Yeah, you read that right. I don’t know where I’m going to live come June. I don’t know where I’m going to work come March. Hell, I don’t even know where I’m going to go after I get “technically” deported.
Let’s backtrack. I moved to Australia back in June 2014 to live with my boyfriend, knowing full well that it wasn’t a permanent solution, but it did give me a year in this damn near perfect country. I was granted a Working Holiday Visa, which allowed me to work with one employer for six months at a time and allowed me to live and work in Australia for twelve months.
(Read more about Australian Immigration and Visa Options – here)
At first, our original plan was to apply for the Partner Visa, which would allow me to live and work in Australia with no limitations. We even registered our relationships as De Facto in the state of New South Wales. But as the time to apply got closer and we took an even closer look at the fine print, we realised it really wasn’t the best option for us at the time. Firstly, the visa would cost around $10,000 including agent fees. For someone who was barely spending $10,000 in a year, that was an astounding number. Secondly, the approval period would take 16-18 months, with limitations on how many times I could enter and re-enter the country. Thirdly, we want to apply for the Partner Visa when we know for sure where we want to settle down. It was too much of a demanding visa for our liking.
The next plan was to find a job that could sponsor me – allowing me to live and work in Australia with that one employer. Unfortunately, my employer, who I’ve been working with for the last four months, didn’t have the capacity to sponsor me, despite his best efforts. While I could go look for another job that will sponsor me, Sam and I are both unsure of whether Australia is where we want to stay for the time being.
Don’t get me wrong, Australia is amazing. It’s beyond amazing. I love living here so much, and I constantly find myself looking around at my surroundings and just smiling because it’s just such an incredible country. I can see myself settling down in the Northern Beaches, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, one day. But it’s also massively expensive. Think $500 rent – PER WEEK. Or $10 beers. Or $20 hamburgers. Or $80 taxi ride home from the city. It’s just not necessarily sustainable at this time in our lives.
We thought about moving back to the US, but there are serious limitations to Sam obtaining a visa. We thought about teaching in Asia, but there’s limitations for me not having any teaching qualifications. And we don’t want to “pay” to go work through a program.
Many people have asked us why don’t we just get married, so either one of us can legally live in one of our home countries. 1.) Ew no, way too young. 2.) We would never want to get married for any other reason than to be completely ready to get married. Even if getting married meant making our lives ONE MILLION TIMES EASIER. It’s just not a reason to get married.
So let’s take that off the table.
So here we are. With two months left of work and five months left in Australia, we don’t know where we are going to go. And it’s the most terrifying, vulnerable and amazing feeling all at the same time. We’re young, capable and free to go anywhere in the world right now. Sure, there are restrictions to any country, but for the most part, we’re willing to go anywhere. How many times in our lives will have this complete freedom? When else can we have nothing else (or no one else) tying us down to one city? No house, no kids, no permanent careers. We can just go at the drop of the hat. And the best part is that we would go anywhere. Lucky for me, I happened to fall in love with a fellow wanderluster.
As long as we are together, we will make it work. Whether we move back to the US to pursue the “American dream” or travel in a 1VW Kombi through South America, we would make it work. If he got his dream job as a teacher in Asia, I would follow and make it work. It’s an incredibly open and free feeling that we won’t necessarily get to feel for a very long time afterwards.
Sure, there’s been tears. Let’s be real, there were a lot of tears, just earlier today. It’s scary – it’s really scary. To not know where we will be in 2-4 months. To not have any sort of job security or physical geographic security. All we can do is work our butts off these next few months; save, save and save some more; and then see where in the world this time in our lives will take us.
If anyone has ANY suggestions, whatsoever, please message me or email me! I’d love to hear about your journey or what we could do for some fun, quick money while traveling! We’re seriously open to anything.
It’s been such a beautiful journey so far, and I can’t wait to see what will happen next. No matter how terrifying it is!