Country of origin- UK
Country of current residence- Australia
Andrew Grade is a British expatriate who is currently living and working in Australia He was born and raised in the UK, but has since worked in other countries.
How many different countries have you lived in?
Dubai is the second place I moved to after living in the UK. The first time I left I spent two years working in Singapore, before taking the job I now work in Australia.
What appeals to you about the expat lifestyle?
I originally started to look for work overseas because I grew tired of the day-to-day amblings of British life- the bad weather- tube journey- cigarette break- office meeting- tube journey- bad weather, cycle. Even my weekends became boring, I seemed to be doing the same things over and over again. So, eventually I decided that a fresh start was what I needed so I searched for work overseas.
Has your time overseas been rewarding?
Yes, very much so. I always wanted to travel, but I had spent the bulk of my life in the UK. I opted to go to university straight after school and began working directly after graduating. While this gave me a good start for my career I sometimes felt that I missed out on some of the experiences some of my friends had, such as travelling the world. This was something that always bugged me as I felt I had missed out on potentially life-changing experiences. Becoming an expatriate allowed me to exorcise these demons, so to speak, and since moving abroad I’ve never looked back.
What aspects of expat life have you enjoyed the most?
Simply living in a new country and becoming fully immersed in its unique culture is the aspect of expat life I find the most rewarding. I always loved the idea of discovering new ways of life and becoming an expat has allowed me to do this first-hand.
I’ve really enjoyed the little perks, finding a great café or a hidden part of town I didn’t even know existed. I’ve also completely fallen in love with the Australian way of life- things are so much more relaxed here than in the UK.
What aspects of expat life have you found the most challenging?
The biggest challenge of living in Australia is the sheer distance that separates me from my family and friends. It’s one thing being a little far away but literally being on the other side of the planet can be a bit of a downer sometimes. Luckily the various new ways of communication that have sprung up in recent years- Skype, Facebook etc etc- have really lessened that awful feeling of disconnection. Of course when I first arrived here meeting new people was a bit of a problem, but luckily I’m quite a social person and Australia is a very social place so in no time I had made a few drinking buddies.
Did you do any financial planning when you moved abroad?
Admittedly, when I first moved abroad I didn’t really do much financial planning and I must say this is one of my big regrets. When I first got here I just left all my money in my old UK account and eventually transferred it over. If I had looked into sorting things out before hand I would have saved a load of time and would have escaped doing lots of boring admin when I should have been exploring my new home.
Do you have any advice for new expats?
I recommend that new expats cast way their inhibitions and get to know their new home as soon as they arrive.