Dominique: Domi And Steve In Oz
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Australia, etc.
Bonjour! I am Dominique, a French woman from Châteaudun who moved to Adelaide, South Australia in October 2013 to start a new life with my American partner, now Permanent Resident of Australia.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
First, my travel blog aimed to keep in touch with my parents and friends who do not use social media networks. Then, it started to become a passion as I was improving my English (bilingual blog in English and French), and it was a way for me to work on my critical mind as a journalist and reporter. Plus, it is also a good means to talk about what I like the most (culture exchanges, culture shock, different ways of thinking, living and food).
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
I just posted an article about the 10 things to do in Adelaide to stay warm in the winter. It is a good entry as it talks about different activities to do along with the season.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Australia differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
Life is completely different in Australia in the sense that people are more laid back, friendly and customer service is way better than in France. I am getting used to this new life and I am enjoying it. I experienced culture shock when I realized that Australians are really polite and smiling, but they hate conflicts and they’d rather say “no worries” than fight against you or give you bad comments.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Australia? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
The only thing I would change is my date of departure. I arrived in Australia after a 6-month internship in the US, so I was money-less. I should have worked more in France to save up more money before coming to Australia. Also, I should have found a better paid job to be able to settle down properly.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
On my way to work riding bike, I crashed into another rider and we both fell over in slow motion. My partner who was accompanying me was speechless and then laughing. It was quite a unique way to meet a local!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Australia?
Do not listen to the clichés about Australia: life is not cheap and it’s not always sunny (it can get chilly!). You can be sure you’ll enjoy your new life here as people and life are really relaxed, you tend to become laid back like Australians. Make sure to try their favorite food before going back home (if you go back!): vegemite, kangaroo meat, schnitzels, and meat pies.
How is the expat community in Australia? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
Expats are the only people I’ve met so far in Australia: French, Irish, and German. In Adelaide, people tend to be cliquey and stay with their friends from high school. So expats are good friends here and are willing to share their own experience with me.
How would you summarize your expat life in Australia in a single, catchy sentence?
Domi & Steve in OZ: this is the story of a crazy adventurous French-American couple living a dream in Australia!