Expat update: Month T-0

I am just about to get on a flight to Sydney to start my new expat life, and having spent nearly a month away from the UK (and post goodbyes) I thought this would be a good moment to stop and record what’s been going on since we left.

The Good

Being on holiday ¦¦ Having some time to relax and decompress after the sadness of goodbyes, the stress of finishing work and packing has been great. And all too easy. Exploring new places has been fun, but I’ve not wanted to be as high octane as we sometimes are on holiday. I’ve craved pool time, book time and time just being with S. It’s been good.


I’ve been back on the gram too. Also good!

We have visas! ¦¦ Hoo-rah! And not a minute too soon. We got our visas granted about a week and a half ago, so not cutting it fine at all. We had a good celebration that night!

Seeing Brian, Lydia & their son ¦¦ Our friends are generally amazing and seeing them is always a joy. It was however particularly poignant to see them just as they prepare to leave their home in Thailand, where they’ve lived for nearly 3 years (more on their story coming up next Thursday in an expat story post).

We had some great chats about all things expat; differing attitudes and cultural reference points, groupthink vs the deification of the self, judgement, materialism, forging relationships amidst hugely different viewpoints and ways of living, I could go on. They’re wise people and we learned a lot in the few days we spent with them.

Being warm ¦¦ At times too warm, but I have to say it’s been great not to worry about jumpers, coats, scarves etc for three whole weeks.

The Bad

Political climate ¦¦ Since we have been away the climate towards immigrants in Australia has soured further. They’ve just announced the abolition of our particular visa, a matter of days after ours was granted. Obviously this leaves our future situation a bit unclear to say the least, but it also means that as holders of this visa class, the 457, a lot of scrutiny is suddenly being directed our way. I wouldn’t want popular sentiment to turn against us, because that would be….uncomfortable.

Trouble eating ¦¦ Keeping soy sauce away from me this month has been harder than I thought. I’ve had a lot of plain boiled rice. Good thing I like rice.

On the positive side, I did find this pudding I could eat (a rarity anywhere in the world). It’s called an IQ Ball Chin Chaw and it’s basically shaved ice, condensed milk, strawberry syrup and lots of weird jelly spheres and cubes. Good… but so, so sugary!

Too much stuff ¦¦ We still have too much stuff. I don’t know how. We’ve chucked away a lot of stuff we brought with us already. I just don’t want any more stuff.

The Ugly

As before, I’ve decided that I’ll be sharing The Ugly side of things via email. That way, I can share a bit more honestly on things like work and personal matters that I don’t want searchable on t’internet. Seeing as you’re all my friends, I’d just feel a bit happier doing it this way.

So if you want to know The Ugly, just put your email address in the box and I’ll add you to the list. You’ll get mail from me 2-3 days after you see this post, just to give everyone a chance to sign up who wants to.

Catch you in your inbox!

-Rachel

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14 Comments

  1. 21st April 2017 / 16:43

    I so get the too much stuff problem! We have spent 3 years getting rid of stuff snd still have far too much – it’s like it breeds when you turn your back. Load of garden stuff went today! We will win the battle!

  2. 21st April 2017 / 18:36

    Ahhhhhh soy sauce the trickster!! I’ve never traveled in Asia but that’s one of the big reasons. Soy sauce is what always tends to trick me up – in the past I’ve even brought my own personal bottle around to sushi restaurants too 😂 That’s pretty scary stuff about your visa – soooooooo lucky you got yours in time at least!! And it’s good to remember that not everyone supports the current government and living in a city like Sydney you might not face as much immigrant-related discrimination :/

  3. 22nd April 2017 / 01:24

    Woohoo for starting your new life and having a fun month of travels too! I’m totally with you on the ‘too much stiff’ part, you always think you don’t have much… then somehow you do!
    Good luck!

  4. 22nd April 2017 / 07:15

    I was thinking about you with the visa changes! Great you could get in. I had a friend who spent most of her holiday looking here for houses, only to get back home and have the visa requirements change 3 weeks later so neither she or her partner was eligible. So sad. They never have been able to move here!

    It’s good you’ve enjoyed your trip so much so that you’re ready for life in Sydney and energised. Don’t worry about how your visa will be perceived either – most in the industry recognise why it’s been needed and you won’t encounter any negativity because of it.

    Away From The Blue Blog

  5. 22nd April 2017 / 11:03

    Exciting times and yes, it’s a bit tense here with the recent visa changes. Really hope the negativity will not be an issue for you both.

    All the best for your flight over here.

    SSG xxx

  6. 22nd April 2017 / 13:25

    All the best for the move!! So excited for you. The visa changes are unfortunate. I hope things work out.

  7. 23rd April 2017 / 15:28

    Good luck! I moved from London to Copenhagen a year ago and totally empathise with the too much stuff issue haha. Best of luck on your new adventure 🙂

  8. 23rd April 2017 / 23:20

    Too much stuff is always a problem when I move. Ugh… Safe travels!

  9. 24th April 2017 / 02:28

    Aaaah yes, the dreaded STUFF! I’m having that problem now! We’re moving back to Australia in a couple of months and because shipping costs are so high we need to basically sell everything! Of course this makes me realise just how much stuff we have! UGH!

    Hope all is going well now you’ve arrived in Australia.

  10. 24th April 2017 / 15:35

    oh my what a whirlwind! i need to travel and you’re giving me the itch yet again. i’m glad you got the visas just in time! oh political climates – why must they be oh-so-shitty just about everywhere right? le sigh. hope all is going well so far!

    xoxo cheshire kat

  11. 26th April 2017 / 18:45

    Thank goodness y’all ended up getting your visas! I can’t believe that they stopped doing your type of visas literally days after you received yours. And yes to having a vacation filled with lots of relaxing! Those are always the best!

  12. 27th April 2017 / 16:49

    YAY for your visas being granted!! I’m sad that Australia is feeling negative towards immigrants. I blame the US for this nasty trend, but I’m glad that your visas came through. That IQ ball looks FASCINATING. I think you need to break it down for us. LOL

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