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To Do Before Leaving for Aus, a list, by jo

I'm making a list of everything I should have done in the next four months. I'm trying to remember the things that would have made coming to Scotland easier, and extrapolating from there. Wish my passport wasn't at the home office - I could use it and get at least some of this done now.

If anyone has thoughts - whether you've moved internationally or not - I'd love to hear them. Please, share!

To Do Before Leaving for Aus, a list, by jo

1. Sort out Visa issues
2. Price out tickets for mid-January (looks like leaving after Jan 20 is best)
3. Find out about cell phones in Aus
4. Win Lottery
5. Buy the suitcase I'm covetting
6. Buy an iPod, it's a long flight
7. Get seed money gathered together
8. Cull through the books (ask self: how did I arrive in the country with four books in total and now have a packed bookshelf)
9. Ebay various items
10. Fix the table that I broke
11. Fix the wall that I also broke
12. Return the artwork I took off the walls. Be happy none of it is broken.
13. Put the beds back together.
14. Cull through clothes - strangely, won't need winter weight down there
15. Decide where in Aus to land before buying ticket
16. Suss out living arrangements (long term hostel? Flat share?)
17. Look for work
18. Collect reference
19. Bank account info
20. Get taxes sorted - do I owe anything? Should I get anything back?
21. Power stuff? Will I need adaptors?
22. Get a clearer idea of the weather in Aus, from something other than Weather Pixie.

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Comments

I'd think twice about tossing your wintery clothes. Of course, this depends on where in Australia you're moving to. I didn't bring enough wintery stuff here, and I really regret it - I've had to buy it all again.

I am much much colder living in Melbourne than I ever was living in Calgary and area. I have to wear sweaters and stuff inside all the time! I've really come to appreciate things like central heating, insulated houses, and double-triple paned windows!

Random thoughts on travel

Check your vaccinations are up to date, particularly if you are stopping off somewhere exotic. They recommend a standard set for travelling anywhere.

Mobile phones, much like here, you can just buy a sim card. There may be an issue if your phone is locked to a particular network.

In essence, all you need is money passport and ticket. The rest is window dressing. Think zen when packing. Everything you take, you have to carry around with you.

Make sure you have sunglassses, the light is different, there is more glare.

To open a bank account you need 100 points of ID. I think a passport gets you 60, a birth certificate would probably be 40, a credit card might be 20.

Remember this cryptic piece of advice when trying to use a british bank card in Australia: "Savings"

In my experience, most flats in South Australia at any rate, come unfurnished.

You will need an adaptor. The same sort of magic comes out of the plug, so you won't blow up British appliances by plugging them in. They use 240V, but a different plug.

They drive on the same side of the road as in Britain, like any good former colony should.

You will need to fill in a tax return in Australia. The tax year goes from June to June I think. It is a time of great rejoicing as people often get money back. You will pay high tax because you are foreign.

Buy a hat.

Buy sunscreen. Use sunscreen. Don't be lazy and forget. The sun is fierce.

Photocopy your important documents like tickets passport birth certificate travel insurance. Keep a copy yourself, and leave one with someone at home.

Australia is big.

Hmmmm. Thats all I can think of immediately. It's more on the practical side, I'll try and think of some more enlightening and uplifting things like where is good to visit and other stuff to get you excited about going.

3. Find out about cell phones in Aus - we have three systems, GSM, CDMA, and 3G - depends on your phone now.

4. Win Lottery - good luck


14. Cull through clothes - strangely, won't need winter weight down there - Err, yes you will! You might also want to visit the snow in winter (we have snow!)

15. Decide where in Aus to land before buying ticket - yep.

16. Suss out living arrangements (long term hostel? Flat share?) Up to you, but flat share depending on where you end up will be cheaper and more friendly than hostel.

17. Look for work - yep
18. Collect reference - yep

19. Bank account info - As Craig said.

21. Power stuff? Will I need adaptors? - Yes, the socket is has three pins, the left one slants to the right, the right one slants to the left and the centre one at the bottom is straight up and down.

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22. Get a clearer idea of the weather in Aus, from something other than Weather Pixie. - The weather depends on where you stay. To the South (Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney), the weather can range from a max of 40 celcius, min of 15 celcius in Summer to max of 10 celcius, min of -5 celcius in Winter.

Brisbane (more North than Sydney, and still on East coast) is sub-tropical and is generally warmer in winter and similar temps in summer than Sydney. Further North, is tropical Queensland which is more humid and warmer in Winter.

Hope that helps - drop me a line if you more specific questions. Cheers.

Sorry about the crap diagram, the bottom pin is supposed to be in the centre between the two slanty pins - Cheers.

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