4 years yesterday

Old Oct 4th 2012, 5:15 am
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Default 4 years yesterday

July 2007 someone at work mentioned that their friend was living it up in Oz and that she dreamed of doing it but was too old for a working holiday visa. She said that I was young enough and so I should do it. It was always on my mind to move away from Ireland at some point as I wasn't enjoying life there. I grew up in a small town in the west of Ireland which I hated. I still say the only good thing about the place is my family. Lived in Dublin for 10 years and found that to be much better but still had too many negatives for me. It wasn't particularly friendly, transport was a nightmare, work in my profession (even though I hate it) wasn't particularly high paying. So, I decided to look into the Australian visa options....


Joining this site was definitely the smartest of all the choices I made along the way. A wealth of information, even if I did piss off some of the resident agents . I decided to employ an agent based in Ireland to help me with the visa application. That was a massive mistake. They gave incorrect information, delayed lodging my skills assessment and even lost the results letter a couple of times. I eventually got it. While waiting for that to come through, I sat the IELTS test in Manchester (they don't have them very often in Dublin). Failed the reading section! Embarassing but is a funny story to tell people. Sat it again in Birmingham. There were many many posts on here from me and others about my test. The waiting was unbearable as I actually began to think that I wouldnt make it to Australia because I couldn't read properly Results came in, passed by the skin of my teeth. Joy all around. So, I lodged my visa application and got it probably as quick as anyone. Five and a half months. People I spoke to on here was waiting much longer and I felt bad for them as they wanted it as much as I did.

August 26th 2008, I phoned my mother to tell her I just got my visa. She sounded happy, then burst into tears and hung up. She had been very supportive along the way but I guess she couldnt control her emotions anymore. I think she had always been worried for me in everything. I have 1 brother and 4 sisters but I think she was more concerned about me and if I took care of myself properly. I hadnt been the best son at calling home, still not very good at that. Even when she hung up though, I knew that she'd accept it and knew that I was doing the right thing by going to Australia. That night, I booked flights and accomodation. No family to bring with me or to convince to come with me so no point waiting.

Leading up to leaving, I said my good byes to people, friends and family but really felt on my own. I got the impression from them that visiting was not something they would do, ever.

3rd October 2008, I arrive in Sydney. 36 degrees, lost the hire car in the city somewhere as I walked around, eventually found it. I was exhausted by the jetlag and insane heat. So, i went to the serviced apartment I was staying in and went to bed. I woke up after about and hour and the panic set in. No job, no long term accomodation, money won't last forever, don't know anyone. Pretty much as soon as I said 'don't know anyone' I got a call from my aunt (Dad's sister) who lives here. I had no intention of getting in touch with her so soon as I hadn't really spoken to her before. But she turned out to be an absolute riot. Very lovely woman and her family are also lovely. So I arranged to call out to her house the next Monday (labour day).

I started looking for work the next business day which wasn't my original intention as I wanted to travel. But, I didn't know how long it would take to get work and so it seemed wise to start looking immediately. I got offered a job that day but the money was ridiculous. That was the case with a couple of other jobs that I was offered. One even offered a fairly low salary which I decided I might take to get me started. At interview 2, they pretty much halved the salary again. I walked. There was no way I was going to take it, although the job did involve installing porn into hotel rooms.

9 October 2008, I went out to meet the ex pats at the Thursday meet up. Some of them might get a laugh when I say that night, it was Jacksons on George. Let me see if i can remember who was there. The first face I say was Jane (another Irish person). I must have looked very lost and obviously fresh off the boat. Martin, Neil, Karen, Colin, Dihn (I believe it was her first time as well), Nathan, Vicky, Lee (later became half of Jane and Lee). Thats all I can remember. Oh no, I remember jaegerbombs from Sharon (who made an appearance only once since). Anyway, they all seemed very nice people so was happy to go again.

Met many more people since then, expats, and have made very good friends through it.

It turned out to be 4 months out of work before I started in a role offering 'ok' money. Those 4 months were spent quite well though I think. I stuck to Sydney but was on the beach and chasing after women.

2 months after I started work, I got a call from my brother telling me that my Dad had a heart attack and things looked bad. I booked a flight home and, typical of my brother and his lack of tact, he phones me ahead of getting on the plane to tell me that the chances have got worse and only a third of his heart is working. He didn't mean bad but not the best news to hear ahead of a stupid long flight. I phoned home again at Abu Dhabi and he told me things have picked up and the doctors and speaking very positively. So, I got home, saw him in ICU, he was able to respond so we got him to pick a horse for the grand national. The horse he picked, I believe died on the track. Dad never backed a winning horse. This was a new low. He's now got a fully healthy heart but suffers from memory loss. That becomes a fun game when talkign to him on the phone. Irritating as well though at times.

