Retiring in Australia: Why I’m Glad I Did

If you’d told me ten years ago, I never would have believed you: I live in Australia.

I made the move not long ago, and it was one of the wildest things I’ve ever done. And I’m well into my retirement years, too! I chose to make Australia my retirement home, and it’s one of the best decisions I ever made. While a continent change in your 60s isn’t for everyone, I wonder if a move to Australia could have the same benefits for you that it did for me.

Here’s why I retired to Australia and why I’m so glad I did.

First of all, there’s the thrill of the wide open spaces. I’ll never forget the first time I went driving out in the outback. It was dangerous (there’s no one there!), brimming with nature (I spotted an emu!), and not a risk I should have been taking! A few Outback excursions later, and I ended up calling towing in Springfield Lakes, Queensland (where my nearest friend lived) to come rescue me from the mess I’d gotten myself into. I don’t go driving quite so recklessly anymore, but I still head out, every now and again, to the wide-open emptiness of Australia to enjoy the beauty. My favorite thing about Australia is its untouched quality. I feel like I’m experiencing nature uncorrupted.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’ve also fallen for Australia’s food. Forget Oreos; Tim Tams are the new perfect cookie and every bit as addicting. Most of the food is British or American. I love a good serving of fish and chips at the beach, but I confess I prefer the Aussie spin on American burgers: there’s usually a pineapple slice on top. In my first few weeks in the country, I couldn’t stop visiting the grocery store and trying new biscuits, fruits, vegemite, and other oddities. Not to mention, I’ve never been to a restaurant I didn’t think was good.

I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the community I’ve found. Before coming, I had no idea that Australia is populated by 49% first- or second-generation migrants. I wasn’t an anomaly; I was normal! I fit right in with the other Australians, especially after I discovered the joys of retirement living in Sydney. I now have my yard cared for by a retirement village, thank you very much, and I enjoy the community of fellow retirees all around me.

The real reason I love my decision to move to Australia: new beginnings. In a season of life where I feared getting stuck, staying still, and having no more adventures, I got to turn my life upside down and have the greatest adventure yet. I’ve seen koalas, emus, plenty of kangaroos, taken selfies with the quokkas, and I’m enjoying the vast range of ecosystems Australia has to offer. I enjoy life in Sydney and adventures into Queensland and beyond. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? I’m learning new things every single day.

It’s amazing just how much changed the day I stepped off that plane and saw Australia for the first time, with its warm air, bright sun, and chatter of new accents. I’ve picked up the slang, learned the art of surviving a summer Christmas (lots and lots of sunscreen) and made quite a few changes to the way I interact with others. Australia really is a brand-new place, and while it’s English-speaking and has a mix of American and Uk culture, it really is a country all its own.

About: The article was submitted by a Guest Author

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