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BriD

Life in the land of Oz!

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FingersCrossed

Congratulations on the news. 

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ErnaC

Hi BriD

 

I have enjoyed reading your journal from the beginning....any updates?

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BriD

And so Winter has arrived in Sydney and we are nearly in the middle of the year! How times passes!

 

I am now 30 weeks pregnant and feeling extremely huge...we are in the middle of renovating our townhouse and are staying at a friend's house who is out of town for 7 weeks while the renos go on. A very busy time with deadlines...but lots to be excited about as well. 

 

Today is a day of celebration for me as I received word that I had successfully graduated from the course I have been working on for nearly 3 years now. I am now officially a qualified veterinary nurse. I realized that not having studies to be working on will be quite strange as for most of our time in Aus thus far I have been studying. It feels awesome to have achieved an Australian qualification and at the same time have found a job in a wonderful clinic in a industry I truly love. Although I have just worked my last shift before going onto extended Maternity leave (will be away from weekday work until Jan 2019 at least) my boss told me that whenever I am ready to come back the door is always open and they would be happy to have me. It meant the absolute world to me.

 

Hubby is doing well is his job and is very happy there. The kids are happy at school and all in all our family in thriving here. 

 

I recently went to Melbourne for a quick weekend to see one of the first friends I made in Aus (who I unfortunately had to leave when we moved to Sydney). It was surreal to see the place we first landed...remembering the uncertainty and all the new things we encountered along the way. Melbourne will forever hold a place in my heart...our first pivotal 3 months in our new country. Flying back into Sydney though, as I saw the lights of the city I felt overwhelmed with love for the place we now call home. I am so happy that our immigration has been so easy and we have all slotted into life here as if we were always meant to belong here. I continue to find Australians some of the friendliest, most helpful and most welcoming people ever. I have never looked back.

 

In the second half of this year we have several visitors, Hubby's parents, Hubby's good friend and his wife, and my parents will be back for their second visit to Australia. It will be a busy time for us, but I do so love to show our loved ones our home and it's surrounds. What will be very special will be the trip we plan to do with my parents. My maternal grandfather has done alot of family tree work and I have roots in Victoria. I am hoping in the next few months to source the gravesites of several family members who were born, lived and died in Australia way way back. Perhaps this is why I feel so at home in Australia, my ancestors came from here, so I have essentially returned home. 

 

As always I continue to think of those that are still working their way through the process of the visa applications, the packing up and the early years of immigration to Aus. There are tough times but it is so very worth it...stick it out and in time you will also be able to look back at the incredible journey you have undertaken and be able to be proud of everything you have achieved striking out on such a brave adventure. 

 

Bri

XX

 

 

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Husky

Love all your positive energy. That is one lucky kid you're bringing into the world.

We're onto that, this will be the last Father's Day, birthday, winter, Christmas etc. in SA phase. Savouring every moment. 

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SimpleSimon

Hi @BriD Just read your old post of 3 years ago. I'm interested to hear how the 3 years have gone. Ah I've just seen your other posts.

Edited by SimpleSimon

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Fidjet

Good Morning and congratulations on passing your course! It is a great feeling to know all that hard work and many hours of studying played off in the end. 

 

As for finding out you have roots there (no matter how distant), that must be an amassing feeling. I never thought about it until we planned to move but so much of my family history is part of South African history. I had Great great (add as many as it takes) grandmothers walking over the Drakensberg with Sarel Celjee. I had Great Grandparents fight in the boer war and family die in the English concentration camps. My Great Grandfather was Carl Otto Hager, he designed and built allot of churches including the NG Kerk in Stellenbosh and Somerset-Oos (both of witch I have been to) and many more... I never thought it would bother me to leave all that behind but it does, I am going to a place where I will be the first (an adventure on its own) but at the same time I am “turning my back on” my history... Can explain why it means allot to me.

 

I hope the visits and the trip goes well, and that things with the first aussie in your family is a happy healthy little one.

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ErnaC

Can't wait to read your next post!!!

 

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BriD

It turns out having a laat lammetjie is a major life change and leaves you with little to no time for day to day things! And so once again I realize how long it has been since I was last here. My sincere apologies for being one of those people that immigrate and then drop off the planet...I know how much it helped me in our early visa application days to see everyone's stories who were already here. I will try my best to be better about it!

