Swapping Sydney for Adelaide: An Instagram Star Shares Her Story

This article is sponsored by StudyAdelaide

Originally from Brazil, Ligia and her husband, Ulisses, came to Australia to study English. Initially, Ligia and Ulisses only planned to stay in Australia for six months. But five years later, the couple has lived in two Australian states, built a large social media following and they have no plans to leave anytime soon.

We spoke to Ligia about her recent move from Sydney to Adelaide and what it’s like being a social media influencer in Australia. 

Moving to Adelaide 

When Ligia and Ulisses first arrived in Australia, they settled in Sydney. After four years, the couple felt ready to settle down in the country, which led them to research pathways towards permanent migration. Since Adelaide is classed as a regional area, the city presented an opportunity for the couple to qualify for a regional migration visa and extend their time in Australia. 

“Our migration agent told us that Adelaide would be better because it’s a regional area and my occupation falls under South Australia’s Skilled Migration List,” says Ligia. “We had been in Sydney for four years and thought that we should try somewhere new.” 

Life in Adelaide

Despite not knowing much about Adelaide, the couple decided to follow their intuition and embark on a new adventure. 

“I never searched for anything. I just said ‘Let’s see’ and we came,” Ligia shares. “You know the feeling when you are not expecting anything? It’s so cool.” 

Upon arrival, she and Ulisses were excited to discover all the awesome things this charming South Australian city has to offer. 

  • Balanced atmosphere 

One of the many perks Ligia is enjoying in Adelaide is its relaxed energy and space. After living amid the hustle and bustle of Australia’s most populated city, she says that Adelaide offers a refreshing change of pace.

“I live in a neighbourhood that is not very crowded and that’s good because it’s very calm,” she explains. “If you catch a train, it’s not as packed as it is in Sydney. If you go to the CBD, there are still lots of people but nowhere near as many as in Sydney. I really like it.” 

  • Sense of community 

As a smaller city, Adelaide also offers a strong sense of community. In fact, Ligia and Ulisses have already found a close group of friends who helped them settle in and feel right at home.

“We spent some time in Sydney and we had lots of friends there, but we have [even] more friends here,” says Ligia. “It was very quick but we feel like we have a family here. I think it helps us feel like part of something.” 

  • Affordability 

In Sydney, Ligia and Ulisses had to share an apartment with flatmates because living expenses were simply too high to afford a place of their own. In Adelaide, however, the reality is very different. 

According to Ligia, cost of living is “the major difference between the two cities. I think one of the things that I enjoy the most here is that here we can have a house just for us.” 

  • Outdoor activities  

A self-proclaimed nature lover, Ligia loves getting out in the fresh air and spending time outdoors. Fortunately, with its natural beauty and stunning green spaces, Adelaide is the perfect place to do exactly that.

“I live in the south of Adelaide and the beaches are amazing. I like that you have nice things to do during both summer and winter,” she says. “You can go to wineries, you can do a trek in a national park and you can go to the beach. It’s all super close, too.” 

Being an ‘influencer’

While Ligia doesn’t call herself an influencer, she has certainly found success on social media. Her Instagram account has over 37,000 followers, and she also runs a popular YouTube channel and blog

“I decided to start creating content back in Brazil before I came to Australia,” she shares. “When I came to Australia, people began asking me how they could come to Australia and study English. I realised that I should start talking about it more. I started sharing parts of my life, but also information about visas and schools. People liked it and the blog and Instagram started growing. Then I decided to do the Youtube channel to share even more.” 

Ligia’s main goal on social media is to help other people, such as international students and backpackers, feel confident enough to fulfil their dreams of coming to Australia. 

“I don’t really like the word influencer as my goal is not to influence anyone. But I do help a lot of people who want to come here and this is something that I’m really passionate about. When you go to a beautiful place, you want to share it with your friends and family. It’s the same thing for me but with the Internet. I want to post, I want to share and I want people to know.” 

Where to next? 

Ligia has loved exploring the greater South Australia region. In December, the couple explored the Eyre Peninsula and shared their trip with their social media followers. Where does the couple plan to travel next? According to Ligia, the list is long!

“We are going to Mount Gambier next week. I think that will be very cool,” she says excitedly. “We are then planning to go to the Yorke Peninsula. It’s close to Adelaide but we have never been there. I also really want to go to Kangaroo Island. It looks amazing there. I’d like to go to the South Australian outback to Coober Pedy and go trekking in the Flinders Ranges.”  

Ligia is currently completing a course in social media at Ironwood Institute and plans to apply for a regional visa once she finishes her studies. Then, the couple is hoping to take an exciting road trip around Australia. 

“We have a campervan that we renovated. We drove it from Sydney to Adelaide through the desert. I now really want to do the whole lap of Australia in the van. It’s one of my dreams and I think it will be awesome.” 

Advice for other international students considering a move to Adelaide 

Are you thinking about studying and working in Adelaide? Well, Ligia’s advice for you is quite simple: do your research!

“Look for information. Look on YouTube and Instagram. There are so many channels talking about [these topics],” she urges. 

Not sure where to look? Check out our guide on moving to and living in Adelaide to get you started. 

At the end of the day, Ligia concludes, the only way to know for sure if you’ll love Adelaide as much as she does is to come and see it for yourself.

“If you really think you might like Adelaide, then I’d say just come. It’s really beautiful here.”