Smart Steps to Australia was created by me, Karen Bleakley, to inspire families to follow their big dreams of moving to Australia. Although a big focus of the website is on the practicalities of moving to Australia, the heart of the business is about encouraging you to reach beyond your comfort zone to create a life that is even better than your wildest dreams.
Australia is a stunning country blessed with incredible wildlife, jaw-dropping natural attractions and amazing weather. I pinch myself every time we see a wild koala in the trees at school or I notice some kangaroos in a field on my morning walk or I see my kids jumping the waves in the ocean or we cook a bbq at the beach as the sun goes down. I get excited by the natural environment here, and it makes me happy that my kids are growing up to share my passion for travel, wildlife and the great outdoors.
These incredible experiences don’t only need to be reserved for special once-in-a-lifetime holidays – they can be part of your everyday life.
The heart and soul of Smart Steps to Australia
My husband Matt and I spent five very long years debating whether to move from the UK to Australia. We almost didn’t go through with it. We listened to people telling us not to go. We made up stories in our heads about how hard it would be. We worried that if we moved and didn’t like it, we’d have failed. It would have been so easy to have stayed where we were in that safe, easy place living an OK life.
One day it hit us: life isn’t meant to just be OK – it’s meant to be fabulous, and incredible, and challenging and exciting! An amazing world is waiting out there – you just need to have the confidence to get out and experience it.
The rewards from moving to Australia turned out to be beyond anything we’d imagined when we got started. Ironically, I now realise that a lot of the benefits we’ve felt from making the move to Australia have been less about moving to Australia and more about pushing ourselves to do something that challenged and scared us!
I can’t stand the thought that there are people out there who choose the safe and easy life when they could be leading a life that lights them up and gets them excited to be alive.
We only live once, and life is short. We owe it to ourselves to follow our hearts and dreams, wherever they may lead. And if that whisper in your ear is suggesting you should go to Australia, then I’m here to help you do just that by offering support that makes it all less overwhelming!
Now that we’re here, we can see that moving to Australia wasn’t the big deal we thought it was after all. We have the internet so we can stay connected with those we love. We can fly back to the UK for visits. It’s easier than ever to move to Australia without losing contact with your friends and family. It’s just a house move to a new country. Yet we built it up in our heads to mean so much more than that. And it was all because of the stories we were creating about it in our heads.
Your mindset and your energy play a huge part in moving to Australia. Yes, you need to know how to do things, but if your mind isn’t in the right place and you aren’t throwing positive energy behind it all, none of that is going to make any difference. This is why I feel it’s so important to write about mindset as much (if not more than) the practical issues.
Find out about my beliefs and values
These are the beliefs and values that I live by.
Belief one: Follow your dreams. Ditch the regret.
Life is too short not to follow your dreams. You only regret things you don’t do. There are no mistakes or wrong decisions, only learning opportunities that help you grow. Try it – if it’s not for you, what have you lost other than some money (see the next point!)
Belief two: Overcome unfounded limiting beliefs (but understand where limits do apply)
Moving to Australia is an expensive process, but you can always make more money in your lifetime. Money is not a limited resource – there is an abundant supply of it in the world. Time, on the other hand, is limited and all of the money in the world can’t buy you more time back. Use your time wisely (don’t waste a second of it!) and don’t be afraid to fund your dreams with money.
Belief three: Travel with friends
Journeys are easier when you share them with friends who are on the same or similar path as you. And sharing a big adventure (like moving across the world to Australia) with others who are on the same journey means you create powerful connections because you’re going through a life-altering experience together. New friendships bring growth and new experiences.
Belief four: Enjoy the journey and be grateful
Don’t spend all of your time waiting for the end result – enjoy the process of getting where you want to go just as much as your destination. Enjoy the journey you’re on. Anticipate what your future holds but allow the time and space to enjoy now, too (even if waiting months for your visa can feel painful at times!)
Belief five: Embrace new experiences
When you move to Australia, you will have the opportunity to embrace new experiences – do things you’ve never done before, go to new places, meet new people. This is where the real growth happens. You don’t need to love every experience, but giving it a try is how you learn and evolve!
Belief five: Focus on the positives
What you focus on grows. Focus your time and energy on the positives, not the negatives. See opportunities as a stepping stone to get where you want to go. Every step forwards gets you closer to living a life that you love. Creating your dream life doesn’t happen overnight – it’s a process and it takes time and energy and self-belief to get you where you want to be. Your first job here or your first home might not be the dream – don’t give up on working towards it!
Belief six: Know where you want to go and what you want
When you make conscious choices about what you want in life, and you work towards creating the reality that you want, nothing can stop you. Success is inevitable if you believe it to be so. Drifting and hoping isn’t the way to get your desired outcome – you need to work towards your goals and have a plan.
Belief seven: Respect the environment and make sustainable choices
Australia is a stunning country with a glorious natural landscape, rich cultural heritage and thriving wildlife. Enjoy it, embrace it, immerse yourself in it, do what you can to educate your children about it so they grow up to respect it. Live sustainably. Be part of the change the world needs. When you spend time in such a beautiful environment like this, it makes you fiercely protective of it. Growing up in this setting is such a privilege for our children and we want the next generation to be able to enjoy it too.
What is my ‘why’ for creating this business?
I wish I could go back in time and help the old me through the process of moving, knowing what I know now! Unfortunately, I can’t do that. But I can be here now to show other people on the same path that it’s worth the hard work and effort.
I’m here to offer inspiration, emotional support, practical help and to provide safe communities where you can meet other families going through the same things as you. I’m here to encourage and empower you so you can follow your dreams and create a life you love in Australia.
I want you to see what is possible for you and know that it is within reach. I want you to know that following your dream is an evolving process with no right or wrong direction. I want to support you on this adventure so you can enjoy the journey just as much as the end destination.
Want to know more?
You can join my free Facebook group.
Ready to uplevel and get more help?
The Ultimate Emigration Checklist is a comprehensive list that helps you stay organised before, during and after your move.
I can’t wait to be part of your adventure!