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12 months on - long post warning!!!

12 months on - long post warning!!!

Old Jan 25th 2005, 9:50 pm
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Cool 12 months on - long post warning!!!

So, its twelve months on, not from the date I arrived in Australia, or the date my visa was granted or even the date I applied. Its twelve months on from the day I left Australia for the UK…….


The story, for those that don’t know, goes like this. I met my partner in Kuala Lumpur in June 2000. After a bit of holidaying in respective countries, I came out here on a WHV in Feb 2003, to see if we could actually be together. Turns out we could do, but as my visa end neared we weren’t ready to apply for a de facto visa, so made the decision for me to go back to the UK to apply. We spent a month travelling home via Thailand and Europe, my partner got to meet my friends and family and we had a great time. The only bad time we had was the moment he disappeared through passport control at Heathrow airport, if it wasn’t for the fact I had just three minutes to run back to my car before I got charged another two hours at airport rates, I think I would have slumped down where I was standing and sobbed my little heart out. The drive back home (to Cheshire) that night was horrible. I wanted to be with my partner again. All I could think about was how upset I was seeing him leave, could I do that to my friends and family.


Took me quite a while (few weeks) to get the courage to tell my family what I was planning on doing. My mum was devastated, my Dad is a man of very few words, this situation was no different. My brother was great, his girlfriend lives in Paris and they’ve been having a long-distance relationship for almost two years, so I think he understood the most. I was lucky to get a good job at my old work and able to live at home, so there was no financial pressure as such. I’d also booked a return ticket from Australia, dated to go back in May, so I didn’t have to worry about that.

I went about my daily life, every night logging on to Expats to get extremely valuable information (thanks guys!), while beginning what seemed like an impossible task. Staying up to the early hours, so I could talk to my partner online. Eventually I lodged my visa, only to be told within days that I could have a hole in my heart and I required more information to be awarded my visa. Everyone on here knows how tough it is to go through the visa process, this was my lowest point. The one person I needed to make me feel better wasn’t even with me!!! My return flight date was approaching quickly, so I changed it to the end of July, hoping I’d know something by then. Finally I got my visa… oh happy days Though telling my mum I was definitely going, and in 7 weeks time was no nice task. I did a quick tour of the UK, said my goodbyes to friends and family, packed up and shipped off all my stuff and off I went!!!


When I arrived back in Australia, it definitely felt different to the first time round. Now I was here for good, a resident (albeit not a permanent one yet!). During my first week here I was in complete turmoil, jetlagged and feeling alone, unsure if the biggest decision so far in my life had been the correct one. Especially as two days after I got here, I got an email from my bestest oldest friend in the world, saying her and her husband had suddenly split, under very bad circumstances. All I wanted to do was go back home. I think if someone had offered me a ticket home I would have quite happily taken it. I consider myself lucky as well, I might not have had my family with me, but I had my partner, I knew my way around and I did know a handful of people who I considered friends from my WHV year here.


I allowed myself two weeks to settle in, didn’t worry about looking for a job or buying a car, or any of that. I needed time to sort my head out, readjust and fit in again. For me this was the right thing and I’m glad I did it. Then came about the task of looking for a job. After a bit of trial and error on Seek, I contacted two agency’s, both agency’s got me a job within a few weeks, and I was able to take my pick. Again, I think I was extremely lucky on the work front, I set my own wage, got a week in NZ to train and have a very easy-going boss, who on Monday this week tells me my 3 months probation is up, well done, I passed, here’s a $4k pay rise


Australia day and I’ve now been back in Australia six months, exactly a year since I left for the UK! Weird the way it works. Its not been easy a lot of the time, Christmas was hard for me, yet easier than the year before when I was here and I would hope that every Christmas gets a bit easier each year. Its taken me six month to feel like this is home. I have a job I enjoy, I’ve got a good group of friends, from on here and from other places & on the whole I’m feeling quite content. That’s not to say I don’t have bad hours, I do, but then I could have them in the UK too. I’m worried about when my parents get old and missing out on my nieces and nephews growing up, but there’s webcams, emails, phone calls and holidays to be taken.


I just thought I would share this with everyone, I could have gone into more detail, but you would still be sat here reading it this time tomorrow if I listed everything that’s happened to me in the past six months or so, both good and bad.

