On Mother’s Day, we got the best news: I was granted my hella goddamn PERMANENT RESIDENT VISA. Continue reading “5 years and a permanent resident”
Tag: American living abroad
Audrey vs. Australia: Chinese Garden of Friendship
As I mentioned in my last post – I’m doing Australia in a series of posts called Audrey vs. Australia. LOOK OUT! And my first stop was basically in my backyard – a 15 minute walk from our apartment took us to the gorgeous Chinese Garden of Friendship, right in Darling Harbour.
I’ve walked past the Garden more times than I count, but Saturday marked the first time I’ve been behind the walls. It’s $6 for adult admission, and it’s $6 of beauty, zen, and most importantly, big ass, majestic lizards. The garden is filled with peaceful rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and lagoons; is drowning in greenery; is glowing with flowers and lanterns; and dotted with intricately designed pavilions and secret pathways where you can have a sit or explore. It’s an interesting juxtaposition of traditional zen and bustling city, and I had a blast. Will definitely add “Chinese Garden of Zen” to my future dream house plans.
It was a bit cold, and too late into autumn to see the garden in bloom, but it was still absolutely lovely. I can only imagine how lush and beautiful it looks in spring and summer. Or when it’s raining. Ah man.
Let’s take a tour:
I had a pretty stressful Friday, which bled into Saturday morning, and I was surprised that wandering around the Garden all morning absolutely took my mind off of it. As we left, I felt happy, relaxed, and like I wanted to go right back in. I’m not one who is normally fixed by zen gardens, and I didn’t even realise it, but it actually worked. Triumph!
+10, would definitely venture again.
AudPodge vs. Australia
The building I work in has a balcony with a view of the ANZAC Bridge, and yesterday I spent my lunch break up there. It was one of those days where the sun was perfect, the humidity was perfect, the temperature was perfect, the breeze was perfect, and the pollen count was awful (can’t win ’em all). Continue reading “AudPodge vs. Australia”
Happy anniversary, Sydney! It feels like just a few days ago we were toasting to my first year here, so it’s hard to believe we are now on year two.
And what a year it’s been – we moved into our fantabulous new place, we both started new jobs, Joel’s business grew, and I was granted my visa (and Medicare wheeee) leaving less than a year until I’m a permanent resident (fingers crossed!). It’s been a year of change and adjustment, of little adventures, incredible meals, hella laughs, long talks and big plans.
However, I struggled with (more like collapsed under the weight of) personal issues this past year, and that was a huge set back. But facing them was a huge step forward. And slowly but surely, (and with lots of help), it’s getting better. And I still miss my family and friends in the States more than I could ever convey (Thank God for video chats). And starting new jobs and moving meant that more than a few times we scraped coins together to buy a frozen $5 pizza for dinner. #adulting
Even so, I still wake up every morning happy to be where I am. I still think to myself that I’m so damn lucky to be here. I look at Joel and I know – this is where I need to be. The trip I couldn’t afford to take became the trip that changed my life. The most reckless financial decision I ever made became the best decision I ever made.
Thanks for everything, Sydney. In the bright, times, and in the dark times, I’m so happy to call you home. Xo
6 months in
Six months ago, I walked off a plane with two very over stuffed bags, ready to start the life that Joel and I had been planning.
And it’s already been six months. Half a year. Where did it all go?!
I mean, I know time has passed, because I can throw my hair up in a bun now, and I couldn’t when I first moved here, but it’s still hard to believe.
But it still feels like yesterday that I was racing through the airport with those very overstuffed bags and two very overstuffed suitcases, running toward Joel and our new life. Running toward what my mom calls “our big adventure.”
This is the longest I’ve gone without seeing my family, my friends, and my pets, and that can suck sometimes. Let’s be real, that can really suck sometimes. But every day reaffirms that I made the best decision of my life by moving here. I knew it would be hard, but I also knew it would worth it. And it has been. These last six months have been more rewarding and challenging than I ever thought they could be. For the first time in my life, I’m thinking and acting like an adult instead of a pseudo-bohemian-malcontent-girl-child. Like, we have an actual savings account. With money in it. And we pool our resources and we have solid plans for our future and we talk shit out and we compromise and we support one another. It feels responsible and very Adulty. And it’s pretty awesome.
Before I moved, people told me that I was brave to follow my heart. I didn’t then, and I don’t now think it had anything to do with bravery. First, I moved from one English speaking first world country to another. Second, I moved in with Joel, whom I adore, but who is also one of the most hard working, caring, sincere, hilarious and loving men I’ve ever met. It doesn’t take balls to take a bet on a sure thing. And I’d bet the house on him all over again.
Happy 6 months, Sydney. I’m so very happy I have a chance to call you home.
Now it’s time to get that visa submitted, so I can hopefully call you home for a much longer time.
*I got my first grey hair when I was 14. And now I have a Stacy London patch that gets frighteningly more apparent the longer I go between salon visits. Thanks, Mom!