But Why?

15 reasons why living in the UK beats Sydney

Sydney is awesome so it took me well over a year to make the decision to leave. During this time debating, shall I go or shall I stay, my coach suggested I make a list of what I missed most about the UK and see how I felt after that. The below is what first came to me. Even now, it still makes me smile and happily reminds me why I’m back in Donny.

  1. Accents – ahhh the Beauty of them

My favourite (naturally) is a northern accent but I’m pushed to chose which. I still find it extraordinary that people who live a mere hour apart can sound so very different. I know many Aussies, and many southerns for that matter, who can’t understand a word when a Donny bird, a Manc and Geordie get together.

  1. ‘Do You Want to Make it a Large’.

Possibly the sweetest words in the English dictionary to any wine lover. I love that you can order a small, standard or large wine. Or a double spirit if you prefer, totally legally and cheaper. In Australia wine can only be served by the 125ml thimble size glass. And double shots are a big no no.

  1. A Sunday Roast sunday-lunch-roast-pork

True, no one does a BBQ like the Aussies. But you can’t beat a Sunday Roast with Yorkshire pudding and lashings of gravy.

  1. The NHS

Never underestimate the absolute luxury of free unlimited health care. Complain about it as us Brits love to do, (and yes it is far from perfect) the NHS is a national treasure. Yes, there is free health care in Australia in the form of Medicare, but you need a diploma to work out what’s covered and what’s not. Things like getting an ambulance and going to the dentists aren’t. And if you don’t have private health care, which sets you back about $100 a month, you have to pay more tax. OUCH.

  1. Posh People

Posh Brits are like exotic pets to us normal folk. With their upturned collars, jumper draped shoulders, military careers and keeping staff. They crack us up when they recount stories from Pony Club and The Earl of Such and Such’s parties. Posh Australian’s come no where close to our loveable British posh lot.

  1. The Countryside 

The Northern Beaches in Sydney and the bright blue sky’s are incredible. But the UK Countryside will always have my heart. Did you know that studies have found that spending time in the countryside makes you more creative and less stressed. What are you waiting for – get out there.

  1. Guys and Gals Can Be Friends

Aussie’s tend to go to same sex schools, this means it’s less common for members of the opposite sex to be friends. A trait that few grow out of, so pretty much every Aussie gathering is like a high school disco, with men round the BBQ or kicking a footie, while women are either in the kitchen or sitting round on blankets with the kids.

  1. TVmezzanine_792.jpg.resize.800x450

British TV is smashing. With endless comedies, award winning period dramas, mysteries, world news coverage and if they’re your thing, drama filled soaps. Not discounting my fav Aussie show, Off Spring, Alf Stewart in Home and Away is about as good as Aussie TV gets.

  1. Distance

You could drive the whole distance of the UK in a day (if you really wanted to). Aussie’s on the other hand have to resort to flying between major cities. It takes longer to fly between Sydney and Perth than it takes us Brits to fly to New York. Aussie lovingly think nothing of driving 4 or 5 hours to go away for a weekend. Us Brits should embrace this Aussie adventure spirit more, to enjoy all the wonderful places the UK and indeed Europe has close by.

  1. Central Heating

If you think the weather is always nice in Australia, you have never experienced a Sydney winter. Short as they are, they can get really nippy. I’ve spent many a night where it’s been colder indoors than outside because homes rarely have central heating.

  1. Holidays

A common misconception is that Aussie’s are laid back. Sure, they play hard but they work bloody hard too. Only getting 20 days of annual leave it’s common for Aussie to work all year long with no break until Christmas. Give me that extra week and all those bank holidays back home, any day.

  1. You Don’t Get Thrown Out of a Pub for Being Pissed

If you look drunk on a night out up north in the UK you are having a good time. If you look the slightest bit tiddly in Sydney, it’s time to go home. There is no way you are going to get into the next pub.

  1. HistoryIMG_1931

It’s all around us in the UK and it’s marvelous. From stately homes and castles to impressive churches. In Sydney buildings proudly don signs saying 1890 and at best are railway stations and shops – whoopy do.

  1. Train Travel

The Virgin Train service between Doncaster and London (170 miles) only takes an hour and a half. Whinge about it as we do, the rail network makes getting around the UK exceptionally easy and the train carriages are lovely to relax in as as you watch the countryside pass you by. Train travel in Australia is less glamorous, takes a lot longer and the services outside of Sydney CBD don’t run too often.

  1. Old People1346605200000

Us Brits love the oldies. Her majesty the Queen probably has a lot to do with this. As a result there’s a big place for the oldies in English society – proven of course by half the cast of Corrie being over 60 (god bless Ken Barlow). There doesn’t seem to be the same respected place for OAPs in Australian society, which feels a little sad.


So aside from the most important reason for moving back to Donny – my family. That’s why I gave up life in Sydney.

Have you ever lived as a Brit abroad? Does any of this rin


  • Laura says:

    Welcome back!

    I love that 2 of your main reasons relate to booze. hehehehe. Great first blog and there is a lot to be said for the simple things in life. Long walks in the sticks, Sunday roast and a good pint of ale!

    Ale would make it on my list – practically a hot drink by Aussie standards.

    I’m off for a walk in the sunshine now.



    • Donny_bird says:

      Thank you lovely. I know I’m still such a piss head. Although my taste in booze has changed a bit over the years LOL. Enjoy the sunshine x

  • Tom says:

    I get back to Wales around once twice every 3 years and I wholly agree.

    In saying that, bringing up a small child in Tasmania comes laden with so many advantages that it outweighs all my adult benefits. Things I would miss if I moved back would be blue skies, clean seas, empty beaches, food to die for, empty roads, naturally upbeat people, and a serious lack of class A addiction driving serious crime rates up.

    I am utterly priveleged though, Tassie is a million miles away from Sydney!

    PS Sprotborough and Hide Park. Donny is a class act.

    • Donny_bird says:

      HI Tom Thank you so much for the note. I saw a program on Tassie the other night. Such a beautiful place, it reminded e of Yorkshire a little bit when I used to come for work. So much less crowded than Sydney. And a great place to bring up children.
      Hope all is good with you and you’re still enjoying Vodafone.

  • Carlie says:

    “Aussie’s tend to go to same sex schools, this means it’s less common for members of the opposite sex to be friends. ” I have to strongly disagree with this one – I went to a co-ed high school, and while there are indeed boys and girls schools in Australia they’re far from the ‘norm’ – usually private schools and some Catholic school options. The ratio is really no different to in the UK.