Challenges living abroad…in Melbourne (Part 1 of 2)

Published on 25 July 2023 at 23:03

Pat yourself for being brave to step foot into the unknown. This journey will never be easy. I knew what I am getting myself into, and yet, I can still be so unprepared for it. Here are some challenges that I have narrowed keep your mind, heart and soul open to any possibilities and be like the Australian-whatever life may will be alright mate! 

Language Barrier

As a fellow Singaporean, I speak mainly English besides my mother tongue language which is Malay. Australian speaks English too but here's the may not even understand it. 

Australian developed this thick accent. It takes some time to understand it. Some words are cut short such as 'Afternoon' into 'Arvo'. If you want to be part of them, do learn their lingo. Watch local news and shows. Practice speech and listening at the food counter/cashier or just chat with your neighbour. 

My husband grew up with BBC radio so he speaks well and easily understood as compare to me with my Singaporean English aka Singlish. I always have to project my voice else it sounded as if I am mumbling. This takes time...and practice. 


I actually like the culture here. There's diversity. People here usually get along or just mind their own business. Melbourne people are mostly friendly. People here are very aware of a lot of things from gender to race and to religion. More importantly, people are respectful to each other. If this isn't true, that person might have mental health issues or drunk. 

Then, there's work ethic too. 
I like that they are carefree. Some may say they are lazy but I do think Melbournians take their work seriously. So far all my friends' employers are the best! Work life balance is a thing here. 


I don't think this feeling can go away just like that. It isn't lonely. It is more of just wanting to be home, to be at my comfort zone of familiarity and feel safe. Calling back home doesn't help sometimes as it can make me feel more depressed knowing I am not there.


As much as I bury myself with work or with friends that I build connections here, this feeling will still linger. Six months plus since we moved but not a single family member from my side or his side has come to visit us. Honestly, I do feel bummed knowing someone's parents has arrived. I'm happy for them truly, because such connection is important. Our family members did planned but nothing has been confirmed so far. I do think this is the longest since I've seen my father in law. We left Singapore and he was still overseas at work. No one's to blame. Well, we did catch up a lot online. Anyway, it is definitely a luxury to have a family member coming over because it takes a lot of planning to coordinate. I know my parents won't be able to come over due to health so that leaves us having to have the means to make frequent trips back to Singapore.

Nevertheless, thank you to those who have stayed at our place. It does fill up the hole in my heart.  

Building relationships 

We are blessed to know so many people. 
I didn't know my husband can be such a social butterfly. I will always be at a corner stuffing myself with food. Yes, I may speak to strangers on the streets, malls or wherever but for big gatherings...I might just find a spot and chill. A bonus if my familiar friend is there so I can park myself with her throughout the whole event. 

We managed to form wonderful friendships with few families and we kind of meet like every other week. This is very unusual for us because we rarely gone out with other couples in Singapore. I am still learning to get used to this. In fact in Singapore, we only hang out with my siblings families for events. That is how introvert we could be. I am sorry too if we are unable to meet. I really do need to recharge my social battery. Else, expect me to be zoned-out.

Building connections in Melbourne can be easy. Meet the right person and Boom! You know this person and that person and etc. Whether that person can be more than just a friend or 'someone you know' is another level that everyone may have in their own friendship list.


If you're Malay and happened to be living in Melbourne, you will definitely be invited to join in a chat group. Some groups I realised need permission from admin or admin to decide if you can be in the group. If you read this and you dont belong to any groups while living here, send me a message and I link you up! I know a few WhatsApp group admins in person. 

I realised this post is lengthy. 
I will do a part two for the following: 

Administrative Matters

Cost of living



Access to medical care

Add comment


There are no comments yet.

Create Your Own Website With Webador