It has always been said that Australia is one of the best places in the world to create a wonderful and unique life experience. You can find thousands of first-hand experiences on the Internet stating “Australia is the best place to live” or “The Australian lifestyle favors the enjoyment of free time with family and friends.”
After reading all these phrases and articles, who wouldn’t want to live and breathe the warm culture and climate? But is this experience as incredible as they claim to be? Are posts where you see people hugging and smiling really honest? Don’t be fooled, the feeling of homesickness and loneliness is real. Let us show you the other side of the coin.
Social Media vs Reality
Making the decision to leave home, quit your job, and be away from family and friends is definitely not easy. It takes a lot of courage to pack your bags and get on the plane, without knowing what awaits you in those distant lands.
For these reasons, the digital footprint of the Australian experience has grown a lot over the last decade. These articles, videos and Instagram lifestyles are a powerful source of information to help inform budding travellers of their next destination.
Over the last few years (pre COVID), the arrival of temporary immigrants to Australia (student and working holiday makers) has increased. A wide business network has been generated from it. We can find several websites promising us adventure and happiness.
Therefore, it is important that you read this post where we will also tell you about what nobody dares to say, which doesn’t mean that if you decide to travel you will have a bad time. Not at all! Rather, we want to normalise the idea that the experience will have its ups and downs. You won’t be the only one who has gone, is going through or will go through a feeling of loneliness. You are not alone, and that moment will not last forever. Believe us, we have been there!
Are Social Networks the solution?
Upon meeting other international travellers and digging deep into their experiences, we realised that most had felt lost at some point.
People come to Australia full of dreams and expectations about their next months. A feeling of charm accompanies them everywhere, marvelling at the landscapes, quality of life, security and tranquil environment that surrounds them.
As the weeks go by, many people can begin to feel a lack of companionship and lose enthusiasm. What is the sense of paradise if we cannot share the moment with others? Let’s be aware, arriving and getting used to a country with a different culture, rules, and lifestyles is not always easy. Especially if English is not your native language, and even worse if you don’t speak English at all, which may leave you feeling alienated and limited in your ability to express yourself and understand others.
One of the most common reactions to this situation is trying to find yourself through the famous social media groups. The perfect place to feel like home, you’d think.
These groups are very beneficial to find other people sharing similar experiences or exchanging information. Although sadly, they are not usually the answer when it comes to finding new long-term friends.
Many internationals and also we have been looking for company through these pages, to go for a coffee, drink or share a day at the beach. Unfortunately, often posts are getting pushed down and it’s not always easy to meet people through these groups. The members of the groups are usually focused on negotiating the difficulties of visa/work-based enquiries with less of an emphasis on social opportunities. And with those who did manage to coordinate a meeting found it was rare to maintain the relationship over time.
At the same time, the natural habit of seeking to surround yourself with people of the same nationality or language limits the experience of knowing the Aussie culture. Meeting Australians and understanding their way of life is one of the most important aspects of immersing yourself in the Australian culture.
These groups are presented as tools to seek friends, there can be opposed opinions and experiences related to this. Perhaps, let’s remember and not lose sight of what the concept of friendship means. The main attribute of a friend is that we choose someone based on affinities and empathy. Which is not usually easy to evaluate through social networking. So don’t feel discouraged, it’s not easy for anyone to generate real links through social media.
We have made the same experiences. We have felt lonely and homesick at times, sometimes it was really hard to make social connections. This is why we built GoTo; to help you feel home overseas, no matter if you’re thousands of kilometers away from your “real” home; to help you finding friends and share your incredible experience. So don’t be discouraged, don’t be afraid to go on this journey and travel to Australia by yourself. We are here for you!
Are you truly welcome here?
The second challenge commonly faced by backpackers and foreign students is the difficulty of generating personal relationships with locals. International media is bombarded with titles mirroring “Aussies are really warm and friendly people, who genuinely care about other people’s well-being.” This is the vision that Australia has delivered to the world. Showing that they are hospitable and will welcome everyone with open arms, no matter where you come from.
Well, there are different beliefs about the personality of Australians. Several commentaries exist detailing the difficulties in finding meaningful friendships with locals. Most internationals believe that they already have their set social network, so they won’t be interested in meeting new people, much less backpackers.
Of course, it’s understandable that most people are a little more closed to generating relationships when they are back home. They are absorbed by routine obligations to fulfill. It is logical that the free time that they have left is used by their friends and family.
We can’t deny that Australians have their laid-back and relaxed attitude in life. While this remains a strong aspect of the country’s culture, today’s Australians are hard-working with very busy lives. Perhaps, you can take this observation to encourage yourself to be the one to start the talk. Give them the opportunity to meet and get to know you. We’re sure they will love you once you open up.
Besides, people should understand that there are cultures with different social codes. If you come from a German culture, it is very likely that you will find them a little bit more socially open. But if you’re from South America, you might find them a little bit socially distant. That doesn’t mean that it’s worse or better, they simply have other ways of interacting.
If you haven’t yet had the experience of generating a deep relationship with Aussies, don’t feel bad or be discouraged. Give them and give yourself the opportunity to understand each other.
Your intuition will take you where loneliness doesn’t exist
If it has happened to you or is happening to you, feeling that you do not belong or that you are isolated and alone. Do not feel sad or frustrated, it is normal and it has happened to all of us at some point. Above all, don’t give up hope of meeting amazing people.
One of the most wonderful things in the world is its diversity. Finding different people and learning from each of them, we can always fish out something good from every experience.
Remember that the energy and style of each person doesn’t always match with every place they go. Sometimes you could find more magnetism with some sites than others. And what for you is the most incredible place in the world, it may not be for someone else.
Therefore, do not lower your head, do not be discouraged. If you notice you are in a place that is not for you, just grab your bags and keep walking. Australia has thousands of magical corners waiting for you to discover, each with distinct and amazing people. Go, travel all you can. But remember: always carry a smile with you. A gesture so small and so important could be the key to unlocking new opportunities, and who knows just how far it can take you!