Those of you (crazy/kind) people who have been following my vlogs will know that I’ve been keeping a pretty big secret. For the last few months I’ve been downsizing my possessions, applying for visas and filling out a zillion forms for a move down under. Today it actually happened.
As you well know I’ve spent the last 5 years travelling at least once a month. I love having a home base and the stability and fluffy duvet that affords me, but my sense of itchy feet has in no waned over the 4.5 years of running this blog. In fact, it has probably got worse.
Something I have never done though is live abroad. I’ve never put myself in a situation where I had to start anew. Never moved to a country where they have words for things I don’t understand (doona* anyone?) and indigenous animals I have never heard of. My partner is Australian and as I watched him build a life and career in London, delighting at the bizarre British quirks I’d often complain about, I started to long for a similar experience for myself. We discussed it at length. We wanted to relocate at a time and in a way that worked for us both. Although my boyfriend is from Melbourne we have moved to Sydney, we’ve put ourselves in the same challenging boat.
(Hard to say goodbye)
Leaving London was more heart breaking than I ever imagined. The problem was I hadn’t really imagined that part at all, focusing on what I would gain rather than those I would miss. (Janet Jackson was right, ‘you don’t what you’ve got till its gone’.) I didn’t realise how much I meant to my friends and family, and they to me, until I told them I would be relocating to the other side of the world. Saying goodbye hurt, a lot.
But I am so excited about what the boyf and I have in store. The new haunts we’re going to hang out in, the people we’ll meet, the lingo I’ll learn and the exciting work we will (hopefully) do. I am only a Facebook status, Skype call or Tweet away from everyone back home. We’re super keen to host guests and I’ll be going back for visits often.
(Flying First Class)
To soften the blow of the epically long flight and sad goodbyes was the luxury of our First Class flight! As you may have seen from my over-excited Facebook updates we saved up our air miles and cashed in a companion voucher so we could relocate in style. As well as trying out a flat bed for the first time, flying First gave us a generous luggage allowance (3 checked bags each and 1 hand luggage) which we milked to the max! We routed via Tokyo and spent a few hours experiencing Japanese hospitality during the long layover (seems like a strange dream now but I have the passport stamp to prove it happened!) A full report on that First Class experience and how we came to redeem it will be on the blog soon.
(Tea break in Japan)
I’ll also be continuing to blog about my travels (lots of plans for Australian and Asian exploration in the pipeline) as well as bringing you updates on how we’re settling in Sydney. We’ve booked an apartment via AirBnb for the first 4 weeks and it’s as gorgeous in real life as it looked on the website. It works out at £60 a night so is far cheaper than a hotel and far more luxurious than a hostel. I’ve been quite comfy blogging from the corner sofa this afternoon and feel a strange connection to the owners based on the contents taped to their fridge!
(Our AirBnb rental in Kensington Sydney)
Earlier this morning, though, there was a little bit of confusion with the keys which meant we were temporarily homeless. Whilst we waited to hear back from AirBnb or the owner my partner drove us out to Bondi Beach. We sat in our rental car, all our worldly possessions in the boot and soaked in the scene. Neither of us panicked. We were smiling. That’s got to be a good sign right?
*Doona is the Aussie word for duvet. Expect an Expat Guide To Aussie Lingo to be posted soon!