 

So anyways...on the 31st July 2017 our newest little pumpkin...our Aussie surprise "Emily" was born. I joke now that we were trying to get the full Australian experience by doing the child thing from day dot in Oz to see how the experience differs. The older 2 obviously born in South Africa, so being pregnant and having my third baba here in Aus has been a different experience all together. I chose to go private with a private obstetrician because that is what I knew and I wanted one doctor to see me through my pregnancy to the end - unlike the public system...so I really can't comment on that side of things. However, life with baby has been a completely different thing...I cannot get over how family orientated this country is...so many playgroups to choose from, beautiful parks, all kinds of free kiddie activities. Also the opportunity to go for long walks in the suburbs with Em in the pram...it's just a whole different ball game - so unlike the life I had before with the others where we drove to friend's houses or to play centres and hardly walked anywhere...especially not on your own. Now I own a pram that I can go on bushwalks with...so that Em and I can do stroller friendly hikes whenever we want...this life...this is why we came to this country. A life where you can feel free and safe...it is still as precious to me now as it was the first day we arrived in Australia.

 

In the meantime, hubby quit his job in September last year to try his hand at starting his own business. He did his best, but soon realized that it's no easy task starting something from scratch even if you have an awesome product. So this week in fact, contracts were exchanged and hubby is now a business owner of an established business that deals in similar products to what he is selling, but that his products will compliment and add to the scope. I am so happy for him that he has realized his dream of owning his own business and I can see how happy he is to have a change to really grow a business. It is a risk for us...we have our house as surety for the bank loan...but I think life is full of risks...and you gotta try or you'll always wonder what could have been. So here's hoping it goes well for him.

 

I have stepped back from my work as a Vet Nurse quite significantly because of Emily. I do 2 weekend shifts in a 4 week period just to keep my toe in the door. My boss really wants me to come back on a more permanent basis, but unfortunately it doesn't make financial sense as my job does not pay well and daycare will pretty much cancel out my daily pay. Perhaps in the future once little miss has started preschool I can look at that again. But it is nice to know I am valued and my boss has told me he will always have a spot for me whenever I want to come back. Nice feeling!

 

We were just back in South Africa for a visit in April to introduce the newest family member to everyone. Emily is an Australian Citizen (lucky little person!) and we had to travel on her Aussie passport because we STILL have not received her South African one - it has been 7 months and counting now...hmmmpppff.

I was astounded at the airport when we arrived in RSA at passport control the attitude of the man behind the counter...yes, they are always sullen...but wow...he barely grunted a hello in response to our greeting, stamped each South African Passport grumpily...but as he reached Emily's Aussie passport, he suddenly glared at us pointedly, snorted in a rather rude way and angrily stamped her passport. I guess he must have realized we were not living in SA anymore since we have an Aussie baby. What a greeting.

Anyways...we had a great, BUSY trip as always. It is so incredibly hard to allocate time to people...and then at the end of the time when you need to move on to the next set of plans they always ask "if you have any spare time before you go back we'd love to see you again"...and it's so awful to have to mumble that unfortunately there is no other opportunities. These people who are long term friends... the ones you have managed to keep in contact with...and you are effectively saying "well you've had your 3/4 hours with us now, so see you in 2 years again"...it has never become easier and this is our 3rd trip back now. 

We are headed back to South Africa AGAIN in August because my sister is getting married, it will be a quick whirlwind 10 day trip though...no time for any friends then. We are keeping that trip on the down low.

 

In summary...we have been in Australia for over 4 years now...and we still love it. I really feel like I belong here, I have had no trouble fitting in and meeting people. It has been a amazing adventure, I continue to love exploring. The children are thriving and happy. The only way it could be improved is if our family was here with us...but it cannot be...so we have learnt to accept the status quo and make the most of the time we do spend with them.

 

We have submitted our citizenship application, there is a 16 month processing period...so we have a long while to wait for those blue passports. But in the meantime we continue to love our lives here.

 

Anyways, that is all from me for now. Will try update again soon x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ErnaC

GREAT to have an update!!

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RedPanda

Great to hear!

Don't feel too bad about updating at irregular intervals. I think the longer one stays in Australia, the more the updates are just slices of life, and have less to do with immigration. But yes, it's good to read about you again, and see what you've gotten up to!

And I'm laughing at your "pram that can go on bushwalks" :lol: because I've been eyeing them in the parks where I go for regular walks, and thinking to myself, Hmm...I can see myself doing that sometime in the future for sure! Some of them have quite impressive wheel tread. But yes, I love the fact that I see pregnant women out in town, out in parks walking and moms with even small babies out and about doing stuff. I just love it.

