Hi Kelli we haven't met but I'm an ex Melburnian and I'm about to move my daughter down there (I live in the sub tropics now) to take up an offer at one of the Melb Uni's.
I have couple of nieces who have married and moved down there as well and they're in there early thirties with young kids and they love the place but they are also born an bred here in Oz so wont face the difficulties that you will inevitably have to face, these include the lack of a family circle, the different shopping, the very very different weather,.
You truly can have four seasons in one day in Melbourne but you wont get the rain that Sydney gets for instance and it will get very very hot in summer and that will take some getting used too.
Melb was recently voted the second or third best city in the world for quality of life and my nieces would agree and so too some of my friends who still live down there.
Public transport in Melb is great, they still have Trams and the network is extensive and affordable and if you can work it so that you don't live too far from one of the arterial feeders into Melb then you'll be on a winner there as far as getting about if you dont wish to tackle the traffic.
Cost of living from what I can work out from watching shows like relocation relocation is more expensive than Britain and housing can be dearer but many ex pats just love the joint.
The kids being kids should fit in pretty well once settled in at school but you the parents maybe not...best advice is to try and make friends as quickly as possible and/or try and meet up with some fellow ex pats who have been here for awhile they can be very helpful in those first few months.
Don't mention the cricket too often,grin and bear the Pom jokes be prepared to learn about Aussie Rules Football and that when we mention football we're not talking about soccer. There is no more tribal city in Australia than Melbourne when it comes to football, you will not escape it during the winter months.
It's a very cosmopolitan place and a multicultural one, huge Greek population and Italian and Vietnamese and former Yugoslavians, Chinese, Lebanese Muslims and Lebanese Christians and many many more.
Queen Victoria Markets are the place to do your shopping on a Saturday (or most days for that matter) the City is a shopping Mecca and you have the beautiful Port Philip Bay stretching out from Melb for many many kilometres east and west and your kids will love it.
Do try and grab some of the relocation shows and the Downunder shows as they do encapsulate your future experiences exactly.
You should find us pretty friendly, unpretentious and in quite a few cases, completely oblivious to whats happening in the outside world. We haven't suffered economically like the rest of the world and by the looks of it we wont any time in the near future such is our economic power at the moment.
And no I don't work for Tourism Australia.
If you ever need any help or advice then drop me a line and I'll do what I can do
Thanks very much! Lots of useful stuff there.
I think, though, that J is going to conclude he doesn't want to go.
Getting the spreadsheets out, it looks as though we will have a significat drop in income, a significant rise in costs, and he isn't convinced his working day would be much shorter so for him not much of an improvement in lifestyle to make up for the downgrade.
Am slightly tearing my hair out.
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