A British personal trainer who moved to Australia seven years ago is urging others to make the move Down Under as he reveals the top reasons why he stayed.
Personal trainer James Smith moved to Australia in October 2016 as a ‘broke backpacker’ and has never looked back.
The famous fitness coach, who hasthree million followers on social media, said people question him over his decision to live in Australia ‘every day’.
James said he lived in the UK until he was 27 years old, when he decided to move to Australia after having a ‘psychedelic trip’.
He said moving was the ‘single best decision’ of his life and listed reasons why Australia is a great place to live, including its affordability, lifestyle, coffee and being able to reinvent yourself.
British personal trainer James Smith (pictured) moved to Australia in October 2016, claiming it was the ‘single best decision of his life’
‘You should quit whatever you’re doing and move to Australia,’ James said.
‘I can’t express how great coming here was for every part of my health, my mental health, my business, my relationships and everything.
Australia is ‘a lot more affordable’
James claims living in Australia is ‘not that expensive’ and ‘a lot more affordable’ than living in the UK, particularly London.
‘It’s not that expensive. In Australia, petrol is about 30 per cent cheaper,’ James said.
‘Rent, even in a rental crisis it’s nowhere near as bad as London because to live in the UK you pretty much got to live in London.
‘Even if you live in Manchester which is nicer than London people are like: “why don’t you live in London”.
‘Whereas in Australia even living in Bondi Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the world, is cheaper than London and I just can’t quite fathom that, so Australia is a lot more affordable.’
James, who is also the author of three books, added Australia is a really good place to be ‘poor’.
‘One of the things I really like about Australia that not many people are talking about is Australia is is a really good place to be poor,’ James said.
‘When I came here as a backpacker, even if I was spending the least amount of money possible, I could spend my days down here [at the beach] chilling out, reading a book and figuring out myself.’
In a video shared to his YouTube Channel, James urged fellow UK residents to make the move to Australia and listed the top reasons for living Down Under (pictured)
He explained when he first arrived in Australia, he was shocked when he saw ‘good-looking fit young people’ working at coffee shops for minimum wage.
After observing young Aussie workers, James soon realised they had a ‘better life’ than most people in the UK despite having lower incomes.
‘I realised they start work at 6.00am they clock off at 2.00pm and they come down to the beach with their friends,’ he said.
‘They have a cider, they watch the sun go down, and these 24-year-olds on minimum wage are living a better life than most people in the United Kingdom.’
James said that many people in the UK work hard during the week to earn more money so that they can escape ‘their life’ on the weekend, but in Australia a person who is feeling ‘flat’ can feel better by having a quick swim at no cost.
‘You don’t even need to be that ambitious, if you can cover your rent and feed yourself you can build a good life not just for you but your family,’ he said.
‘In the UK to take your kid to the beach means you got to sit on a RH air or EasyJet flight for a few hours wait for your flight to get delayed.
‘It’s just insane that in Australia this [points to the beach] is just considered normal.’
James also said he does not feel the need to have ‘flashy things’ while living in Australia as he did when he lived in the UK.
He claimed people in the UK like to have new cars and usually finance the vehicles so that they can have something that ‘makes them feel good’.
‘In the UK people like brand new cars… they need to get a Range Rover even though they live in Surry because they need some kind of experience throughout their day that makes them feel good,’ he said.
‘I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I’m just saying it’s very different when you come to somewhere like Australia.
‘Rather than sitting in an overpriced 4×4 car that’s never going to go off road you could maybe go to the beach and have a swim.’
James claimed Australia is ‘a lot more affordable’ than the UK and is a really good place to be ‘poor’ as you can enjoy the beach without a single cost
James, who after 17 visas became a permanent Australian resident in October 2022, said the Aussie lifestyle was another reason why he decided to stay Down Under.
The in-demand personal trainer said being in Australia ‘still feels like a holiday’ even after seven years of living in the country.
He explained as a young man living in the UK he would often try to escape his life on the weekend by drinking and doing drugs.
‘I used to get smashed in the United Kingdom every weekend and very often snort a lot of coke, sorry Mum and Dad if you’re watching this,’ he said.
‘To me – and I’m not telling you how to live your lives – the UK was quite mundane for me and I had to escape it at the weekend.
‘It was almost like you have to go through this life of grey skies and people being miserable within the week and at the weekend, suddenly boom, coke and booze.’
James said while living in the UK he felt like a ‘plant that’s been left in the shade’ which cannot ‘fully grow’.
However, in Australia, the personal trainer said he is able to fill his day with happiness.
‘Here, like you can have so many little bouts of happiness throughout the day, you get home and your glass is full by 7.00 pm,’ he said.
