[Book Review] Didgeridoos & Didgeridon'ts

Didgeridoos and Didgeridon'ts
A Brit's Guide to Moving Your Life Down Under

188pp, paperback, 24,97 euros

Vicky Gray has emigrating to Australia all figured out! Luckily for us she is willing to share in this firsthand account of her family's move from England to Australia. Certainly a must-read for anyone contemplating a move to Australia, this book highlights the challenges and ultimate rewards inherent in moving anywhere in the world.

Didgeridoos is packed with stories, tips and facts that will help others follow suit. Heavy on detail but leavened with personal anecdotes throughout, Gray provides a wealth of information on a wide range of useful topics. Her enthusiasm and love for her new home is evident throughout the book, such as when she writes:

"…and then, you step out from the confines of the car and are met with magnificent Norfolk pine trees, surrounding a glorious honey-coloured bay, the sky and sea so sublimely blue they virtually merge into one, warm sea breezes gently caressing your skin while rainbow lorikeets bursting with unimaginable colour chirp merrily overhead. On the beach families laugh and frolic, looking like they have been precisely positioned for an advertisement for "living the dream." This was IT!!"

Gray covers pre-move preparation in the sections on visas and migration, determining what to take (and what to leave behind), packing, moving services and moving with pets. Once in Australia, you will benefit from the sections on banking, real estate, home buying and rental, employment, schools, health care, local flora and fauna, sports, entertainment, food, language and social norms. Her section on driving exemplifies Gray's in-depth research on every topic, providing traffic tips, how to park a car Aussie-style and the best days / time to buy fuel in addition to the more traditional information on getting a license, buying or renting a vehicle and sorting out insurance. 

In a section entitled "Miscellaneous Matters," the author covers a host of odd trivia and information ranging from dialects, daylights savings times, the metric system and telephone service plans to Australian polymer bank notes.

Every section also includes "top tips" and "odd spots" as well as Aussie-English "translations" for common words and phrases. Soon you will know "slip, slap, slop" and what a "POM" is. Gray also makes your own research effort easier by ending each section with key websites and telephone numbers for additional information. She rounds out this eminently useful book with a final chapter that includes four stories of others who also have emigrated recently to Australia.

Vicky Gray's experiences and candid insights in Didgeridoos will help readers enhance planning, minimise disruption and avoid costly or unnecessary mistakes for their own move to Oz.  


Linda A. Janssen


Linda A. Janssen

Writer, author & expat living abroad and sharing the good, the less good and the just plain odd. I chronicle making a new life in NL. Always finding the upside...

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