Advice for Future Expats

We all have situations we look back on and, with the benefit of hindsight, think to ourselves, “I wish I’d done that differently” or “If only I knew then what I know now.”

Aubrey over at Keys Down Under has a thoughtful entry on ten things she wishes she’d known or done before moving to Australia.

1. I’m glad we didn’t do a sea shipment and bring over all of our furniture and household items. There was really no point (at least in our case). I do wish I had gone to IKEA right at the beginning to get decent (yet affordable) items right off the bat all in one place. Instead, I tried to be too thrifty by scouring Gumtree for deals and ended up repurchasing better items later anyway. I am glad we brought our instruments and that Zack brought his mountain bike, because those are important parts of our lives. But he still hasn’t used his golf clubs!

2. I think I wish we had purchased a vehicle (one that would accommodate bikes and/or surfboards) at the start of our stint. We’ve built our lifestyle around not having a car now, and it’s fine, but it does limit our mobility on some weekends and makes us depend on friends too much sometimes.

3. You always hear that clothes, shoes, and linens are ridiculously expensive over here. With shoes, I would agree. I would definitely bring shoes over from the US (especially athletic ones). You can find decent deals on clothes if you go to the right places at the right times, but overall, it was good to bring boxes of our own over with us. I wish I had known earlier about stores like Spotlight and Big W for linens and basic household goods; there was no need to bring towels, sheets, etc. Online shopping is a lifesaver sometimes too.

4. I think I wish we would have brought our dog over with us. I’ll always question this one. I know the cost would have been outrageous, and the flight and quarantine time would have been torturous, but overall, we often wish Molly was with us. It would have made finding a rental place more difficult, and I’m not sure what we would have done when we went on trips, but she would have loved Australia. I guess we have to trust the expats we talked to before our move who had brought their dogs and said they regretted it.

Read the whole entry at Keys Down Under.




  1. Your blog is full of so much helpful information! I really appreciate it. But your last sentence shocked me – people regretted bringing their dogs over? We’ll be moving there in the next few months and are bringing both of our dogs over. I can’t imagine how someone could regret it.

    • Cosette Paneque

      I didn’t say that; I quoted Aubrey. I don’t think they mean they regret having their beloved dogs, but rather the process of bringing them over. It’s expensive and stressful on the animal. I really wanted to bring my cat, but she was over 10 years old at the time. On top of the long flight, I couldn’t imagine putting her in quarantine for months. I left her in good hands with my mom, but I miss her very much. Thanks for visiting and for your comments.

      • At least you left your cat in good hands. It makes sense if the animal is older, although I just realized that quarantine used to be 30 days, but luckily it’s only 10 now. It’s the most expensive part of our move, and I hope it goes smoothly for both dogs.

        • Cosette Paneque

          Ten days is a huge improvement. It used to be a minimum of 30 days. It could be up to 90. I’m sure your dogs will be just fine!

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