‘Before work in Australia one of the craziest things that happens here is if it’s your mate’s birthday you all meet up at 6:00am. You get up at 5:30am to go for a swim in the beach together before work.
‘In the UK no one is meeting up before work. Coffee shops don’t even open till 7.00am.’
James also joked that one of the best things about living in Australia is that it’s acceptable to be barefoot almost ‘everywhere’.
Another reason James believes living in Australia is better than living in the UK is the coffee
James adds the superior coffee in Australia is just another reason why people should make the move, claiming people living in the UK have been ‘gas lit’.
‘You don’t realise how gas lit we’ve been in the UK when it comes to coffee,’ he said.
‘Coffee in Australia is amazing. It’s like 10 times better and I’m not just saying that it’s like unreal.
He explains Australia does not have very many chain coffee stores, which allows independent shop owners to focus their produce and quality.
James labelled coffee bought from UK chain stores such as Costa, Nero and Starbucks as ‘catpiss’ and added once you taste coffee in Australia you become a ‘coffee connoisseur and snob’.
‘You go back to Costa, Nero or Starbucks and you’re like “why are you selling me dark catpiss” and it’s expensive,’ he said.
‘In Australia… these kind of chains are independent and they give a s**t about the things they’re producing.
‘They have to maintain a certain level and quality to the food and coffee they produce or people won’t go back. So every cup of coffee dare I say it is made with love.
‘So you come to Australia, you do your work on a holiday Visa and suddenly you’re coffee connoisseur.’
James, who after 17 Visas became a permanent Australian resident in October 2022, said Australia is so far away from other countries it gives travellers the opportunity to ‘reinvent’ themselves
Another reason James claims Australia is a great place to live is that it is so far away from other countries that a person is able to ‘reinvent’ themselves and start fresh.
‘Another good thing about Australia is it’s far enough away from literally everything else in the world that if you want to reinvent yourself you can,’ he said.
‘You can come here and be a more confident person, you can be more outgoing.’
James said when he arrived in Australia his friend made him delete his dating apps, which forced him to speak to girls to ask them for their phone number – whereas ‘James in the UK’ never did.
‘I never had any social media followers when I came here, I didn’t have a successful businesses and I’d never even accomplished anything that important until I came to Australia and reinvented myself,’ he said.
James’ reasons why people are not moving to Australia
James listed a number of reasons people are not moving to Australia – including visas, tax and spiders – but explained why the reasons are not so bad.
He said living ‘a long way from home’ can be tough and at times he misses his family but added the flight home is only ‘a day away’.
‘It’s a day away. Yeah it’s 21 hours of flying but everywhere is a day away,’ he said.
‘Once my flight got delayed twice on the way back from Berlin took me a day to get back to London.’
James, who has been described by British daily national newspaper The Times as ‘one of the most sought-after personal trainers in the world’, also said many are deterred from moving because of Australia’s tax laws.
However, he claimed the tax is ‘just as bad in the UK’ and if you’re going to pay a 45 per cent tax bracket in Australia you know potholes and roads will be fixed.
Others claim Australia’s reputation for having dangerous spiders deters UK residents from making the move.
He explains the big spiders that are seen in online videos are Huntsman spiders which are harmless and actually kill the ‘bad spiders like the Redback.’
James added motorists can also be fined if they park their cars facing the wrong way which he labelled as ‘bloody mental’.
He claims one of the biggest problems in moving to Australia is obtaining a Visa but advised those contemplating the move to try the country for three months.
‘Use the three months to travel. You got the east coast and you got Perth on the west coast,’ he said.
‘I recommend maybe going off to Bali for a few days or a week then coming to Queensland and working your way down south to Sydney and Melbourne.’
‘If you don’t like it you can go back to your job, you can go back to living with your parents and you can go back to the partner you broke up with to go to Australia
‘But if you come here and you love it then you got to leave again and apply for a one year working holiday Visa.’
His final piece of advise for those thinking of moving to Australia is to ‘just f***ing do it’ (James pictured with Russian social media personality Hasbulla)
James recommends those moving to Australia to have a hobby or passion project which will help them network and make friends.
He advises that Queensland has the best people, Melbourne has the best metropolitan vibe, food and coffee, while Sydney has a ‘good pinch of everything’.
Pictured here with his friend Lucy Lord – one of the close circle of people the PT confides in
His final advise for fellow British travellers wanting to try Australia out is to ‘just f***ing do it’.
‘There is never going to be a good time to come and pack up everything go to the other side of the world so just f***do it,’ he said.
‘Stop being a p***y all your life. You’re not getting any younger so just grow a pair and f***ing do it.
‘I could be completely wrong but surely coming out and realising it’s not right for you is way better than never even trying.’