One thing I would say to anyone who’s just arrived, or just about to, is that its not easy to leave behind everything you’ve known, this isn’t the UK in the sun, but it is a great place with a lot to offer. If you realise this from the offset, and come here with an open-mind and willing to allow yourself the time you require to settle in, then hopefully you’ll feel as home here as I now do

Last edited by mlbonner; Jan 25th 2005 at 9:52 pm.
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Old Jan 25th 2005, 9:55 pm
  #2  
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

Nice one to read, it does take time, even after many years it still has its moments in another country.

Enjoy your Australia Day!!! Thank you for sharing.

M
 
Old Jan 25th 2005, 10:03 pm
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

Hiya Chick,
Yup you sure have had your ups and down in past year but as they say 'good things come to those who wait'. Great post with a nice balance of good and not so good. Really looking forward to the day I arrive with Andrew to start our new lives.
Love and hugs
Sarah
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Old Jan 25th 2005, 10:44 pm
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

Originally Posted by Merlot
Nice one to read, it does take time, even after many years it still has its moments in another country.

Enjoy your Australia Day!!! Thank you for sharing.

M
I second that! A lovely, honest post. Thank you X
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Old Jan 25th 2005, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

Brilliant post Good to see with so much in your way, you could still fulfil your dreams. An inspiration to anyone with hassles on the road to their dreams.

Carl
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Old Jan 25th 2005, 11:15 pm
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

Originally Posted by mlbonner
So, its twelve months on, not from the date I arrived in Australia, or the date my visa was granted or even the date I applied. Its twelve months on from the day I left Australia for the UK…….


The story, for those that don’t know, goes like this. I met my partner in Kuala Lumpur in June 2000. After a bit of holidaying in respective countries, I came out here on a WHV in Feb 2003, to see if we could actually be together. Turns out we could do, but as my visa end neared we weren’t ready to apply for a de facto visa, so made the decision for me to go back to the UK to apply. We spent a month travelling home via Thailand and Europe, my partner got to meet my friends and family and we had a great time. The only bad time we had was the moment he disappeared through passport control at Heathrow airport, if it wasn’t for the fact I had just three minutes to run back to my car before I got charged another two hours at airport rates, I think I would have slumped down where I was standing and sobbed my little heart out. The drive back home (to Cheshire) that night was horrible. I wanted to be with my partner again. All I could think about was how upset I was seeing him leave, could I do that to my friends and family.


Took me quite a while (few weeks) to get the courage to tell my family what I was planning on doing. My mum was devastated, my Dad is a man of very few words, this situation was no different. My brother was great, his girlfriend lives in Paris and they’ve been having a long-distance relationship for almost two years, so I think he understood the most. I was lucky to get a good job at my old work and able to live at home, so there was no financial pressure as such. I’d also booked a return ticket from Australia, dated to go back in May, so I didn’t have to worry about that.

I went about my daily life, every night logging on to Expats to get extremely valuable information (thanks guys!), while beginning what seemed like an impossible task. Staying up to the early hours, so I could talk to my partner online. Eventually I lodged my visa, only to be told within days that I could have a hole in my heart and I required more information to be awarded my visa. Everyone on here knows how tough it is to go through the visa process, this was my lowest point. The one person I needed to make me feel better wasn’t even with me!!! My return flight date was approaching quickly, so I changed it to the end of July, hoping I’d know something by then. Finally I got my visa… oh happy days Though telling my mum I was definitely going, and in 7 weeks time was no nice task. I did a quick tour of the UK, said my goodbyes to friends and family, packed up and shipped off all my stuff and off I went!!!


When I arrived back in Australia, it definitely felt different to the first time round. Now I was here for good, a resident (albeit not a permanent one yet!). During my first week here I was in complete turmoil, jetlagged and feeling alone, unsure if the biggest decision so far in my life had been the correct one. Especially as two days after I got here, I got an email from my bestest oldest friend in the world, saying her and her husband had suddenly split, under very bad circumstances. All I wanted to do was go back home. I think if someone had offered me a ticket home I would have quite happily taken it. I consider myself lucky as well, I might not have had my family with me, but I had my partner, I knew my way around and I did know a handful of people who I considered friends from my WHV year here.


