X-Pat Files – The Millers- Saltburn to Perth

Natalie, a mum of 2 boys (aged 10 & 6), originally from the North of England moved to Perth in 2015. They are truly living the “Aussie Dream”… This is an example of how to live the “Expat Life” to the max”

Our Australian dream began in 2004. My whole family had travelled to and fallen in love with Perth after each of them visited my Aunt. At first I was against emigrating, but once I’d finished my adult nursing diploma, Dave and I visited and fell in love with the place. We quickly applied for our working visa and AHPRA.

Even once we were married and had children, our Aussie dream never left us. Every few months we’d hold an ‘Aus meeting’ in my kitchen in the U.K with my sister and brother in law to discuss pros and cons. We were often persuaded to stay.

In 2010 whilst pregnant with Seth, my brother died. It shook the family to the core and from then any mention of Australia was quickly pushed aside. Over the years I had gained other nursing qualifications and in 2012 I joined the Health Visiting team and went on to do my HV degree. Throughout my training I kept saying to Dave ‘once this is done we are going for it’.

Time was passing, and I was aware we were getting older and soon our Perth dreams would not even be an option due to age. I started researching jobs and sending my CV out. My Aunt in Perth took my CV to the local child health clinics and soon I was offered a job. I reactivated my AHPRA and booked my IELTS.

I sat my IELTS in Feb 2014 and lodged our 189 visa. We said this time we were getting PR for the boys security. We joined various ‘poms’ pages and started to make connections. Every waking minute I thought or talked about the move, it became an obsession. The only fear I had was that it was not going to happen. We moved into my parents to save.

All the paperwork was ready in August 2014. We lodged the visa on the 15th August, medicals 23rd August and the visa was granted 18th November 2014.

The morning we got the emails I actually thought I was going to explode. I put a ‘We Are Moving’ post on Facebook and everyone was in disbelief. I was desperate to get to Perth and I booked our flights 5 days before we were granted as a cheap flight came up. The move cube was booked for new year’s eve.

The goodbyes were emotionally draining; I couldn’t cry as I was so excited to leave, however the guilt was soul destroying.  I used to think we weren’t brave,  but on reflection we really were. You can’t be brave without fear, and the emigration process holds lots of fears. The kids took it in their stride and for this I’m grateful. Our family threw us a surprise leaving party which was one of the best nights of my life.

‘I kept telling myself that night that by saying our goodbyes we were opening up the opportunity for many hellos.’

We left the snowy North East of England for a 40 degree Perth summer.  I started work 5 days after landing which was hard, but we had no choice. Our family here gave us an awesome welcome and I feel so grateful to have my Aunt, Uncle and cousins here.

We’re building in the North of Perth at the moment but love it down South too so will be saving for a holiday home! Haha!

‘Explore all areas, and keep an open mind. The same applies to job hunting too’

My sister, and her family arrived in July 2015 followed by my Mum and Dad 2 weeks later. Having the whole family together is amazing, especially for the boys. My sister is building her home next door but 1, and Mum and Dad bought their home after being here a couple of weeks.

When we first moved I struggled with anxiety as I felt I lost my identity. The time difference was hard for speaking to people at home, but over time you make new connections and social networks.

‘Try not to force new friendships, let it happen naturally’

Nearly 3 years in and life is a dream come true. We have had our fair share of drama, but we work hard and play even harder. We travel a lot and cross off everywhere we go on a map; petrol is cheap and if you’re willing to get out there then Perth is an explorer’s paradise with the most amazing beaches and sunsets you will find.  We love our patch of paradise.

‘Our only regret is not making the move to Australia sooner, don’t wish it, do it’.

We miss our friends and family but have no plans to go back on holiday as there’s too much to do over here. Our next trips will be in Australia, NZ, and Asia. We love road trips and getting out and about, and we’re in the perfect place to make the most of that!

I hope this blog helps some of you who may be new to ‘expat life’, or about to make the decision to move away from home!!  We had so much help from blogs, I can’t believe I’ve written one myself!!

Millers 3

Thank you so much Natalie.. What a great story of encouragement for all those looking to make the big move!  Olivia xxx


If you think you have a great “Expat” story to tell, contact me olivia@thewilsonsofoz.com and you may see yourself on here too!!!

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