I can no longer count on my 2 hands, the number of times people have questioned what life in Australia is really like when I’ve been abroad.
“What is like to live in Australia? Are your houses filled with dangerous Animals? Do people really have kangaroos as pets? Is it so hot that you melt when you walk out the door? Do you all say maaaaate? Don’t your dingos eat people’s babies?”
Some of these are so far from true, and some are a little more accurate. Today, I’m here to clear some things up on what it’s really like to like in Australia (as a White woman).
Australian’s are known for being some of the most relaxed people in the world – arguably.
In coastal areas, people are known to walk around without shoes or a shirt, in bathers and flip-flops with a cold drink in hand. It’s a lifestyle so many love; along with the surfing and skating lifestyle that is very popular around this beautiful country too.
But as for the overall lifestyle, it really does depend entirely on the location. Melbourne is an area with great coffee, a lot of sport and busy city life. Whereas, Queensland and Perth are surrounded by a number of beautiful beaches, ocean activities and is overall a much more relaxed atmosphere – Which I guess is due to the lovely warm weather!
Although a lot of foreigners like to assume that all Aussie’s live the best life ever and that we basically never work, jobs really do vary as much as in any other country in the world. We work hard (well most of us anyway) but we aren’t all living in a shack, working in a bar or spending our lives on a surfboard.
Surprisingly, not all Australian’s want to be a beach bum – shock horror!
That being said, living such a relaxed life in Australia is something that many pride themselves on. That certainly doesn’t mean that we don’t work hard, but who wouldn’t want to enjoy the beautiful beaches if they had them at their doorstep? Isn’t that what life is about?
Do we all say ‘mate’? No. But do a large portion use the term every now and again? Yes.
A lot of foreigners will often think that most of Australian’s say “Crikey! Hooroo! and You Bloody Beut!” in every sentence. But in reality, that is the very stigmatised version of the Australian accent. The Australian accent that you will often hear on movies when Americans pretend to be Australian, is not really what it’s really like.
Most Aussies won’t use any of those well-known Aussie slang words, but there are quite a few that you may not have heard of, that are often used in everyday life. For those of you who are a little confused about the often bogan(ish) Aussie language, here are a few terms that you’ll often hear from the very average true blue Australian:
Australia – Aussie, The land down unda, Straya, Straaaaayaaaaaaaaaaa.
Hello – G’day, Hows it goin, Hey! Maaaaaaaaate.
Goodbye – Catcha, Take it easy, See ya later, Later.
Thank you – Ta, Thanks, Cheers.
How are you – How’s it goin’, How ya goin’.
Good – Sweet, Ripper, Beaut, Grouse, Ace, Dandy, Bonza, Yeew!
Bad – Rubbish, Shockin’, Bollocks, Balls up.
Yes – Bloody Oath, Nah yeah, Yup, For Sure.
No – Yeah nah, Nah mate, no bloody way!
That’s okay – Don’t sweat it, No worries, No wuckin furries, no wuckas, Bob’s your uncle.
Friend – Mate, Bud, Cobber, Pal.
Angry – Fumin’, Cranky, Spewin’, Pissed, Narky.
Happy – Stoked, Chuffed, Like a pig in mud, Happy as larry.
Sad – Devo, Bummed, In a funk, Down in the dumps,
Wow – No way, Wowzers, Blimey, Crikey (I’ve never heard anyone say this seriously)
True – Fair Dinkum, Deadset, Struth.
OTHERS: Sheila (a woman), Thongs (Flip-flops), A cold one/Frothy (A beer), Pongs (When something smells), Pigs Arse! (I don’t believe you), She’ll be right (It’ll be okay), Arvo (Morning), Sundy (Sunday), Piece of Piss (Easy)
You know how I said this was what you would normally hear in the everyday life? I was also joking. Yes, words are definitely shortened to fit into our lazy life – but for the most part, we pronounce words correctly and just like any other English speaking country.
