The decision to move to Australia is a big one, and whether impulsive or meticulously planned, the early part is exciting. You move to a new country on other side of the world with its own rich and diverse culture, where the pace of life slows down to laid back relaxation and you get a cheerful ‘G’day mate’ from the locals. The lifestyle is outdoorsy and it goes without saying that the weather is better; I haven’t seen frost in 2 years now! Working here is great too. You have control over your day, virtually no paperwork, the money is better and stress is less.
There is an initial honeymoon period, but then the dilemma kicks in. Although life is easy, you feel like you are in a bubble. Totally separated from the rest of the world. So how long do you stay in this bubble of contentment? And where do you call home?
Option A, I could stay a whole lifetime! But that means being cut off from friends and family. That’s difficult for an only child like me. You also have to change your ideas of holidays. I used to love city breaks to Europe and winter skiing. Here, you can fly 5 hours and still be inside Australia. And apart from a handful of Australian cities, all holidays are long haul.
Ok then, so I’ll just move back to the UK. But that means leaving a lovely, easy way of life, to return to the NHS where the GPs are working crazy hours, with ever increasing demands for guaranteed reducing salaries. And when the pressure gets too much, the GMC tells you to man up and be resilient. Oh, and you have to dig your car out of the snow in the morning. No thanks!
So I’m on the fence. I want my nice job and easy lifestyle in the sun, and I want to be close to my lovely friends and family. I have to make a hard choice; that’s the Australian dilemma.
A sessional GP from the UK working in Melbourne.