When my wife and I moved to Perth, we really didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. Having lived in the Netherlands for all my life, living abroad was going to be a completely new experience.
Now, 10 months later, I can honestly say this is turning out to be the best experience in my life. Here’s why.
First of all, I’m one of those people who is influenced quite heavily by the weather. The weather in Perth is usually awesome! There is an abundance of sunshine all year round. Yes, the summers can be hot, but only a few weeks are actually unbearably hot. And yes, it does get cooler in winter, but with minimum temperatures of just above 0°C, it’s not at all bad. The difference with the weather in the Netherlands couldn’t be bigger. I truly do not miss the long grey periods with drizzly rain that regularly occur there, especially in autumn.
Perth is big
Perth is a big city. Well, it’s the biggest city I have ever lived in. With just under 2 million people, it trumps every city in the Netherlands, where the biggest city has just over 1 million people. It’s nice to experience the hustle and bustle of a large city, with excellent public transportation, many opportunities to get a decent coffee or an outdoor lunch, etc.
Perth is small
Perth, somewhat paradoxically, is a small city. It is almost 2.5 times smaller than Melbourne or Sydney, Australia’s biggest cities. This makes it easy to ‘take in’. When we first came to Perth in September 2013, we immediately felt at home. When we set foot in Melbourne only two weeks later, we felt overwhelmed, quite a different experience. Apparently, Perth has the right balance to be comfortable in. At least for me. For now.
It’s isolated. Very isolated.
Perth is probably the most isolated city in the world. Somehow, I like that. It makes it a special place. I think most people in Perth are very aware of this isolation, and some will be proud of it, or at least appreciate it.
Finally, the people in Perth are nice. Now, from what I’ve seen so far, most Aussie people are very friendly. Australia is a very friendly society, and Perth is no exception to that. Australians have the name of being laid back, and this generally seems to be true. There is a reason the most iconic Aussie expression is ‘No worries!’
In short, I am in a better place now (pun not intended) than I’ve been in a long time. Thanks Australia, for having me.