Chapter I — Introduction

Hi there.

The name’s Jamie. I’m from the UK and currently residing in London, though that is all about to change. You see, in two weeks, I am relocating to the other side of the world — specifically Brisbane, Australia. This has been on the cards for a number of years, as that’s where my wife comes from. Now it’s happening.

In a fortnight we are flying to Australia to get set up and start our new life “Down Under”, and the purpose of my page on Medium is to educate and inform everybody about a multitude of things, ranging from my mindset/attitude/emotions through to the practicality of starting afresh.

I’ve become accustomed to a particular way of living in my short life so far. I rely heavily on Amazon for purchases (Amazon in Australia is still just a book store), and northern television series (Coronation Street — you can take the man out of the north…).


I’m currently sitting at my kitchen table in our apartment in London and am surrounded by a number of cardboard boxes, filled with our possessions that we’ll be shipping over to Brisbane. I was not looking forward to when the rooms would be filled with these removal boxes, but it’s honestly a lot easier to cope with than I imagined it being. The apartment has always been a little “overpopulated” with belongings, mainly as my wife and I have loads of them. Although by placing all of these into boxes, it is actually opening up the apartment, which is a great relief!

We move out of the apartment in under 2 weeks, which means that the pressure is really on now to make sure that:
a) everything we have gets packed in time
b) everything we have fits into the remaining boxes!

Probably doesn’t help that I’m going to be away from the flat for the majority of our final week there. Not the smartest thing to do but actually the right thing to do, as I’ll be going to the North to spend some time with my family. Is it ideal timing? No. Do I give a shit? No. One thing I’ve most certainly noted since the move to Brisbane was floated is just how much I’m going to miss my family. I’m incredibly thankful that they’ll be coming out to Australia for Christmas. What’s more? They’ll get to meet their grandson for the very first time!


So, how do I feel about the move? Honestly? It changes a lot throughout the course of a single day. Some days I am mostly positive, whereas other days, including today, I’m less positive. The reason for this is, as mentioned earlier, I’m used to the way of life here. My grocery store is a stones throw away from my apartment, as is the physiotherapist clinic that I go to. It’s all just…there. If that makes sense. If it doesn’t, then never mind. I know that I can’t possibly tell yet whether it’ll be totally alien in Brisbane — I’ve been a few times before and have loved every second of it (obviously, given that we’re soon going to be living there). But living there?! Thinking about it now, it baffles me and scares me. What if I think it’s crap? What if I don’t settle? What if I can’t find employment?

At this stage, that’s all a load of “what if” hypothetical nonsense. We will just have to wait and see! I am not going to pretend that it doesn’t concern me though as I think everybody would see right through that. It’s not like I’m moving apartment to a different London Borough (which I’ve done before, and that was a little weird initially), but it’s that I’m moving to a different HEMISPHERE! Sounds crazy when I say that out loud!


Concerns

I thought it would be a good idea to talk about my concerns generally. In later stories I can provide updates on these concerns and let you know whether they were legitimate concerns or just bullshit inclinations! So here we go:

  • I worry that I will struggle to find a job initially. This is a big one. With a baby on the way, it is absolutely essential that I am able to provide for my family.
  • I worry that I will not like Australia (or pine for the UK). Don’t get me wrong, Australia is great from what I’ve seen but it’s a bit of a different lifestyle compared to the UK! As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve become accustomed to the life I lead.
  • I will miss my friends and family. This is the biggest factor and concern that I’ve got about moving. We had a leaving party a few weeks ago. At the end of the night? I bawled like a little baby. Even though I still had 3 weeks left in the UK! I don’t need to explain this any further.
  • I don’t “know” the culture. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose — all UK grocery stores. Whilst I know Australia has got Woolworths (not the tat shop from the UK) and Coles for groceries — and being totally honest, I’d have to be an idiot not to know my way around a grocery store — I just don’t know all of the customs of the country.

I do not wish to dwell too much on any of the negatives as I must go into this with my “opportunity” head screwed on.

If you think about the workplace, what is the one thing that most people oppose? Change, of course. Be that a change of “direction”, management or anything else for that matter, it’s often not favoured. I’ve always thought people that say “I don’t like change” are just saying that because they’ve heard it on an episode of FRIENDS, but I’m starting to see what they mean.

I’m making the ultimate change and that’s something that I’ve got to embrace, as I leave this world behind.

I’ve learned in my life that it’s important to be able to step outside your comfort zone and be challenged with something you’re not familiar or accustomed to. That challenge will allow you to see what you can do.
J.R. Martinez