We have been in Australia for a few months now and feeling settled in. After landing in Melbourne we stayed with Michelle’s parents in Caroline Springs in the Western Suburbs. Michelle’s Dad had sorted a car for us before we had arrived which made getting around to sort things much easier.
The main priorities were getting bank accounts, Medicare cover (Australian public health), ambulance cover and a Tax number. All of which we sorted fairly easily helped by Michelle being an Aussie anyway.
Initially there was lots of catching up with friends and family as well as seeing how much the nieces and nephews had grown. It kept us busy and allowed us to get over the jet lag, Although it did take us a while to get over it, perhaps because we were not on a holiday so didn’t adapt as quick.
Michelle’s Dad had a bike that he hadn’t used in a while so it was nice to get out for a few rides to stretch the legs, although the west side of Melbourne is very flat, it isn’t be most exciting of scenery. I was able to start working remotely for the company i worked for in the UK fairly soon after we arrived, this really helped knowing we had some income whilst Michelle looked for a job in Melbourne.
The next step was trying to find somewhere to live, we had decided to look over on the east side of Melbourne which is a bit older and more established and a bit more scenic. One of Michelle’s brothers also lives on the east so it we wanted to give it a go to have a comparison between the two for when we look to buy a place later on. We spent on Saturday visiting lots of open homes available for rent around the Ringwood area, we got to about 6 in the end. We saw a few flats/apartments and a number of units, a lot of them had a big crowd of people queuing outside to visit so we didn’t hold our hopes too high of being able to get accepted if we did find somewhere. That evening we applied for 2 places, one near the station in Ringwood and another in Croydon (which felt very weird as we lived near to Croydon in the UK).
Surprisingly we were accepted for both and chose the place in Croydon, were were able to move in the following weekend (about 4 weeks after arriving in Aus). We then had to go about finding furniture to be delivered after we moved in, luckily the bed was available and we managed to find a sofa which was in stock, otherwise most had a minimum 6 week lead time. A few “fun” trips to Ikea later and we were pretty much sorted and enjoying living in our own place again. Michelle was able to start her job in Melbourne not long after we moved in which is going well and it convenient being a short walk from the train station. It was even better once i got a new road bike and could hit the hills again – more on that in another entry.
About a month after we moved in we got a notification that the boxes we shipped had arrived and cleared the customs/border. We were surprised how quick they got through as Australian border is very strict so things can take a while to clear. The shipping company were able to deliver the next working day as well. Unfortunately the guy dropping off the boxes wasn’t as helpful as the guy in the UK so i had to carry all 22 boxes up 2 flights of stairs, it was nice to have our “stuff” though. We spent the next few days slowly unpacking and prioritising boxes we wanted things from first until we were just left with a few things that we decided not to unpack fully until we have our own place. Amazingly there were just 3 breakages, 2 glasses and 1 clay ornament so all in all were were very pleased. Turns out we did leave one box at my parents in the UK though! Nothing important but will have to worry about it later.
Overall things have gone really well, we are enjoying our life out here and certainly settled in.