So, I flew back to Sydney when he was taken out of ICU. When I got back, I felt homesickness more than ever. I think I spent a few months feeling miserable. But I didnt want to return home as there was nothing there for me job wise. My impressions of Sydney at that point were mostly positive. Australians themselves didnt seem to get irish banter which concerned me as I wasnt sure if their silence was down to them not understanding or if they felt insulted. Very strange. Anotehr observation I made was just how crap media is over here. TV, radio, newpapers - all mostly rubbish. SBS and ABC are the only channells that have any credibility in my book. Apart from the few negatives, the positives were obvious. Climate, beautiful city, friendly positive people, stunning women and fantastic outdoorsy lifestyle (which is actually why tv being crap is a good thing). There are some negatives which don't deserve a mention as, for every carbon tax, here's a tv licence etc.

I got a car lease when I started my job. A joke amongst my friends I think. The rule was to drive 25000 km's a year in order to pay less tax on it. On normal use, I might have used the car once every 2 weeks. So that wasn't going to work. Stubborn as I was, I decided to do the k's anyway. Newcastle and back, Newcaslte and back. Trip down to Canberra, and again. Went skiing, Newcastle and back, Newcastle and back. You get the picture. That lease was for 3 years. By year 3 I had given up and paid the tax. My advice is to not be and idiot like I was. Get a car lease if you actually do the maths first and it makes sense for you. I still have the car though and has given me no problems.

I've flown back home 3 times, once being for when my dad was ill, once for when my brother got married (for which I was best man) and last christmas. As much as I lvoe seeing family, I hate going home now. The jetlag makes me cranky and I'm not fun to be around. Plus, it's kind of depressing that I havent kept in touch with friends from home. It's sort of like, if I was to move back to Dublin, I'd nearly be starting again like I did in Sydney.

I think I've achieved some things since being here. Last year I did the city2surf and half marathon as well as doing a bungy jump in Queenstown. This year I ran the MiniMos, the Sydney Harbour run and the City2Surf but had to back out of the half marathon as I hurt my knee. So, now I'm just putting weight on falling out of shape fast.

So yesterday I lodged my citizenship application. It's something I've had my eye on since July 2007 to be honest. So, hoefully it doesnt keep me waiting too long.
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Old Oct 4th 2012, 2:19 pm
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Default Re: 4 years yesterday

Brilliant post I was on the edge of my seat reading about your dad but glad he is ok now

Weird though cos 2 years yesterday I arrived back in the UK after spending a short time in Australia. I can identify with the homesickness (it was that that made me run back home after 7 short weeks ) I didn't give it enough time, however my husband and I are returning to try again in a few months.

Congratulations on making it to citizenship and good luck with everything else.
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Old Oct 4th 2012, 2:58 pm
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Default Re: 4 years yesterday

Originally Posted by knockoff nige View Post
July 2007 someone at work mentioned that their friend was living it up in Oz and that she dreamed of doing it but was too old for a working holiday visa. She said that I was young enough and so I should do it. It was always on my mind to move away from Ireland at some point as I wasn't enjoying life there. I grew up in a small town in the west of Ireland which I hated. I still say the only good thing about the place is my family. Lived in Dublin for 10 years and found that to be much better but still had too many negatives for me. It wasn't particularly friendly, transport was a nightmare, work in my profession (even though I hate it) wasn't particularly high paying. So, I decided to look into the Australian visa options....


Joining this site was definitely the smartest of all the choices I made along the way. A wealth of information, even if I did piss off some of the resident agents . I decided to employ an agent based in Ireland to help me with the visa application. That was a massive mistake. They gave incorrect information, delayed lodging my skills assessment and even lost the results letter a couple of times. I eventually got it. While waiting for that to come through, I sat the IELTS test in Manchester (they don't have them very often in Dublin). Failed the reading section! Embarassing but is a funny story to tell people. Sat it again in Birmingham. There were many many posts on here from me and others about my test. The waiting was unbearable as I actually began to think that I wouldnt make it to Australia because I couldn't read properly Results came in, passed by the skin of my teeth. Joy all around. So, I lodged my visa application and got it probably as quick as anyone. Five and a half months. People I spoke to on here was waiting much longer and I felt bad for them as they wanted it as much as I did.

August 26th 2008, I phoned my mother to tell her I just got my visa. She sounded happy, then burst into tears and hung up. She had been very supportive along the way but I guess she couldnt control her emotions anymore. I think she had always been worried for me in everything. I have 1 brother and 4 sisters but I think she was more concerned about me and if I took care of myself properly. I hadnt been the best son at calling home, still not very good at that. Even when she hung up though, I knew that she'd accept it and knew that I was doing the right thing by going to Australia. That night, I booked flights and accomodation. No family to bring with me or to convince to come with me so no point waiting.

