8 things Australians living in the U.S. will miss about Australia

TransferWise content team
3 minute read

You've moved across the world to explore new places, meet interesting people and take on new experiences.

But no matter how much you enjoy living in a different country, there are always certain things that you’ll miss about home.

So TransferWise has rounded up a few of the things that Australians living in the U.S. will miss the most:

1. Christmas on the Beach


Most Aussies will tell you that Christmas on the beach sure beats Christmas in the snow.

Particularly during the holiday season, those from the land down under are sure to miss soaking up the sun, swimming in the ocean and lighting up the barbie on Christmas day.

2. Optional Tipping


In Australia, tipping is optional because servers get paid a higher minimum wage than in the U.S. and don’t depend on tips as part of their salaries.

But in America, servers are paid under the minimum wage and their livelihood depends on earning decent tips. So, you might be surprised if you see it as standard at some restaurants to have a 15% tip already included in your bill.

Shona, an Aussie who recently traded Melbourne for NYC, explains:

“Back home, we generally only leave a tip if the service is exceptional or if you want to ditch your change. But in the U.S, if you don’t leave a tip your server may become angry and might even approach you to ask why. This happened during my first week in New York and I was mortified. On the one hand, I hadn’t yet realized that tipping was such a part of the culture. On the other hand, I really felt like it should be my right to decide how much I wanted to leave.”

3. Lucas Papaw Ointment


A cult favorite, Lucas’s Papaw antibacterial ointment is exclusively produced in Australia and is the kind of item that Aussies eagerly have sent to them in care packages from home.

It's hard to find in the U.S.

4. Chicken Salt and Vegemite


These two salty, quintessential Australian snack enhancers are hard to give up.

They're hard to find in U.S. groceries, and even harder to imitate.

5. Wearing Havaianas Year-round


In many parts of the country, “havies” (also known as flip flops or thongs) can be worn year-round and are acceptable footwear for pretty much any occasion.

Dane, an Australian expat living in Boston told us:

“They’re good for casual fridays at the office, your brother’s beach wedding or a first date!”

6. Universal Health Care


If you’re an Australian living in America, then chances are at some point you’ll need to go to the hospital.

Just don’t be surprised when they hand you an enormous bill at the end. This is a big contrast to back in Australia, where everyone has access to universal health care and never have to pay out of pocket to see a doctor if they carry a 'medicare' card.

7. Aussie Rules Football


Not quite rugby and not quite American football, Aussie rules or “footy” as it’s fondly called is almost exclusively played in Australia and is an aggressive, skill-based sport.

Die hard fans (which most Australians are) will sure miss cheering on their favorite AFL team.

8. Driving on the Left Side of the Road


Makes much more sense than driving on the wrong, I mean right side of the road.

Doesn’t it?

Do you send dollars back to Australia or over to the U.S.? Save money with TransferWise

Your bank might say it's "free" or offer a "fixed fee" to send money home but they hit you with an extra 3% or more on the exchange rate mark-up they use.

TransferWise charges just 1% or 0.7% over $5,000 with no mark-up - that means you get a far better exchange rate.

What do we mean by a mark-up? Take a look:


Want to see how we calculate this? Click here.

How much could you save? Find out using the calculator below.

TransferWise is the smart, new way to send money abroad.

Find out more
Life Abroad

9 best bars in Barcelona

Whether local or visiting, make sure you experience the best of Barcelona's bars.If you’re looking for a tipple to top off your stroll down La Rambla, or...

TransferWise content team
09.09.16 3 minute read
Life Abroad

ATMs in France: Credit cards and fees

While credit and debit cards are widely accepted in France’s major cities, there may be times when paying in cash is your only option. As a savvy traveller,...

TransferWise content team
28.02.17 4 minute read

Tips, news and updates for your location