All my mates are moving Down Under - why are we so obsessed with Australia?

15 January 2024, 08:22

All my mates are moving Down Under - why are we so obsessed with Australia? Writes Johnny Jenkins
All my mates are moving Down Under - why are we so obsessed with Australia? Writes Johnny Jenkins. Picture: Getty
Johnny Jenkins

By Johnny Jenkins

Every time I speak to one of my friends, they tell me they want to move to Australia. But no matter how hard I try, I struggle to understand its appeal.

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Getting on a plane to fly to the other side of the world fills me with fear. It’s too far away for me to even imagine.

I don’t know how I’d entertain myself during a whole day spent travelling in a metal box - let alone what I’d do when I got there.

Then I imagine walking barefoot on the beach, toes sinking in warm sand and a constant tan. Okay, now I’m starting to see why everyone’s so interested.

It’s not just the natural surroundings, there’s an economic appeal of living in Oz. Salaries in some parts of Australia are thought to be 50 per cent higher than here in the UK.

We all know that the Aussies have their eyes on our junior doctors, who have been in a pay dispute with the British government for the past year.

It’s no wonder that my junior doctor mate says he’ll emigrate next year. He could be paid a six-figure salary in private hospitals there, significantly higher than he earns here.

Another friend of mine moved down under six months ago. She’s settled in and has found a solid group of friends. I’m jealous as I watch her social media posts detailing her early morning jogs in the blistering sun.

There’s a more relaxed pace of life and outdoor exercise is encouraged. I could get used to running on Bondi Beach and an iced coffee - all before a day’s work.

But what happens if your grandmother has a stroke?

You’re 10,000 miles away from your friends and family. When you’re awake, they’re asleep. I just couldn’t think of anything worse.

I want to be in touch with my loved ones and speak to them whenever I want. That’s just not conducive to a life in Australia.

Unfortunately, most youngsters are a bit braver than me.

Our government should be concerned about the rise in Brits emigrating and all the talent that’s being drained from the UK.

That’s why we need a better offering for young people at home, to prevent this mass movement of twenty-somethings from Britain to Oz.

We need to improve the quality of life at home. Whether that be paying our doctors properly or changing the pace of life here.

Perth offers double the sunlight than we have in London - we can’t change that.

What we can do is inject some hope and prosperity into our national discourse - and hopefully hold on to some more of our young talent.