I am Australian and have lived here my entire life… But you will probably never catch me saying ‘G’day, I’m from Straya, no wuckin furries do you want me to put a sweet snag on the barbie mate?’ – But hey, it’s all for the laughs, right?
Most Australian’s won’t want to talk about this topic; because let’s face it… We have no idea what the weather in Australia is doing 99% of the time!
One day it’s 35°C and clear blue skies, and the next it’s 12°C with 20mm of rain – I really couldn’t tell you.
Summer (December-February) is generally 25-38°C on an average day. Autumn (March-May) is around 15-25°C, with cloudy days, falling leaves and rainfall. Winter (June-August) reaches chilly lows of 6-14°C with a lot of rain. And Spring (September-November) is between 10-22°C with blue skies and blooming flowers.
These are for the majority of the country, but the red centre and for most of the Northern Territory, they stay in the 30’s for the majority of the year. Tasmania – being the lowest point in Australia – is the coldest state for most of the year too.
But as we like to stay, life in Australia has lead us to be comfortable with the fact that we may experience 4 seasons in one day. There have been times where some states are devastated by fires, whilst those nearby are struck with severe flooding. In reality, it totally depends on the location but there’s absolutely no doubt that Australia’s weather can be totally wild!
You may have a beautiful sunny day, but your neighbouring state could have catastrophic floods. We honestly have no idea what the next day will bring until it comes.
[ READ NEXT: The Best Things to do during the Australian Summer ]
No, we do not live in houses full of snakes, spiders, dingos and kangaroos, (I’m sure some people do, but that’s a little rare) We do not ride kangaroos to school, nor do we live off bush tucker and grubs. There are lots of crocodiles, but no… It’s not like Crocodile Dundee!
Most of us have the standard cats, dogs, horses and fish as pets. But the difference with Australia is, that wildlife is frequently seen when out of suburbia. Living in an outer area like I do, I would see some sort of wildlife every single day (it’s often more than one species too).
Kangaroos are getting a little out of hand here, and if you’re anywhere remotely close to bushland, they are bound to be seen. I would spot them every day just driving along the road if I really looked hard.
We do have a lot of insects that seem to scare the daylights out of most of the population; huntsman spiders and daddy long legs being the most common. So if you’re remotely scared of insects, it’s good to know that they’re pretty inevitable here in Aus.
Wombats, koalas, kangaroos, foxes, echidnas and Australian birds really are everywhere (so I guess the foreigners are right on this one) but, no… They are not our pets.
[ READ NEXT: Australian Wildlife Facts ]
The most interesting thing I’ve learnt about Australia from being overseas is just how big it really is.
For those who have been to Australia, you will know that the perimeter of the country is where the magic happens. There are 8 major cities in the country – Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide and Tasmania – and once you step right out of those cities, there is little to nothing. In the centre of the country there is also nothing – and this time I literally mean nothing.
It’s such a strange concept to grasp, especially for people that live in European countries alike. For them, a 4-hour journey needs an overnight stay for recovery. But for us in Australia, 4 hours is a piece of piss (Did you like my Aussie slang?). It takes at least an 8 hours drive to get to the next city, which people frequently travel to and from. To put that into context, here is a map of Australia, and just how well Europe fits into its land:
As for what you will see on the road, the perimeter is home to beautiful beaches and rugged coastlines, but the centre… Well, it’s home to vast kilometres of rugged, barren and sparse landscapes. Some of which you will find incredibly beautiful, and some which will leave you pretty bored, especially when you’re looking at nothing but miles of dirt and the odd tree on the way to your final destination.
Don’t let that scare you though, once you reach the amazing locations, they’re places you won’t see anywhere else in the world… The only thing is, they may take you a little while to find them!
[ READ NEXT: Expat Diary – Life in Brisbane ]
Have you experienced life in Australia? I’d love to know if you love it as much as I do XX
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