Life as A Canadian Expat Down Under

Living abroad & traveling was never a new concept for me.

I have lived in the UK & I've traveled around Europe, Asia, Africa & other various parts of North America before I had even had the thought of moving to Australia. While I have gone through the usual growth, learning & amazement that comes with living in a country other than your own, that’s not really what I want to talk about here.

We will save that for another article.

I want to talk about the people that I have met here. I want to share how I was treated not only as a backpacker, but also as a Canadian.

What it is Like as a Canadian Living Down Under

Living in Australia

I’ve never met anyone who has disliked Canadians.

Everywhere in the world that I have been, everyone always tells me about how much they love Canadians because they’re so polite. When I tell people I’m Canadian, I always get the typical “oh yeah eh buddy? Do you eat poutine as you ride your pet moose to hockey practice?”. Naturally I tell them this is all true, but I also give them a little more factual information on my great country.

By this point, my Aussie friends are exhausted about hearing that Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world & how I don’t understand how I have survived without my Tim Hortons double doubles.

As far as my impressions of Australians go, we’re pretty similar. Both being commonwealth countries that have a huge melting pot of cultures, the diversity & acceptance between Canada & Australia is interchangeable. As a Vancouverite, it feels very homely in Sydney surrounded by many different nationalities & customs. Also the great variety of food. I will have dreams of the dumplings here, forever.

I have met many distinctive aussies since moving here about 10 months ago. I have lived in big cities & country towns with a population of 800 people. Everyone has accepted me with open arms. In the outback, I was immediately invited to all the small town community events. It was a little harder to feel that inclusivity in the cities, but I never once felt unwelcome anywhere.

Working in Australia

With all the incredible people I have met, there have a few unamazing people, as can be expected. The only time that I really found that was while working. Many employers abuse the disposability of backpackers. Sadly this is not an uncommon experience for backpackers. Due to the Australian Working Holiday Visa Laws. Backpackers are only allowed to work at one company for 6 months (unless your employer thinks you are better than amazing & will fill out all the paperwork & pay to extend your position).

Thankfully, this isn’t true for everyone. There are genuine employers out there, & I do know many people who have enjoyed their time working. However at times the negative definitely outweighs the positive in my experience.

What I Will Take With Me Back To Canada

As a Canadian expat down under, Australia has welcomed me unconditionally. The generosity of most Aussies is comparable to that of Canada. While I believe there are still a lot of visa kinks that need to be worked out, the people here have been beyond amazing & that is one the main thing I will be telling Canadians about Australians.

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About The Author - Madison Rear

Madison Rear is a Canadian with a travel bug living in Sydney.

When she's not busy creating or trying to save the world, she spends her time on the beach avoiding Canadian winter.