So I’ve moved back to the US. Here are some things I absolutely do not miss about Australia.
I’ve been back in the US for 10 days and I have to admit, there are a few things that I don’t miss about Australia. Even though Australia is amazing in so many ways, there are always cons to go with the pros. Future immigrants and students, these are the things that I did not like and which played a large part in why I left:
- Cost of living / “Australian Tax” – At least minimum wage and salaries in general are high, but paying $20 for a bottle of contact solution or $30 for less than 2 hours of parking – as well as higher prices on all electronics, cosmetics, and clothing that are the same as in America (i.e. made in China) – was incredibly infuriating. Everything seems so cheap to me now in the US, even prices in LA.
- Slow and expensive internet – DATA CAPS ARE EVIL!!! I got a whole 50GB for $73 a month. The previous year I got 150GB for $60 a month. In the US, I have unlimited internet that is twice as fast for the same price. In Europe, it’s even cheaper.
- Rental inspections – I have never been more insulted in my life than when I learned there would be an inspection in my rental house/apartment every 4 months regardless of how clean I kept the place. Invasion of privacy, anyone?
- Current government – Disregard for the environment, lack of marriage equality, horrible treatment of refugees, Islamophobic policies, Tony Abbott, etc. It is truly embarrassing for a country that is known for being so laid-back, friendly, and progressive.
- Isolation – Flying to Europe or the eastern US takes around 24 hours and can cost more than $2,000. This is why I had to go two years without seeing my niece and nephew. It really takes a toll on you.
Some of these things will hopefully change in the future, and the Australian dollar is getting weaker which makes prices cheaper for some immigrants. The last one, however, is probably the main reason why I am ok with not living in Australia anymore.
My niece is nearly 4 and my nephew is 2. They stopped swimming this week to look at a pretty butterfly. They repeat French words I teach them. Their giggles and smiles melt my heart. I’ve already missed a lot being overseas the past few years, and Australia is just too far away from them.
The 2015 combined conference of the Applied Linguistics Associations of Australia and New Zealand (ALAA and ALANZ) – together with the Association for Language Testing and Assessment of Australia and New Zealand (ALTAANZ) – will be held November 30 to December 2 in Adelaide, Australia. The Research Centre for Languages and Cultures at the University of South Australia will be hosting the conference, with the theme Learning in a Multilingual World. Abstracts can be submitted until February 28 at this site.
This conference was not held in 2014 due to the AILA World Congress in Brisbane. The conference in 2013 was held in Wellington, New Zealand, and it will return to New Zealand again in 2016. I was excited to find out that my research centre and university were hosting the conference this year, but I may no longer be in Australia by November since my visa expires in October. Fingers crossed that I find a job soon that keeps me in this part of the world!
Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third-largest island and definitely worth a visit for the beautiful beaches and adorable wildlife. Although I’ve been to many beaches in Australia already, every new one I see is just as gorgeous as the last one. KI did not disappoint.
The first view upon getting off the ferry in Penneshaw:
Sadly, I did not see any (live) kangaroos on the island, but I did see plenty of sea lions, wallabies, echidnas, goannas and koalas.
Sleepy sea lion at Seal Bay
My friend and I drove down for the weekend (it’s only a 1.5 hour drive from Adelaide, plus a 45 minute ferry) so we weren’t able to visit all of the towns and attractions. We mostly did the southern coast along the highway (the only paved road) since riding in my little car probably wouldn’t have been too comfortable in the north, where almost all of the roads are gravel. The major tourist attractions are mostly along the southern coast too.
You can also fly to Kingscote from Adelaide and rent a car (there are no taxis or public transportation on the island) instead of driving. There are some bus tours that depart from Adelaide but the one day tour sounds extremely exhausting, so I would highly recommend driving and staying for a few nights. Just try not to drive after dark when the animals come out!
Watch out for wildlife on the roads
Check out the Kangaroo Island album in the Gallery for more photos.