I allowed myself two weeks to settle in, didn’t worry about looking for a job or buying a car, or any of that. I needed time to sort my head out, readjust and fit in again. For me this was the right thing and I’m glad I did it. Then came about the task of looking for a job. After a bit of trial and error on Seek, I contacted two agency’s, both agency’s got me a job within a few weeks, and I was able to take my pick. Again, I think I was extremely lucky on the work front, I set my own wage, got a week in NZ to train and have a very easy-going boss, who on Monday this week tells me my 3 months probation is up, well done, I passed, here’s a $4k pay rise


Australia day and I’ve now been back in Australia six months, exactly a year since I left for the UK! Weird the way it works. Its not been easy a lot of the time, Christmas was hard for me, yet easier than the year before when I was here and I would hope that every Christmas gets a bit easier each year. Its taken me six month to feel like this is home. I have a job I enjoy, I’ve got a good group of friends, from on here and from other places & on the whole I’m feeling quite content. That’s not to say I don’t have bad hours, I do, but then I could have them in the UK too. I’m worried about when my parents get old and missing out on my nieces and nephews growing up, but there’s webcams, emails, phone calls and holidays to be taken.


I just thought I would share this with everyone, I could have gone into more detail, but you would still be sat here reading it this time tomorrow if I listed everything that’s happened to me in the past six months or so, both good and bad.

One thing I would say to anyone who’s just arrived, or just about to, is that its not easy to leave behind everything you’ve known, this isn’t the UK in the sun, but it is a great place with a lot to offer. If you realise this from the offset, and come here with an open-mind and willing to allow yourself the time you require to settle in, then hopefully you’ll feel as home here as I now do

Hi Captain,

It must have been really hard for you being parted from your fella whilst applying for the visa, and then was hard for you to leave the UK. Noy easy at all!

But you've settled in and feel like it's home now and that is so re-assuring for those of us who aren't there yet and are worrying about leaving family/friends etc.

Fab post, I love reading everyone's posts for 6 or 12 months on. It makes you realise what to expect.

Good on you girl for making it work!!!!

See you soon, hopefully!!!

Shell
xxx
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Old Jan 26th 2005, 1:11 am
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

great post girl - looking at the timeframe you've really made a good go of it - hope it works out like that for (and many others!)

happy australia day!

tanja
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Old Jan 26th 2005, 2:08 am
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

Awww, I've come over all blubby after reading that; a lovely post Michelle
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Old Jan 26th 2005, 5:22 am
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

Great stuff Michelle!

Glad to hear things are working out. I think your experiences are common to many newly-arriveds and I think the object lesson you give in your post is a salutory one.
Open-mindedness is the key.

It's 37 degrees in Emerald, Victoria. Phew!

Take care. and congrats one year on!
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Old Jan 26th 2005, 6:36 am
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

wow - great post.
Thanks for being so honest - good to know what people really feel.
I am looking forward to and also fearing what lies ahead
Good luck for the future
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Old Jan 26th 2005, 8:47 am
  #11  
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

Very nice post Michelle!

Thanks for sharing.
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Old Jan 26th 2005, 9:10 am
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

Very well told... I have to admit that (being a newbie and not knowing any past to this) I read the first bit and was rather disheartened as I anticipated that you'd returned to the UK to stay... and that your Australia dream hadn't worked out.... I am so glad I was wrong! It's lovely to hear.
My DH was told by a work colleague in the UK (an Aus.) that he should not let his wife go back 'home' (=UK/family) for at least year! His did (UK to Aus) and nearly ended up staying (I think her 4 week trip became a 5 month one)...

I didn't realise just quite how 'big' an event Australia Day is for everyone here - and rather sadly (though not too much!) DH is on a business trip working hard, and our first AD is not together. On the other hand, DD and I celebrated by listening to the tennis on the radio and cheering for Molik (and then falling asleep during the last bit!). (BTW that's a big move for us - I'm not a sport enthusiast... !!)

Upshot of all this is - it's not fun being apart - for whatever reason and for however long - but it is super to hear of someone's dream being worked on, working out and love triumphing!

Right - thank you for letting me add my tupporth
congrats
and thanks again
teagg
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Old Jan 26th 2005, 9:26 am
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

Great post Michelle.

Keep enjoying life and continue to be a "very nice poster" . Look forward to meeting you later in the year.
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Old Jan 26th 2005, 10:20 am
  #14  
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

All that and a boat licence too!!! You sound like you're settling really well - lets hope it gets better and better
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Old Jan 26th 2005, 10:29 am
  #15  
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Default Re: 12 months on - long post warning!!!

Thanks everyone - and credit to you all for getting through my post... it was a 'bit' longer that I meant it to be!!!
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