Leading up to leaving, I said my good byes to people, friends and family but really felt on my own. I got the impression from them that visiting was not something they would do, ever.

3rd October 2008, I arrive in Sydney. 36 degrees, lost the hire car in the city somewhere as I walked around, eventually found it. I was exhausted by the jetlag and insane heat. So, i went to the serviced apartment I was staying in and went to bed. I woke up after about and hour and the panic set in. No job, no long term accomodation, money won't last forever, don't know anyone. Pretty much as soon as I said 'don't know anyone' I got a call from my aunt (Dad's sister) who lives here. I had no intention of getting in touch with her so soon as I hadn't really spoken to her before. But she turned out to be an absolute riot. Very lovely woman and her family are also lovely. So I arranged to call out to her house the next Monday (labour day).

I started looking for work the next business day which wasn't my original intention as I wanted to travel. But, I didn't know how long it would take to get work and so it seemed wise to start looking immediately. I got offered a job that day but the money was ridiculous. That was the case with a couple of other jobs that I was offered. One even offered a fairly low salary which I decided I might take to get me started. At interview 2, they pretty much halved the salary again. I walked. There was no way I was going to take it, although the job did involve installing porn into hotel rooms.

9 October 2008, I went out to meet the ex pats at the Thursday meet up. Some of them might get a laugh when I say that night, it was Jacksons on George. Let me see if i can remember who was there. The first face I say was Jane (another Irish person). I must have looked very lost and obviously fresh off the boat. Martin, Neil, Karen, Colin, Dihn (I believe it was her first time as well), Nathan, Vicky, Lee (later became half of Jane and Lee). Thats all I can remember. Oh no, I remember jaegerbombs from Sharon (who made an appearance only once since). Anyway, they all seemed very nice people so was happy to go again.

Met many more people since then, expats, and have made very good friends through it.

It turned out to be 4 months out of work before I started in a role offering 'ok' money. Those 4 months were spent quite well though I think. I stuck to Sydney but was on the beach and chasing after women.

2 months after I started work, I got a call from my brother telling me that my Dad had a heart attack and things looked bad. I booked a flight home and, typical of my brother and his lack of tact, he phones me ahead of getting on the plane to tell me that the chances have got worse and only a third of his heart is working. He didn't mean bad but not the best news to hear ahead of a stupid long flight. I phoned home again at Abu Dhabi and he told me things have picked up and the doctors and speaking very positively. So, I got home, saw him in ICU, he was able to respond so we got him to pick a horse for the grand national. The horse he picked, I believe died on the track. Dad never backed a winning horse. This was a new low. He's now got a fully healthy heart but suffers from memory loss. That becomes a fun game when talkign to him on the phone. Irritating as well though at times.

So, I flew back to Sydney when he was taken out of ICU. When I got back, I felt homesickness more than ever. I think I spent a few months feeling miserable. But I didnt want to return home as there was nothing there for me job wise. My impressions of Sydney at that point were mostly positive. Australians themselves didnt seem to get irish banter which concerned me as I wasnt sure if their silence was down to them not understanding or if they felt insulted. Very strange. Anotehr observation I made was just how crap media is over here. TV, radio, newpapers - all mostly rubbish. SBS and ABC are the only channells that have any credibility in my book. Apart from the few negatives, the positives were obvious. Climate, beautiful city, friendly positive people, stunning women and fantastic outdoorsy lifestyle (which is actually why tv being crap is a good thing). There are some negatives which don't deserve a mention as, for every carbon tax, here's a tv licence etc.

I got a car lease when I started my job. A joke amongst my friends I think. The rule was to drive 25000 km's a year in order to pay less tax on it. On normal use, I might have used the car once every 2 weeks. So that wasn't going to work. Stubborn as I was, I decided to do the k's anyway. Newcastle and back, Newcaslte and back. Trip down to Canberra, and again. Went skiing, Newcastle and back, Newcastle and back. You get the picture. That lease was for 3 years. By year 3 I had given up and paid the tax. My advice is to not be and idiot like I was. Get a car lease if you actually do the maths first and it makes sense for you. I still have the car though and has given me no problems.

I've flown back home 3 times, once being for when my dad was ill, once for when my brother got married (for which I was best man) and last christmas. As much as I lvoe seeing family, I hate going home now. The jetlag makes me cranky and I'm not fun to be around. Plus, it's kind of depressing that I havent kept in touch with friends from home. It's sort of like, if I was to move back to Dublin, I'd nearly be starting again like I did in Sydney.

