Over the past five years, The Australian Community has connected over 5,000 Australians living in New York. We reached out to members who have returned home, and asked them to share their perspective on living in NYC and the transition back to Australia.
The flood of emails that have poured in have been enough to write a small novel, so the decision was made to create a series of articles. Here is the first:
What is it like transitioning back to Oz?
“I’ve been back in Australia for almost 2 years now, but I can honestly say a Manhattan shaped hole remains in my heart! I miss life in New York City often and will hear myself sigh without realizing when its sprawling skyline lands on my telly.
Returning to Oz was not without its ups and downs, culturally we’re different. An impromptu Monday night cocktail with friends is not normal, but then leaving the office at 5pm is. For me, it was a matter of finding balance back home and trying to not draw comparison between the two cities too often.”
Customer Experience Engagement Manager
“When I first moved back to Melbourne I felt like everything around me was moving at snail’s pace. I’m sure a number of my friends and family wanted to slap me as I started yet another sentence with “in New York [insert any of the following: taxis, museums, nightlife, restaurants] are/is so much better”. But with time I have realized that, when you are always running at a fast pace, you can fail to notice the smaller, simpler things in life which are pretty amazing.
They tell you that reentry to your native culture will be hard but I think you always tell yourself that you haven’t changed that much. I soon found out that 6 years away had definitely changed me, hopefully for the better, and now I just want to hold onto those differences and never fully assimilate. I feel like, to do so, would somehow erase all those fabulous life experiences.”
Equity analyst and trader
“For those worried about making the transition back home, I am pleased to report that it went much better than expected for us. I think a strong case of expectations management helped, but the ability to see family and old friends regularly, combined with the great Australian climate and lifestyle make it a pretty hard place to beat. That said, make sure you don’t leave NY before you are ready!”
“Moving from Manhattan back to Perth was definitely challenging. People in NYC are at the top of their game and always keen to keep learning from one another. In New York you quickly develop intense and meaningful friendships. You surround yourself with friends who, generally, are without family too. They become your family and you theirs. To experience living in NYC is an incredible privilege. If it is your dream then roll the dice – the rewards and friendships will be with you for a lifetime.”
“I fulfilled my dream of living in New York. I had an amazing time, made some awesome lifelong friends and then left to come back home; the reason is probably best summed up by the quote “Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard”. New York is a chaotic city that never stops, people work hard and play hard. I love New York as a holiday destination, but I as far as somewhere to call home… I’ll taking sunny and sandy Sydney any day!”
“I returned to Sydney in October 2013. Everyday I’d wake up and kick myself about our decision to return to Australia; not even the Bondi to Bronte at 6:00 am would distract us.
My wife and I dreamt of the day we would return, and now we are back in NYC!
So I find myself typing this email in the West Village with my family by my side. We love this city, once you get a taste you find it hard to compare it to anywhere; the energy, the talent, the entertainment, 7 days a week NYC has everything all on your doorstep. I start work in a few weeks and can’t wait.”
Read Part 2 in the Series:
Read Part 3 in the Series: