New to Australia, different expectations
Hello, this is my first time using this kind of forums, never used them before. I am currently feeling quite out of place, lonely and lost in Australia. I moved here to be close to my husband, we met in Canada and at that time I had already a established life in there, friends and work. I moved here with the expectations that living in here was going to be similar to my experience in Canada. It has almost been a year and I haven't been able to make close friendships. My husband works in the medical field, I am most of the time lonely at home. I initially started working in customer service at a luxury store and unfortunately developed a lot of anxiety and depression. I faced quite a lot of discrimination at work and was generally excluded from the team, I was the only foreigner. I am currently at a different job which is from home, it does not enable me to build relationships with other people in person but it has been better than my previous job. Since it is customer service sometimes I get discouraged by uncomfortable comments about my accent, however, I am trying my best to not take it personally. My husband has been really supportive since I arrived in here and even got me a dog to not feel as lonely. I have been trying my best to join volunteering groups and extracurricular activities, however, I kind of have developed anxiety to be in social groups, I have started to feel scared to interact with others due to my past experiences. I have had some sessions of counselling which were helpful. I have not really have much contact with my family and friends due to the time difference, I miss them so much at times that at nights I just want to cry. Right now, I just feel that my motivation to stay in here is my husband and my dog. Everyday I am feeling lost and recently I have thought about leaving Australia for several months to be with my family. I will sincerely appreciate any recommendations. Thank you so much for reading.
Dear Luce, welcome to the forums and a belated welcome to Australia also, which I can see has been not a nice experience for you. For this I'm sorry!
Just a bit of back story, my Fiance is American and living in Washington State atm. I've been concerned about him moving here for many reasons.
Are there any Canadian Ex Pat living in Australia groups on Facebook?
I thought you may get some Home Country support via this area if it's possible.
Has your Husband suggested you both go out for dinner with his friends and their partners?
If not then you could suggest this to him.
If you know what you LOVE to do, then it makes things easier to go to activities with these as the focus.
EG I love organic gardening and there are ALWAYS lots of Community Gardens with workshops and group working bees to connect with like minded people.
Yoga and Womens' Circles are GREAT but they're my kind of people too!
What are you into or would like to learn more about?
If you do return home, it could help you decided whether you want to return for good. So it's not a bad thing IMO, just depends on how you see things I guess.
How are you doing today?
It's a little late, but welcome to Australia! I am sorry to hear you are feeling really lonely and lost. I understand you are also feeling quite isolated from your family and friends, and it really sounds like you could do with a bit more social support.
It really sucks that you faced a lot of discrimination in the customer service role and had to leave. I understand you are now working from home which is probably quite isolating too - do you think you would prefer a different job where you can interact with people who were not discriminatory? Maybe not right now, how would that sound as an option for the future?
EM had some nice suggestions about trying to meet people. I think that would also be my normal suggestion to, and would love to hear how you feel about them.
Otherwise, I also thought I might suggest organising a regular call with your friends and family back at home. The time zones are tough and I know some expats don't want to concern their loved ones back at home, but you could even just do some quick 10 min chats every week or two. Something fun and easy, like a joint weekend quiz would be a nice way to just stay in touch.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, welcome to the forums and a warm welcome to the country.
I'm so sorry to hear about how you're feeling - the loneliness is isolating in itself, let alone when it's compounded with discrimination and feelings of homesickness. Please know that if you're seeking some professional advice, you can have a chat with your GP, therapist, or psychologist about how you're feeling. I know you've mentioned that you have seen a counsellor before, and that's good to hear. It can be nice to chat with a third party about these kinds of experiences. Not only can it help us cope with difficult feelings, but it can also be therapeutic to express what's been troubling us.
In a social sense, your struggle with making close friends over the past year speaks to me. The pandemic may be partially responsible for this, as I've noticed that a lot of people have been saying that they're having difficulties in social settings recently. You've mentioned that you've joined a few volunteering groups and extracurricular activities, are there any others that you'd feel comfortable trying? Keeping in mind Internet safety precautions, if you're comfortable looking around online, there are groups on platforms such as Facebook that can offer great social support, without the real-life obligations of physical friendships.
Is there some way that you can arrange a time with your family to have a Facetime or Skype call, when you would both be free? Perhaps you could try and see if there's one specific time during the day that works well for everyone. Also, have you had a chat to your partner about how you're feeling? He may also have some valuable insights or suggestions as he knows you and your situation well.
I hope this is helpful, and I wish you the very best. Ultimately, it is up to you whether or not you end up moving back, but there's certainly no harm in trying ways to live comfortably here first. Either way, your happiness and comfort is important.
Take care, SB
Hi Luce, I ended up in this forum looking for support as my situation is quite similar. I moved here with my partner, we met in Europe. I've been living in Australia for almost two years and just find it very difficult to fit in. I have done volunteering, sports groups, Facebook forums, you name it, but I just find it quite difficult to connect to people and miss my crowd very much. I know it doesn't help but just wanted to leave a message to say - you are not alone in these feelings. I guess we just need to keep on fighting to find our place and group here.
I do have to say that changing jobs from an online one to an office job helped, as at least there I meet some nice people to interact with daily, so maybe worth looking into a not WFH job...?
Also, I did go home for 6 weeks in the winter, and that left me very energized to come back and tackle the difficulties. Currently, I am considering organizing everything so that I can go twice a year. At least that fix keeps me feeling more connected, as the time zones don't work at all.
Feel free to share more about your situation!
Thanks for your post! It's fantastic you were able to recognise you needed support and could try to connect with people here. It's also really heartening to hear you realised changing jobs to an office job would help - it's not something I would've thought about, but makes a lot of sense that the job change would help connect with people.
Really fantastic to hear your experiences, as I've heard similar things from my housemate who moved here when she was in her early 20's and knew nobody here. I'm glad you've found some things that have really helped the isolation from your crowd. Hopefully over time, you can build out some more connections here and feel connected to both locations.