Having lived in the United States for 18 years and moving to Australia a bit over a year ago, the differences between living in America vs. Australia are incredibly obvious to me.
Whenever I meet someone new and they hear my American accent, I get asked how I like it here and I usually just tell them I’m really enjoying it and think it’s really chill.
Based on the state of the world and the current phase of life that I’m in, living in Australia seems much more fulfilling to me than living in America. I’m not here to shit on America because every country has its own issues but when it comes to the quality of life, Australia without a doubt takes the cake.
Australia is notorious for being a destination tons of people seek to explore and get away from their daily life by living abroad for a few months or years. You never really know how a place truly is until you experience it for yourself, so I’m always down to encourage anyone to put themselves in a new environment.
In case you’re tossing around the idea of moving from America to Australia and vice versa, I’ve made a list of differences between Australia and America to give you some insight.
I should preface that my experience living in America includes almost two decades in Texas and three years in Iowa and the only state I’ve lived in in Australia is Victoria.
Differences between living in America vs. Australia
Higher dollar value
There’s no doubt that the USD is stronger than the AUD which is a huge advance when doing international travel or online shopping. In comparison, the AUD really hurts your pocket when having to convert to any other currency.
Everything is cheaper
Everyone knows America for the cheap prices and it’s no lie. There’s always a sale and stores literally throw deals in your face. It feels like every store has their own discount stores and it’s actually possible to have a store owe you money if you know how to finesse with coupons.
Bigger product selection
If you really like lots of processed food options and larger than life grocery stores then America is the place for you. It’s truly amazing how many different food, snack, and drink options there can be in one aisle.
It’s actually crazy to think how fast shipping is in the states when you don’t have that luxury anymore. Next day and two day shipping are definitely more common for thousands of products in America.
More diverse in ethnicity
The diversity in America is definitely unmatched when compared to Australia. Growing up in Houston, there was people from all different ethnicities all around me which is what makes it a special mixing pot.
Lots of processed foods
It’s no secret that a majority of the “food” in America is filled with corn syrup, preservatives, and all sorts of nasty shit you probably don’t want to eat.
Less trust among each other
I once read about this peach and coconut analogy. The peach is soft on the outside but hard on the inside while the coconut is hard on the outside but soft on the inside. The analogy was used to compare Americans to Russians being that Americans are like peaches because your neighbor will be more than happy to smile at you from the other side of the fence but won’t let you inside.
More work, less play
The pay rate in America is actually a joke and it’s ridiculous that people work two jobs and still can’t make ends meet. Unless you’re upper class you’re forced to continuously work without being able to even scratch the surface.
Although, I haven’t had to go to the doctors, I do work at a hospital so it’s really nice to see people who may not be able to afford it get the health care that they need. Don’t be fooled though, because it’s definitely not perfect with wait lists for specialty hospitals and long appointment wait times.
Products are more expensive
Australia is definitely expensive but there are two factors that even things out. For one, tax is included in the price so there are no surprises when you get to the register and two, the pay is significantly higher so you can actually afford to pay the higher prices.
Feels more safe
Every country has their own issues but Australia has gun laws in place unlike America to put a stop to mass shootings. Anything can happen anywhere so it’s more about being aware of your surroundings and not walking at night with headphones in.
More trust among citizens
I will never get over the fact that service stations allow you to pump before paying. That’s definitely something you’ll never see in states because there would be so many people filling their car up and driving right off.
Good work/life balance
People here really love and enjoy their weekends which is a great balance to the work week. In addition, people actually get paid enough to have disposable income so they can still enjoy life.
More diverse in nationality
In contrast to the US, I feel like I’ve met more people here who are originally from other countries now residing in Australia whether on a visa or as a permanent resident. This is definitely more apparent in Melbourne than other areas.
Huge drinking culture
Australians love their liquor and will use any occasion or no occasion at all to have a drink. There’s bottle o’s pretty much everywhere and they’re always open.
Long shipping times
Being so far off the map, it’s normal for international items to take up to 2 weeks to arrive. You pretty much forget you ordered something by the time you get it which can be a fun surprise.
There are definitely a ton more living in America vs. Australia, but these are the ones that stand out to me the most.
Would you live in America or Australia? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading and stay hungry to learn, create and grow!