Warning! This is a completely bias post, that spurs from my homesickness.
Australia is an amazing country, in so many ways. Looking back at my childhood, there are so many things that I took for granted. Living in England (and previously Germany and Ireland), I have been exposed to so many different government systems, policies and lifestyles.
I hereby declare that Australia is hands down the best place to grow up on EARTH, and here is why…
1. Playing Outside
When I was young, we would always be outside. Whether that was splashing around in our backyard pool, going for walks in the hills, climbing trees or making dirt pies. We walked to school, we rode our bikes to the shopping center and we pretty much lived at the beach in Summer.
I have noticed more and more, with the rise of technology and 21st century living, how little kids experience the world. I was an AuPair in Germany and the kids literally refused to play outside. When I asked them why, they said they never go outside because it is ‘too dirty and cold’. Yep, you heard that right. Ridiculous if you ask me, the best times of my life have been outdoors!
2. Tax Returns
All hail the mighty Australian Tax System! Although every Aussie bitches and whines about it, the tax system in Oz is one of the best in the world. By paying more than we should all year, we are often left owed a large sum loaded into our accounts every July. If you play your cards right and opt to give an extra 10% each paycheck, which you never miss much, you can get up to $10,000 back- hello next family holiday! My parents are legends at the tax return fund, every year they paid more than their fair share, and used it as a savings account. We travelled every year, thanks to their tax returns!
Again, this would be a rather large argument- but we had it so, so good. Homework barely existed in comparison to other countries (i.e. Germany has about 5 pages of work to do, each night at the age of 7), we had large bright classrooms, loads of playtime and a great education. Australian schools are undoubtedly some of the best in the world in terms of resources and funding, with the government’s involvement is second to none. We also go to school much less than other countries in terms of hours-per-day, which has not affected overall ranking in the world education system… no complaining here!
Do I even need to say how lucky Australia is in terms of sunshine? Even the mild winters are a nice change from the scolding hot January’s. My favourite thing from growing up was the long Summer nights where you can sit around in somebodies backyard, have a few drinks and wear a singlet and shorts all night. Perfection.
I recently wrote about the Australian culture and how until I left, I didn’t realise how strong it was! Growing up in such a free, expressive country means that we fast become citizens of the world. Everywhere you travel, they love Australians. We are truly lucky to grow up in a place that has such a great reputation in (most of) the world!