After living 18 months in Indonesia with my two kids, I reluctantly returned so they could spend time with their father. Looking at the country with a new set of eyes, I really noticed and appreciated some things that so many people living here take for granted.
Free Parks, Pools & BBQ Areas
Compared to developing countries when you’re flat out if your tax money pays for a trash collector, Australia is pretty ‘up there’ when it comes to free stuff. I mean think about all the amazing parks! Not to mention the free patrolled swimming pools in Brisbane, Yeppoon, Cairns and everywhere else! We also have BBQ areas galore where you can cook up a snag while lusting over the most immaculate beachfront views.
Video: Free Public Pool in Southbank, Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Cheap Basic Food
Despite that many people say Australia is expensive for food, I actually believe it is pretty cheap. The bare essentials like, bread, milk, pasta and oats are actually good value.
- I was paying $2 for a loaf of bread in Bali and you can get one for is $1.50 here.
- Milk was $2 for 1L and it’s only $1/L here.
- Oats were $5 in Bali which I buy for $1-2 in Australia.
- Our fruit and vegetables are a bit more expensive but not if you buy what is grown in season.
- I won’t even get into the price of beef which is much cheaper in Australia.
Australian wine is cheap and good! Ok, I agree that wine should not be under the ‘basic food’ category, but I think it deserves a mention. Did you realise you can buy wine for less than a bottle of water? I’ve seen wine for $3/ 750ml at Dan Murphies in Australia and that same quantity of bottled water for $4.50. Looking at the basic living essentials, Australia is not expensive. But talking eating out, that’s a different story.
Australia public libraries have tons of space, air-con, free workshops and learning and development programs. You can learn coding, computer skills, crafts and even kids lego workshops, all for FREE!
Video: Library in Brisbane near Queen Street Mall at 266 George St, Brisbane City QLD 4000
Fully Stocked Supermarkets
I was knocked off my feet with the choices in Woolworths and Coles supermarket. I mean seriously? There is so much choice my head was hurting. It’s hard to choose between what felt like 50 different varieties of bread.
Australia is so quiet, with tons of nature. I was walking and riding bikes with my kids in beautifully made pathways. When I first began jogging in Indonesia I tripped really bad at least 3 times. Quickly (or not quickly enough) I realised I had to raise my feet higher to avoid hitting potholes, bumps and inconsistencies in the footpath. Australia really does have good infrastructure. There is nature everywhere, even in the big cities. We make room for parks and recreational spaces which shouldn’t be taken for granted.
Big Open Roads
After riding a motorbike with 2 kids in Bali, coming back to an air-conditioned car and quiet streets was refreshing. Australia has a much more organised approach to traffic control.
Drinking Water From The Tap
It took us a while to realise we could shower AND drink the water as it poured over our faces. I was starting to feel like Queen Elizabeth, being able to bath in water that was also drinkable. How luxurious. Many Australian’s take it for granted we can actually drink the water straight from the tap without ending up getting violently sick.
Getting a good cappuccino is hard enough in Asia but try to get soy milk, skim milk or some other milk!! Unless you’re living in Ubud, Bali, good luck! Indonesian coffee is typically made black. The ground up coffee granules settle on the bottom of your cup. It’s strong! Let’s say, not my cup of tea! Australia on the other hand has a million choices and you can usually get a decent coffee at a coffee shop.
Flushing Toilet Paper Down The Toilet
This may seem absurd to some, but I can’t tell you how much I appreciate having the plumbing system efficient enough to allow me to actually flush toilet paper down the toilet and not put it in a bin beside the toilet.
Seriously, Australia is clean. The beaches, the roads, the parks, it’s a pretty clean country. We grow up accustomed to putting rubbish in the trash that we find it incomprehensible that people in Asia dump or leave trash on the ground.
Employment pension, parenting allowances, disability support, carers allowance etc. are taken for granted and even thought of as a right rather than a privilege. After seeing so many people hustle sooooo hard to make a dollar and feed their families, when I see people chilling out on the ‘dole’ it irks me. I think it’s a wonderful way to get back on your feet and important to care for everyone in our country, including those with disabilities. It helps keep children away from working on the street and helps parents raise their kids. Australians are seriously one of the ‘lucky countries’ to have a government that offers some sort of financial support. Most of the world has to fend for themselves, relying on extended families.
So what do you think? Anything you think I should add?
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Katie Joy is passionate about helping other mothers Bounce Back Big! She ran a successful business while single parenting with babies. Then she followed her dream to work in Asia with her kids. She believes in the Law of Attraction, World Schooling & pushing past your comfort zone to become UNSTOPPABLE!