2.5 Years In The UK

“Those who do not travel, read only a page.”

Life in the UK after 2.5yrs! Things we’ve learned.

We’ve all heard the saying “times flies when you’re having fun”, right? It’s hard to believe that we have already been living in the UK for this long. It only feels like yesterday that we packed up our lives down under and stepped foot on UK soil. 

I can still feel the excitement of that day. It was definitely filled with so much emotion too. After years of planning and hard work, we were finally leaving our Aussie lives behind, to start afresh on the other side of the globe. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing, with many challenges faced, but we have experienced and learnt so much.

The UK way of life is pretty easy to adapt too and you pick up the local lingo fairly quick too. Things like ‘Hiya’, ‘you ok’, ‘brill’ and ‘you what’ are definitely some of their favourite sayings I’m sure.

Some things we’ve really had to get used to are the smaller houses and lack of backyards. It’s nothing like Australia, but hey, when you move to another country, you have to be prepared for some compromises. While bigger houses and backyards do exist, you’ll be paying a mint to live like this! If you can’t afford to live on your own, there are many options for house sharing. This is especially great for places like London, or anywhere south, where house/rental prices are always a lot more.

The UK is all about taxes too; whether this be car tax or council tax, you will be paying some sort of taxes. It’s not just about tax on your payslip.

Let’s not forget about those long, cold winters too. I admit they can be pretty brutal, but at the same time, if you get snow, like we did during our first year, it can be really beautiful too. Just remember there are plenty of warmer destinations only a short flight away and that’s the beauty of living in the UK.


smaller housing

Be prepared to live in smaller houses (especially if you’re coming from Australia).



It feels like there are so many different taxes here, so be prepared. It’s not just tax on your payslip.


long winters

The winter days are very short, and winter lasts a long time. Be prepared to rug up.

Plan where you’ll be living. Choose your location wisely.

We were fortunate enough to have known someone who was previously from Manchester, so it was great to get a heads up on some of the better areas and those to avoid. It really helped us narrow down where we wanted to live.

We chose Manchester/North West as we knew that it would be cheaper and more feasible for us to live comfortably, especially starting out in a new country.

I recommend doing your research before leaving for the UK. I understand many go to London as it is bigger, greater opportunities for work and of course a popular destination, especially if you’re young and dipping your toes into living and working abroad. If you can, arrange to view properties before you arrive, to avoid extra hotel costs. Websites such as Rightmove or Zoopla are popular for finding your home abroad.

If you have ever lived abroad or currently do, tell us where as we’d love to know.