Thanks for the update :) 

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Husky

Once again, love your positive mindset. It sounds like you have all consciously made your new life in Oz work. Hope things go really well with hubby's new business. 

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BriD

 

We received our Citizenship in May 2019 after waiting for nearly 18 months from application. It was a marvellous and surreal experience and I felt extremely grateful and blessed to have been given the honour of citizenship.  In July 2019 we made a very quick decision to do a major move to the Blue Mountains (about an hour out of Sydney's outer suburbs). We have family here, and my son was struggling with bullies in his school. We also were squeezed tight into our little townhouse with our surprise edition Aussie baby...so we needed to upgrade. Of course property prices in Sydney are ridiculous and we just could not get past paying so much for a complete reno project - for which we did not have time or money.

 

So one night we just decided, let's just start fresh. Move further from the city, more country life, more space, less traffic, better house for your buck and closer to our family. 3 weeks later we were living in Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains ( once you have moved continents, moving towns is hardly a decision haha). In those 3 weeks we packed up the house, found the perfect rental almost next door to our family! Perfect house with a pool and a big garden and oodles of space. We put our townhouse on the market and finished the last few reno bits and pieces to get it ready to sell. Signed up the kids for their new school and wham bam...we were living in the blue mountains.

 

I never thought I would want to move away from the beach, however...I have hardly had time to miss it being spoilt with the most incredible mountain and canyon bushwalks. It has had an immense impact on our stress levels and our children and our life as a whole to have more space, more outside time, more nature. The school is a third of the size of the old school but it about 5 times bigger as far as land and playground goes. The children are very happy there and I have found it to be such a different vibe in a "country" school as opposed to a suburban city school.

 

Of course the Fires in NSW were one of the unprecedented events in the last few months, and I have never been so stressed since moving to Australia. Having just moved to the mountains, and not being from Australia from birth...bushfires are not just part of life for us. A bushfire plan is not something we have ever had to have. So it has been a baptism of fire so to speak. Our rental is in a "vegetation buffer" for the Blue Mountains National park. Which means, fire at our doorstep would be really bad. I was so grateful that we don't own this house....because worrying about losing your home that you own is different and not something I wish to experience. It was a terrible terrible thing that happened to the bush, the animals, the people, the businesses...in the mountains we are all still recovering after such a lengthly period of stress. Followed shortly by the floods which smashed what was left of the National Parks and ruined walks that were still open after the fires.

 

And then just as we started to come out of that...Coronavirus arrived.

 

Here and now daily life feels like a movie that is playing out in real life. It seems unimaginable that something could hit so fast and so quickly. It is such a shocking realization of how quickly life as you know it can change. As business owners, we along with many millions of Australians are in a precarious position with the threat of lockdowns and recessions etc. It really has brought into the light what the priority should be and what we have control of...and what we do not have control over.

 

The sun continues to rise and set, the world continues to turn. One way or another this too shall pass and lessons shall be learnt.

We are doing everything we can to protect the vulnerable and compromised as per the government guidelines, to protect our employees and our family and to make the best decisions with the information available. 

 

I am grateful that we are not living through a war with the threat of bombs dropping on our heads, violent bloody death and uncertainty and rationing going on for years and years. The things people went through and continue to go through in war torn countries, we can't begin to think that this is the greatest challenge we will face. It has been worse in the past and life went on. So ultimately, we are doing our best to remain calm and circumspect under the circumstances.

 

Thoughts and prayers are with you all as we all worldwide navigate through this newest of challenges.

Good Luck!

 

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ottg
On 3/18/2020 at 9:38 PM, BriD said:

being spoilt with the most incredible mountain and canyon bushwalks

 

Its just amazing, the more you travel Australia, the more you see the beauty.

Early Feb we returned from a tour through SA, NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania. The bush-fires affected so many parts, and as you say, so many people and animals.

A quad-bike trip on Kangaroo island revealed the fire damage done, but also the parts still preserved. It was a real eye-opener.

Further, our flight could not land in Canberra airport due to the fires and needed to return to Sydney. We got a birds-eye view and its just unreal to observe how many fires were going at the same time. As you said, scary if you nor used to it. In Sydney, the fireworks were still allowed for the Australian day celebrations, and we had a front seat view underneath the Sydney harbour bridge. What a joyful experience as citizens.

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