaches one day for a relaxing day and Sydney Harbour for some sight seeing.

What do you enjoy most about living here?
I People here like to be outside doing things. It's great! Whether it's exercising or just firing up the "barbie". Australians really seem to make the most of their great weather.

How does the cost of living compare to home?
It's much more expensive here than at home. You can guarantee that everything will be 30-50% more expensive.

This is a view from our house out in the
This is a view from our house out in the "middle of nowhere". Just Beautiful.
What negatives, if any, are there to living here?
You're VERY far away from family. My family is in the US which is at the very minimum 14 hours to my dad in California and 20+ to Kentucky. Living in Australia takes quite a bit of planning whether it's making travel arrangements or buying stuff and having it shipped here.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
Give yourself a break. Not everything is going to fall into place immediately and that's OK.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
It's a toss up between not having Mexican food and driving. Thankfully there are a lot of similarities between the US and Australia however finding Mexican food (not burrito stands) has eluded me and I'm just beginning to drive.

When you finally return home, how do you think you'll cope with repatriation?
I think there will be things we miss about Australia just like we do with America but in the end it will all be OK.

This is the Sydney Opera House taken from a ferry that took us from The Rocks to Double Bay
This is the Sydney Opera House taken from a ferry that took us from The Rocks to Double Bay
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. BRING DOCUMENTATION when trying to get things in order. Just got ahead and make multiple copies of your Passport, Visa, Insurance card, drivers license and pay stub. Once you set-up a bank account bring your debit/credit card with you. You will need ALL of these JUST to get a cell phone plan.
  2. Stock up on your favourite jeans, tshirts, and shoes. One they'll be cheaper in America and two who knows the next time you'll be able to get them!
  3. Be open to new experiences. Who cares if it's touristy or cliche to do something. If it looks like fun and you want to do it, GO do it.
  4. Let people know you're new to the country. I wouldn't run around screaming you're an American (it's annoying, they know already) but people are pretty quick to help you out if you just let them know why you're so confused/didn't understand/are lost.
  5. Give yourself a break. At the end of the day just have a beer and a good laugh. If you messed up, you learned something new.


So far this is my favourite beach in Australia.  It's beautiful and just busy enough to want to make you go out and do stuff but not so busy you can't relax
So far this is my favourite beach in Australia. It's beautiful and just busy enough to want to make you go out and do stuff but not so busy you can't relax
Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
My expat blog is about the Adventures of living in Australia. Everything from day to day learning experiences to exploring new places and restaurants.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
You can always contact me through my blog.

Alex blogs at http://newadventuresinoz.blogspot.com.au which we recommend a quick visit if you haven't been already. New Adventures in Oz! has an ExpatsBlog.com listing here so add a review if you like! If you appreciated this interview with Alex, please also drop her a quick comment below.

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Comments » There is 1 comment

Laurel wrote 11 months ago:

My boyfriend and I are looking to relocate to either Sydney or Melbourne. Did you get a working holiday visa? If so what did you have to do? If you want to over stay the 12 months do you apply for residency and if so can you apply there?

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