Making the huge move to Australia is no longer a difficult task. You only need to walk down any retail street on the continent to see the huge multiculturalism that lies at the core of Australia. I am one of those numerous expats. Having been up in Ireland and spent time abroad, the relocation didn’t seem daunting. However, the distance is palpable once on the ground, and the Australian culture is a planet unto itself. Here’s what I discovered while living in Australia, from broken beliefs to cold hard reality.
Not everything will kill you – Living in Australia
A widespread fallacy that has crossed oceans to become a modern-day fable is that you could die in Australia. What was the cause of death? Some deadly spider, snake, or shark hiding in the shadows, ready to strike. Yes, Australia boasts the world’s highest population of deadly creatures. While some of the most dangerous predators live in suburbia, such as the Sydney funnel-web spider, whose bite may kill in up to 15 minutes, the reality is that lethal incidents are rare.
Why live if you are afraid? When reality hits, we must accept that we are more likely to be killed in a vehicle accident or murdered by a horse than eaten by a shark. As long as you exercise caution, the chances of anything eating or killing you in Australia are small. I have yet to be attacked by an exotic predator, so I am confident in my statement.
Surfing is more difficult than it appears.
The surf scene has long been Australia’s most defining cultural movement; long-haired, barefooted, bronzed-skinned surf kids dominate the East and West Coasts. It appears that even toddlers are getting pounded in the ocean swell.
It was an aspect of Australian culture that I coveted. As a kid, I took a few classes in San Diego and Honolulu and thought, “Sure, how hard can it be?” Simply paddle and pop up.” Surfing is difficult, and even though I have my own board and live near the beach, it would take years of regular practice to be on par with any of the Aussies lounging on the ocean waiting for the next wave.
People use slang all the time – Living in Australia
Australia is famous for a few catchphrases, such as “g’day” (Aussie slang for “hello”) and “shrimp on the barbie” (meaning an Australian seafood BBQ). But it does not end there. During my time in Australia, I discovered that Aussies mostly speak in slang, with most words being reduced and the letters ‘o’ or ‘ie’ added for good measure.
Words like “arvo” replacing “afternoon” seem pointless and nonsensical. Still, I draw the line when people say things like “I can’t wait to have some bevies with my bestie from uni during schoolies” (translation: I can’t wait to have some drinks with my best friend from college during the school holidays). I’ve talked to many Australians about it, and they always shrug and say something to the effect of “we’re just too chill to speak the whole term,” but I think it’s simply one thing that makes Australia special.