I was only 20 years old with a year old baby and partner the first time I travelled there and as the man at Australia House said to me, “I guess your just tagging along”
I thought I was so grown up making these huge decisions about where I was going to live in the world and bring up my daughter, not realising that without any family it is a very lonely existence. Yes, you make wonderful friends along the way that you will keep forever but it does not make up for the 5 generations of family that you leave behind.
We returned home to the UK with 2 children after a few years and settled for a while but my husband, yes we got married in Brisbane, Australia on a boat on the Brisbane river. He could not settle so of we went back to Australia, this time to Perth and to make new friends, lovely City Perth and I enjoyed living there our house was lovely, girls happy in school and my son was born there.
It was never enough for my husband though, he now wanted to go and live in the bush and not have a mortgage but have land and animals, he did still work as a builder. I never could settle there so then it was of to the coast and another house, all I wanted to do by this time was go home just for a holiday to see all my grandparents and for everyone to meet my son.
That never happened, life became unbearable for many many reasons, after years of moving, rows and unbearable way of living I took my 3 children and a few possessions and travelled back to England on my own. Divorce and single life with 3 children followed and a promise to the girls that when we got our house we would never move again.
I do miss the barbecues and sunshine but you cannot replace family and the bond children get with grandparents, as my children are all Australian a few years ago one of them decided to go back and live there with her daughter. The thought of not seeing them was horrendous and so hard for a mother, grandmother to face. I was lucky as they were only there for six months and her father moved away so they came home to me.
G’day Australia, grab a stubby and get the barby going!