Aussies in the USA
Well, bung a shrimp on the barbie and get me a cold one, there’s only some Aussies hanging out in the USA!
Jane found my blog whilst doing her research about Columbia, Maryland in anticipation of her move here with her family from the Merry Old Land of Oz.
So, how’s the move from Down Under to Uncle Sam shaping up for this Sheila?
(Sorry about all that Neighbours lingo, but I couldn’t help it – I am a kid from the 80s, raised on Scott and Charlene – that’s Kylie Minogue to you, American friends! – and Madge and Harold… 😉 )
What cultural differences are there between the USA and Australia…?
Jane’s big move
I moved to the USA 4 weeks ago with my husband and two sons Leo (3) and George (2). We will be living here for 2 years for my husband’s job and we have settled in Columbia. We spent 2012 in Liverpool, UK and then returned home to Australia for 6 months before we came here. We hope to head home to Brisbane in two years with American accents (the kids will at least!) and a whole heap of wonderful memories.
How do you feel about moving to the USA?
My primary concern was guns and crime. With 50 shootings in Baltimore in our first three weeks here I don’t know what I was worried about (that is Australian sarcasm)!
What I was looking forward to was the openness and friendliness that Americans are renowned for. Don’t get me wrong, I met some lovely people in the UK, but it takes a long time to get to know people. It can take months of seeing people daily (and talking about the weather) before you even get their name.
I am also looking forward to experiencing four seasons. In Brisbane we have a hot summer and a warm winter – that’s about it.
In what way does it differ to a) the UK and b) Australia?
Having spent time in the three countries in the last two years, I feel that Australia fits somewhere in between the UK and America (not geographically of course). We share similarities with both. I believe we share the openness and directness with Americans and we share the sense of humour (and spelling) of the Brits.
What are your favorite areas/memories/traditions of living in the UK?
I previously lived in the UK in 1999/2000 and loved the pubs, shopping, TV (Sunday omnibuses), and proximity to Europe. Going back last year with two young kids in tow, it was difficult to experience these things the same way. I still enjoyed a pub lunch on a Sunday (Yorkshire pudding – yum!) and drives through the gorgeous countryside. The UK is just so beautiful and you can get half way across the country on a Sunday afternoon drive.
London is of course an amazing city with everything to offer. Liverpool is well worth a visit, especially if you are a Beatles fan (we lived a block from John Lennon’s childhood home and Strawberry Fields). My favourite part of the UK is northern Scotland where I lived in 2000. Stunning scenery, long summer days, and wonderful people.
What differences do you think really exist between American and Australian cultures?
It is too soon for me to really know yet. One thing I have heard others say (perhaps it is a myth) is that Australia is more outward-looking than America. Australians tend to be very keen to travel the world (maybe because we get longer holidays/vacations). Our news coverage in Australia is 50% local and 50% world news. I have not seen much world news here since I arrived but maybe I am watching the wrong channel??
The Brits and Aussies are pretty close in sense of humour and driving….! Do you feel that Australia and the UK have a closer, or different, bond than with America?
Yes I think Australia and the UK have a closer bond. We share the same Queen and many of us have British ancestry. It is easier for Australians to live and work in the UK. Many young Australians (including me), after graduating from university (college), spend 1 or 2 years on a working holiday in the UK and travelling Europe.
However, so many aspects of America seem familiar to me. I think this is because I grew up watching so many American movies and TV shows. Many of my friends have travelled to America in recent years love it here. They love the shopping, the passionate people, and the fact that everything is bigger and better.