Everyday ‘Stuggles’ Moving to New York

New York, New York, so great they named her twice. As great as she is, living here can also be demanding and at times so culturally different.

In honor of my 1-month anniversary in this so far glacial city today I decided I needed to break down those cultural barriers and discuss the day-to-day ‘struggles’ of Aussies living in the States (I use the term ‘struggle’ loosely- I’m living in freaking New York and LOVE it)

Now it should be mentioned when is comes to the Lingo most of us Aussies usually know both terms due to growing up on American TV. I will sometimes forget and have slip of the tongue but usually it’s on purpose because I simply love seeing dumbfounded locals when they have no idea what I am talking about.



Struggle 1: Tipping

While I can do math perfectly fine it doesn’t necessarily mean I want to after I have just stuffed my face with food.

Struggle 2: Tax

If I don’t have a choice about paying it, then shouldn’t it be added to the price from the beginning?

Me; every time I go shopping and think I have bagged an awesome price. WRONG- that tax is a sneaky bitch.



And don’t even get me started when trying to split a bill.

In Australia we have something called GST (Goods and Service Tax). Hint hint nudge nudge America

Struggle 3: Pushing the door when its says Pull

OK, it’s a habit.  It’s a stupid way and just so you know not many people look when they are exiting a building. Needless to say, the door flings open to hit me in the face on the street



Struggle 4: Squirrels

How can locals refer to these are pests? And yes I do know I look like a tourist taking photos of them but….



Back home our pests usually consist of spiders and snakes. Go live in Australia with OUR pests and then come talk to me! Can we swap?


Struggle 5: The Metric System

Wiki defines the metric system as “an internationally agreed decimal system of measurement”. America, you now have something in common with Liberia and Burma.

There isn’t even a simple way to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius. It’s a weird ass formula; multiply by 9, then divide by 5, then add 32

coleman confused gary whatcha_talkin_bout_willis wtf


Struggle 6: “Australia! I’ve always wanted to go but it’s so far”

Gee really!? I had no idea



Struggle 7: Pennies

Need I say more?



Struggle 8: Lingo

Tomato VS Tomato- don’t act like you don’t know what it is.

Flip Flops VS Thongs- They both have a Y-shaped strap and both go between your toes, not your butt cheeks.

Flo VS Kitty- two different people, still both annoying. More alarming to me is the insinuating names?


Photo Credit: Progressive

Struggle 9: Hearing “Throw another shrimp on the Barbie”

One of those things that has just stuck thanks to Paul Hogan. Firstly we call them prawns.  Secondly, in my opinion prawns should always be eaten cold not hot!

Struggle 10: Coffee

Last but not least; for some people. I don’t actually drink the stuff but for most Australians it taste like dirty dish water. Yum

And for those that thought we were just a small little country down under


Photo Credit: Twisted Swifter



  1. Freya
    January 31, 2014 / 12:57 am

    As an Australian who’s currently living in Boston and has been here about a month also, I can relate to everything on this list! I do not get pennies! Very well put!

    • stephabroad
      January 31, 2014 / 1:38 am

      Thanks Freya! I love Boston..enojoy it 🙂

  2. January 31, 2014 / 2:10 am

    I didn’t know y’all had a different progressive character lol. In all seriousness, I love your website and am glad I found it. I love to travel too and have a special place in my heart for Australians. I met so many this summer traveling in Europe. Keep up the videos and articles it is really great. I document my travels too, on my YouTube channel, Youtube.com/julesofthesouth.

    Have fun,

    • stephabroad
      January 31, 2014 / 1:06 pm

      Thanks Julia. Checked out your YouTube..looks great

  3. Tony Cunningham
    February 1, 2014 / 4:38 am

    I lived in Fremantle and there were lots of coffee shops on the main drag. Of course, there were many Italian folks in Fremantle. Was Fremantle an exception for Australia with respect to coffee?

    P.S. You come from a great country, and one of the great things about it is that so many Australians think it is the best place in the world. Lots of people love their country, but they may not think it’s so great a place.

    Tony Cunningham, St. Cloud, MN, USA

  4. Kelsey Bordelon
    February 1, 2014 / 8:06 pm

    Just found your blog and love it! I am an aspiring traveller doing all my saving up in college right now…aka living vicariously through you and other travelers. I look forward to visiting Australia, but am confused about the pennies. What’s the deal with those in Australia?

    • stephabroad
      February 1, 2014 / 8:09 pm

      I also saved through college, its hard but worth it. I hope you make it to Australia one day and if you do! You won’t have to worry about Pennies because we don’t have them. It is the US that has pennies and everything is priced at 3.76 or 5.42. In Australia we round up to the nearest 5 cents.

  5. Marti
    February 2, 2014 / 12:12 am

    Even though I’m not Australian, after spending months in USA, I can easily relate to everything on your list, especially struggles 2 and 5, mainly 5. I couldn’t (still can’t) understand their system of measurement. Cooking with cups instead of liters/kilos TOTALLY misled me every single time!
    By the way, great blog, I just found it and immediately loved it! Thank you for making me smile with your articles 😉

  6. February 2, 2014 / 1:19 am

    Just found your blog and you remind me so much of… me! Except, from the looks of it, we’re doing things the other way around :). I’m from Wisconsin and move to Australia almost 6 months ago now. I have a similar entry on my blog called, “Aussie life vs. American life”. http://www.writingandwanderlust.com/2013/10/aussie-life-vs-american-life.html . Here’s the link if you’re interested. It’s so funny how similar our articles are! Best of luck in the USA. Say hello to my homeland for me!

    By the way, great country you have here! Seen a good chunk so far, and still hoping for more!

  7. Erica
    February 2, 2014 / 4:45 am

    My BFF just turned me onto your blog and I love it.

    Just wanted to say that I have good friends in Sydney, and #s 4 and 8 have come up (multiple times for the latter, tomato especially, LOL). In fact, I have a Christmas ornament of #4 for their next Chrissy package.

    Looking forward to your future posts!

    Dayton, OH

  8. February 2, 2014 / 10:39 am

    Steph I understand your pain. Accept I’m an American in Australia who is “struggling” and can’t fathom why your country does some of the things it does. Rather interesting read to compare my own thoughts living on the opposite side of the spectrum.

  9. Marg
    February 4, 2014 / 9:44 am

    Love your blog Steph,your article on “why you should absolutely date…” was a great read.
    Watch out for this girl NY.

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