In just less than 8 weeks, I’ll be packing my bags and emigrating once again. I always get really excited before moving abroad and heading into the unknown. I’ve now lived in a few places since leaving my hometown in London. First came Prague (Czech Republic), and then Port Douglas (Australia), followed by Pattaya (Thailand) and then back to Oz for round two. Being no migration virgin has made moving abroad as easy as visiting the dentist, but this time will be a bit different as I’ll me moving without the Sailor.
I secured a job in January and decided to get a head start in Kuala Lumpur as I’m not currently teaching in Melbourne. The Sailor is still contracted until July, so will be joining me at the end of the school year after 11 weeks by myself.
Whilst I can’t wait and know it will be a great personal growth experience, I’m also a little nervous! I’ve always moved abroad with my soulmate and have had him to share those first experiences with.
But, it won’t be for long and luckily I appear to be in good hands. The school I’ll be working for has been really helpful and efficient so far, from organising flights and hotels, to offering accommodation support. I have a good feeling about what’s to come.
But aside from the thrills to be heading off again, the move is a little bitter sweet. I think I’ll really miss Melbourne!
I chose to move to Melbs as a refreshing change from Pattaya (Thailand’s sex-capital..don’t ask! Or read my article here.) We have a long-term resident visa for Australia and wanted to check out another part of the country to see if we could settle there long-term. Plus friends recommended it highly and it’s reigned as being ‘the most liveable city in the world’ by Mercer for 7 years running. So I knew it had a lot to offer.
What Has Melbourne Been Like?
For those of you not yet blessed with visiting Melbourne, it has been one of the coolest cities I’ve lived. It’s such an easy and fun place to call home, and, dare I say, a hugely better version of London (if you can imagine fellow Londoners.)
For some context, it’s a medium sized city that is progressive, modern and well-balanced. Not only is it branded as the food, culture and park capital of Australia. But the people are completely down-to-earth, it offers amazing suburbs to live and the men have put beards very much on the map again.
I’ve written a whole article on why I think it’s so great, whilst comparing it to Sydney.
No doubt, anywhere after here will be a hard act to follow.
So why did I move if it was so perfect?
To be truthful, it was down to a few factors.
Firstly, I found it hard to save in Melbourne. Like many “western” cities, your money doesn’t quite go as far. Granted, we could afford to live in one of Melbourne’s nicest suburbs and were relatively comfortable. But even on two decent salaries, it was hard to save and – factor 2- travel!
There’s heaps of travel opportunities in Victoria and neighbouring states, but Melbournians are extremely brilliant and booking everything in advance, meaning there’s only a few (expensive) hotel crumbs left. Also, travelling internationally from there takes ages and can be quite pricey; gone were the ‘cheap as chips’ 1-hour Air Asia flight to beautiful tropical islands or quick Easyjet city breaks. #FirstWorldProblems
And lastly, we missed South-East Asia.
For those of you that have been to SEA, I trust that you know what I mean. For those that haven’t, it becomes quite addictive. Apart from being totally different to where I come from, I find it completely endearing, colourful, beautiful and interesting, in equal quantities.
Why Did I Choose Kuala Lumpur?
Not that I base all of my decisions on Mercer, but Kuala Lumpur is the second most liveable city in South-East Asia according to them.
I also have teacher friends who moved to the city and were having a great time. Plus, to top it off there are heaps of international schools to choose from. For those teachers reading this, there used to be restrictions on the number of Malaysian students who could attend international schools, with a cap on 40%. But since the cap was lifted in 2010, there has been a boom from 66 schools, to 126.
At certain stages in your life you require different things. For my next phase, it’s about investing in the future. Something that has always been so difficult in England and Australia with the high costs of living.
I’m also keen for a better work-life-balance with the uptake teacher holidays again. Working as a temp here in Melbourne has been a pleasant change, but it doesn’t pay during vacations. (What is a Travel Mermaid meant to do?!)
I’ll be spending my next few weeks making the most of Melbourne and I know I will miss it when I go. I also have a super cool trip planned the week before I leave along the Great Ocean Road, where I’ll get to see some infamous surfer towns and sleep under koalas. It will be a nice finale to my time here.
Thank you Melbourne for having me, you’ve been a fantastic host.