I think I've achieved some things since being here. Last year I did the city2surf and half marathon as well as doing a bungy jump in Queenstown. This year I ran the MiniMos, the Sydney Harbour run and the City2Surf but had to back out of the half marathon as I hurt my knee. So, now I'm just putting weight on falling out of shape fast.

So yesterday I lodged my citizenship application. It's something I've had my eye on since July 2007 to be honest. So, hoefully it doesnt keep me waiting too long.
What a brilliant post and I feel sure it will inspire some.
Very interested in the installing porn in hotels job, I take it you were talking some sort of cable and not something more hands on
Look forward to reading what you post once you get citizenship.
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Old Oct 4th 2012, 9:26 pm
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Default Re: 4 years yesterday

Nice update- we have been here 4 years, and I really must get on with lodging the citizenship papers....if only I could get a photograph taken which actually looks like me!
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Old Oct 4th 2012, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: 4 years yesterday

Originally Posted by classybird View Post
Brilliant post I was on the edge of my seat reading about your dad but glad he is ok now

Weird though cos 2 years yesterday I arrived back in the UK after spending a short time in Australia. I can identify with the homesickness (it was that that made me run back home after 7 short weeks ) I didn't give it enough time, however my husband and I are returning to try again in a few months.

Congratulations on making it to citizenship and good luck with everything else.
Thanks, very brave to decide to come back but I think its a wise one. It's where I want to be anyway. Best of luck with it.

Originally Posted by TheArmChairDetective View Post
What a brilliant post and I feel sure it will inspire some.
Very interested in the installing porn in hotels job, I take it you were talking some sort of cable and not something more hands on
Look forward to reading what you post once you get citizenship.
Thanks very much, installing porn was probably the description I preferred but it was more about installing it systems into hotel rooms such as voip, tv, entertainment etc. It would have meant carrying around porn on media files though.

Originally Posted by carolinephillips View Post
Nice update- we have been here 4 years, and I really must get on with lodging the citizenship papers....if only I could get a photograph taken which actually looks like me!
Well done to you too. Think I was over eager about the citizenship so applied asap. Good luck with yours.
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Old Oct 13th 2012, 9:25 am
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Default Re: 4 years yesterday

Great update
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Old Oct 15th 2012, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: 4 years yesterday

Great post NN, must say the "The horse he picked, I believe died on the track. Dad never backed a winning horse" comment made me chuckle. Only the Irish can laugh and cry at the same time!!
See you soon for a beer fella!
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Old Jan 28th 2013, 7:58 pm
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Default Re: 4 years yesterday

Just read your post Nige! I remember your ILETS experience well - can't believe where the times gone, 4 years! Not sure if you remember me, I came, I saw, I left!..... Really nice to know you made it. I can honestly say coming back home was the best thing i ever did, i love my life, going to Oz made me appreciate things i'd took for granted in the UK. Hubby and I are closer than ever, we've both got good jobs, live in lovely little village, got one daughter in university, and another one in college and we're happy, cost me a fortune to discover the obvious, but better late than never!
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Old Jan 28th 2013, 10:27 pm
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Default Re: 4 years yesterday

Hey Mary.

Of course I remember you. If it wasn't for your karma I wouldn't be here . It's really great to hear that things have worked out so well for you. It was a bit of a shock when you decided to go home and I was concerned that it would be very tough to start up again. So, sounds like moving to Australia was actually a very positive move in the end, even if it only lasted 5 minutes.
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Old Jan 29th 2013, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: 4 years yesterday

Originally Posted by knockoff nige View Post
Hey Mary.

Of course I remember you. If it wasn't for your karma I wouldn't be here . It's really great to hear that things have worked out so well for you. It was a bit of a shock when you decided to go home and I was concerned that it would be very tough to start up again. So, sounds like moving to Australia was actually a very positive move in the end, even if it only lasted 5 minutes.

Of course it was, the karma thing that is! 5 minutes was actually 10 weeks took longer to get the blasted visa than our time over there - and yes, it was extremely tough for me emotionally when i got back, the feeling of failure was immense, but it passed. Maybe if we'd gone to anywhere other than Perth it may have been different, who knows? It was an experience i no longer regret, like you say, its made us stronger and certainly happier

You've certainly had an eventful time of it, i hope your dads doing ok now?

Citizenship, wow, and this from someone who failed the reading section, i take it there's not a reading section in your bid to become one of them?

I've not been on this site for years, just couldn't face it, and then the other night my daughter showed me her A level English coursework and it brought it all back - it was an essay about when emigration goes wrong, it was very funny, very witty - she was only 12 when we went, oh the memories!

Anyway, great to know you're happy and well, good luck with the citizenship.
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