The part of London that I grew up in was expensive, not great to raise kids in, and of course the weather was terrible. There was also a rise in knife crime and gangs. We had a 5 year old son, and wanted him to have a better life.
We decided on Adelaide, because we didn’t want to move from one big city to another, or to be a slave to a mortgage, but we also wanted to go somewhere that was big enough for employment opportunities. In the end, the deciding factor was that my wife had some distant cousins here. So we arrived really early on a Sunday morning, and these cousins that we’d never met before met us off the plane. It was the start of a pretty big adventure. By Tuesday, we had a rental house. Then, four months into living there, we’d found a plot of land and someone was willing to give us a mortgage. And after 13 months, we moved out to Adelaide’s Northern suburbs and haven’t looked back since.
I couldn’t be prouder of my sons. The eldest has just finished an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner, making submarine parts. And my youngest lad, born here, brought up here, embraces Australia, but is still very British. He’s now 16, soccer mad, and in the great tradition of supporting who your father supports, he’s a mad Chelsea fan.
Unless you’ve lived somewhere like England where it’s grey and cold, you can’t understand the difference it makes to your psyche to wake up and the sun is shining and then to get home from work and the sun might still be shining. In summer, I can walk around in thongs, shorts and a t-shirt, and I can go into a pub in thongs, shorts and a t-shirt, and talk to a doctor on one side and a plumber on the other side. That egalitarianism is fantastic.
If someone asked me what my greatest achievement was, it would probably be making the break and coming here. Don’t get me wrong, family is important. I always loved visiting my grandparents every weekend, and my boys didn’t have that. But it was worth uprooting everything and arriving in Adelaide with nothing and no-one. Now, we’re never short of something to do, we’re an active part of a soccer club, and we’ve got a great rich circle of friends – a lot of the people we know are immigrants themselves.
And if someone says to me, where’s home, it’s Adelaide.
#migrants #Australia #UK #Australianstories #Unitedkingdom #Adelaide
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Russell what a wonderful story. We must’ve crossed paths at the airport, I arrived as a shivering scared 20 yr old in 1999 too! You know what I think is so fantastic about stories like ours… it’s that we now have two places to call home. Home will always be home but I’ve now learnt it is possible to make your adopted country HOME too. Like we have done. Aren’t we gloriously lucky to live here! Go Liverpool (sorry, that’s who my kids support ????).
Russell, my Dad emigrated from Scotland to NZ in the 1950s so your story really resonated for me – wonderful family on the other side of the worls, soccer, even your son as a fitter and turner (my Dad’s profession). Thank you for sharing.
Russell – just wanted to give a big shout out to Adelaide, who were very welcoming of the massive hoard of us WSW fans that descended on you the other weekend. What a gorgeous place!
PS – if you haven’t been to the Adelaide Chinese restaurant Wah-hing, get yourself there. Best Chinese I’ve ever eaten!
The smile on your face says it all…..brave enough to take the risk for an unknown future. Good luck with the next chapter…..hope you get to explore this amazing country of Sunshine.
Yep, Australia is the good land
Your happiness and enthusiasm for life just oozes out of your story, thank you for sharing ????
It’s awesome to hear how happy you are here Russell! I’m so glad both my sets of Dutch grandparents came here too! I’ve travelled a lot and we wouldn’t live anywhere else either! Welcome, and I’m glad your family have a good life 🙂
“Unless you’ve lived somewhere like England where it’s grey and cold, you can’t understand the difference it make s to your psyche to wake up and the sun is shining and then to get home from work and the sun might still be shining. In summer, I can walk around in thongs, shorts and a t-shirt.”
I have been to Europe and I know what you mean. ???? the blue sky ????Sydney.
Sometimes we are so focussed on non English speaking migrants that we forget the native speaking ones. Welcome to Australia. I always love hearing the British accent around me at work. I’m abit of a British accent fan and I like many things British like the comedy, the sarcasm, the dry humour and the British Princes who are extraordinary boys. ???? My Brit mates say I’m more British than them.
It’s great you made the decision to come to Australia but Chelsea, Russell?
Come on mate, you’re better than that. ????
Having lived in the UK in my early twenties, I know exactly what you mean about the cold, grey weather killing your psyche. When I returned home, I was amazed at how big our sky actually was. I’d never paid any attention to it prior. Now I am thankful each and every day that I was lucky enough to have won the geography lottery, being born here in Australia. So many others were not so lucky. I love these stories so much as they make me so thankful for what we have here, and for the many migrants who have come to our country, enriching our culture, creating opportunities for themselves and bringing so much. As you say Russell, egalitarianism at its finest!
Hi Russell. I’m from Manchester. Been living here since 1993 but also in the northern suburbs. I love this country so much and yes, living somewhere else gives you a different view of life. You appreciate what you have so much.
Welcome Russell, my Mother was English (a Yorkshire girl) and was a war bride to Australia. Like you she loved Australia and never called England home once she settled here. Best wishes to you and your family, we need more people like you irrespective of where they come from.
Beautiful and great to hear your success story. Lovely attitude n gratitude
Love it, we have a similar story, we now call Adelaide home. My 3 boys have such an amazing life here with fantastic opportunities that they wouldn’t have had if we had stayed in England….and yep…the weather…say no more!! ????
Well said Russ hope you and Jo are well can’t believe yr boyz are so grown up wow where have the years gone take care Jan x
“Unless you’ve lived somewhere like England where it’s grey and cold, you can’t understand the difference it makes to your psyche to wake up and the sun is shining and then to get home from work and the sun might still be shining.”
I can really identify with that. I remember the first time I visited Australia (six years before we moved here), the first thing I said was “Look at all the different shades of green!”. Everything seems brighter and more colourful here. Don’t get me wrong, I will always love Wales, and it’ll always be a part of me and will always be home, but Australia’s just so bright & hopeful, that it’s also home to me now.
Ditto Russell we did the same thing in 1969, never looked back , Lifes what you make it wherever you are , But never forget where you came from , that’s our motto.
The last of my ancestors to come to Australia arrived in 1878. I share that feeling you have as I am so glad they did!
A wonderful summary of some of the many reasons we’re so lucky to call Australia home 🙂
My husband just said today he couldn’t gi back to living without the sun, it makes a huge difference. We love Australia. Formerly from Birmingham now living in sunny Brisbane with our three children.
We are glad you guys made the move too! We met two of the most caring, wonderful people that became our best friends xx
Well said Russ! Adelaide is a better place with the ‘Millers’ here ????????
I’m stunned and amazed how many people have read, like’d and commented on our story. Thank you for all your very kind wishes.
I migrated to the UK 12 years ago from Australia. I was 21 when I left and I LOVE my life in London.
I now have a family, a house and 2 dogs and will never make the move back to Australia.
Yes the UK can be bleak at times, the winters are cold! The summer is amazing time though. It makes me feel so happy.
I think it is all about personal choice. For me my home in the UK, apart from the weather I think this is a better place to raise your children. In regards to our health system compared to Australia its second to none.