We’re pretty settled here in Austria – we own a house, I have a passable grasp on the language, and I don’t have much to complain about. But never say never. Because moving back to Oz is always a possibility. So here’s my top ten things I will miss about my life here if or when I move back to Australia.
- The scenery
Living in a small town nestled in a valley, surrounded by mountains and lakes is pretty much living the dream. When I go for a walk it’s a mere 500 metres before I’m out in open countryside, surrounded by fields, horses, cows and fresh air (except when the farmers fertilize their fields). I stopped running with music when I moved here because I didn’t need to – being outside amongst beautiful surroundings is motivation enough.
2. The work/life balance
I’m the first to admit I’ve got it good here. Even if I did work Fridays, I would only have to work a half day, which frees up the weekend a lot. I enjoy my job, I can work from home, I get to travel for work sometimes, but not too often, and when I come home I’ve got the beautiful surroundings to take a walk or run in. Sure, my work is often very busy, but if I work overtime it turns into holidays, and everything feels much more relaxed compared to the Rat Race I left in in Melbourne.
3. My birthday in summer
In Australia, my birthday is smack bang in the middle of winter. Though it never stopped me from going out in more than a short skirt and singlet, or having an outdoor party, it was definitely a downer. But now the tables have turned and I’m right in the middle of summer – which means I never have to consider an indoor celebration.
4. Morning peak hour
I heard we have one in town – but it’s nothing compared to the good ol’ South Eastern Carpark in Melbourne. I have a long commute here in Austria – almost an hour – but that’s travelling 70km on the Autobahn. An hour commute in Melbourne in peak hour gets you about 20km!
5. Cheap alcohol
When living in Australia I complained about the price of a pint – for sure – but I just accepted it because that’s just the way it was. Here you can pick up a case of beer for almost the same price as a six pack in Australia, a bottle of wine doesn’t double your dinner cost, and a spritzer anywhere is dirt cheap – at least it is when you compare to the cost in Oz!
6. Cheap autobahn and speeding fines
For under €100, you can travel on the Austrian Autobahn for the entire year, nothing more to pay. I remember having to pay for the good old Citylink tolls, and I don’t miss them one bit. I am ashamed to say that I have had one speeding fine here in Austria, but at a little over €30 I don’t lose a lot of sleep over it. Because let’s not talk about the fine I got in Melbourne for having my feet up on the seat in the train at over $170 (and I still lose sleep over that one).
7. The proximity to Europe
Australia is a beautiful country and there’s plenty to see – but it’s all so far away. Two hours from Melbourne you find yourself in Shepparton, two hours from where I live and you can choose from Italy, Slovenia or Croatia. And that’s just in a car – if you jump on a flight then the world is your oyster!*
8. Dogs in shops
I know they trialled it in Australia, but from all accounts it didn’t really work. Here it’s a non-event. I love going to the local shopping centre to come across a cute little Maltese, or to sit at a Gasthaus at a table next to a Dalmatian. To be honest, most people tend to leave their dogs at home, but it’s nice to have the option, and it brings a smile to my face when I see them.
9. The country life
I would definitely miss the country life if I had to move back to a big city (of course big cities have plenty of perks, too). I love greeting everyone on the street, seeing familiar faces, and purchasing food and veggies that I know have been grown locally and comes from well cared for animals.
10. My friends here
And finally… if I moved back to Australia… there are definitely people I would miss. Not just the people I already knew that I can see more often because I live here, like my friend who lives in the UK and my cousin in Croatia, but also the friends I have made. Yes… I do have friends… a small sprinkling, but ones I would hate to part with. Thanks dudes for being part of my Austrian journey – you’ve made it all worth it.
*At least it was before Covid