"Wozuup is a place where dreams and reality meet. Initially born as vademecum for travelers, willing to move to Australia and change their lives, it now transcends its original purpose and extends its meaning allowing people to explore this beautiful continent, on a motorcycle. Narrated by Paolo in Oz, this adventure of epic proportions leads the reader to places that we all dream of and that Paolo is keen to share with you.”
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Australia, etc.
My name is Paolo, I'm 34 years old and I moved to Australia 5 years ago, leaving Milan, Italy and a Job for a very respectful IT company behind. Before this I moved to USA and lived there for almost 3 years. I then spent some months traveling and living in Thailand. I grew up in a very urban environment, surrounded by cement and buildings. Somehow, traveling was almost a rebirth for me; I, in fact, now live close to the ocean and spend most of my days swimming, surfing and sun baking.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I decided to start blogging about the mental procedures that are involved in moving to another country, after my first two experiences in USA and Thailand. When I moved to Australia 5 years ago, weirdly enough, there were NO INFORMATIONS OR BLOGS around about this topic, except BOBINOZ . He was somehow the only valuable source of information available to move to Australia in 2010.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
I have some post I wrote that "broke" the internet in Italy because of its controversy. They were mostly concerning the way of living of Italians in Italy, so not really relevant I guess for a broader audience. At the beginning I was also writing in Italian, because I decided to address my blog to a more specific audience, since I had really plenty of info about how to find your way through the mysteries of the bureau of immigration. Now there are professionals that do that. I never wanted to make money out of it.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Australia differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
As I mentioned, I purposely left Italy in the first place, because maybe not totally in tune with something or somebody that was going on in my own country. I believe that every Expat has this feeling deep down within himself. This is the true reason for modern migration. Rarely people leave and move permanently to another country just for money nowadays. Or at least, in my opinion, this is not enough to make your experience worth it. I loved Australia and its way of living. I never had problems in adapting and blending with the locals. I felt very welcomed and accommodated by pretty much almost everyone I met. Maybe I was just lucky, but maybe it solely depends on what you really want to see outside your world and what you seek.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Australia? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I was extremely prepared for my departure. I pondered about it for almost 2 years while in Italy and, except a couple of occasions with the immigration paperwork that was necessary to process my visas and some unfortunate encounter with some unprofessional migration agent, everything went really well. I wouldn't change a bit of my experience, except maybe NOT USING A MIGRATION AGENT to lodge my visa.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
I have several, yes. My very first day here was a nightmare. I flew from Italy to Singapore, then spent 12 hours there and flew here to Sydney, with our sleeping. I had some sort of food poisoning and threw up on the plane on my way here and because of this, I got upgraded to first class. So Yeah, that’s why I flew first class on Singapore Airlines. The boarder control then stopped the entire plane and didn't let anyone out because of fear of contamination. After some conversation with some very scary masked individuals that boarded the plane and asked me questions, they let me (and the other 300 passengers) out.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Australia?
- Don't worry, not even native English speakers, understand Australians at first, when they speak.
- The sooner you forget "the way you used to do things" and learn the new way, the better will be for you, in terms of adaptation.
- You are the one who decided to move here.
How is the expat community in Australia? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
There are several communities and several expats here. Matter of fact, every person on this country comes from somewhere else, except Aboriginal people.
How would you summarize your expat life in Australia in a single, catchy sentence?
Surf, Surf, Barbecue and Nature. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride, mate! No Worries!