American nutritionist Emily Keefe shares the things she can't stand about living in Australia

Emily Keefe.
Emily Keefe. Photo credit: Instagram/Healthy Emmie.

This story was first published in August 2019.

An American nutritionist has shared the difficulties of living Down Under after moving to Victoria in 2018.

Emily Keefe relocated from Boston to work as a teacher in Melbourne for a year. Known on YouTube as 'Healthy Emmie', the 24-year-old has shared the biggest culture shocks she experienced while living and working alongside New Zealand's neighbours. 

"I was surprised by how different the culture was," Keefe said in her latest YouTube video.

The nutritionist made a disclaimer before launching into her tirade, saying she "wouldn't have spent a year there" if she "didn't love every second of it".

So what did this young American hate about old mate Aussie?

Speed cameras


"If you work for the Australian Government, there is a very large chance I single-handedly paid your yearly salary," joked Keefe.

The young professional claims she raked up over AU$1000 (NZ$1049) in speeding fines during her year abroad, with $200 to $300 speeding tickets attacking her bank account like an ibis on a rollercoaster.

"When you live in the US, if you drive the speed limit, you get honked at," she explained.

"Is it because I'm a crazy, reckless driver? No, it's because I'm from Boston."

Expensive fresh produce


As a plant-based eater, Keefe struggled with Aussie's expensive fruit and veggies.

"A head of cauliflower was $8 (NZ$8.40), brussel sprouts were like $25 (NZ$26.20) a kilogram," she vented.

It could be a supply-and-demand thing... sprouts and cauliflower tend to be at the bottom of most people's grocery lists.

'That's okay'


Two of Australia's favourite words have caused some confusion for tourists.

For Australasians, "that's okay" is a simple way of saying "no drama", "no biggie", "don't worry about it". 

According to Keefe, the US equivalent of "that's okay" is "I didn't really want to do this for you, but like fine, it's okay, like whatever, I did it".

And that important linguistic difference caused a few issues for Keefe.

"I was asking a lot of questions and asking for help on things, and they would say, 'that's okay'," she lamented.

"I was like, oh, I don't like bothering these people so much."

Who knew geography played such a huge role in the meaning of "okay"?



Every Australasian's favourite way to end a Saturday night caused a bit of confusion for this poor American.

As a health-conscious nutritionist, the Maccas' addicts of Melbourne may have hit a plant-based nerve. 

"People are always saying, 'I'm going to Maccas'," she explained.

"I was like, 'What the heck is Maccas?'"


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