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Diary & Deliberations of the Dinkies


EmNew

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I have realized, from reading posts on this invaluable forum, that all I can say to the parents that have been through this process - I take off my hat to you, bow down before you in awe......... How you managed the stress of this, on top of keeping your family unit together, I don't know.....

We are 2 working professionals that have not been blessed with children, which I guess puts us at an advantage in dealing with the emotional ups and downs, and hoops that we all jump through in pursuit of that ultimate goal , as we only have one another to worry about.

I have however noticed a strange reaction from the small close circle that we have already divulged our plans to, that is directly linked to our not having children. The instant and initial response is "Why do you want to leave? You don't have children!" We are instantly made to feel selfish yet again ( apparently not having children is regarded as the most selfish act of all, as people, often complete strangers, are very quick to tell us upon hearing that information, without even caring to know if it's choice or circumstances )

Well, why indeed.........

These are our particular reasons for wanting to head off on a new adventure:

1) Yes, crime does play a role - I cannot deny that. So, that obvious reason is out the way.

2) We have lived a safe life - which is an odd statement coming from someone who has never lived anywhere other than South Africa! By 'safe' I mean we have always done what was expected of us . We haven't taken risks, and haven't unduly challenged ourselves. As we got older, and realized that kids were not going to be part of our future, stepping outside of the box became important to us to help us grow as individuals.

3) We have never felt that we really fit in in South Africa. We have felt more at home in other countries whilst visiting them than we ever have here.

4) Our personality types - we both have enforcer attributes under the Briggs Meyers personality type classification.This means that the general lawlessness and cowboy attitudes observed daily in SA literally drives us mad - seeing babies on laps in front seats, people ignoring stop signs & red traffic lights, the general sense of entitlement that all races / genders display etc

5) A general feeling that we will not make a difference by staying here. We are both avid Lead SA supporters, as I have always believed that if enough people act in a certain way, others will follow. Sadly this has backfired. We're seen as weak for obeying laws for which there is no enforcement. We can still make some difference from Australia, by sending some AUD to worthy causes, but we just cannot see ourselves persevering in an environment that frustrates us to no end.

In Australia, we think we have a good home. Whilst it is a mostly English speaking country, so no challenge there, it is not South Africa.

Setting up, re-skilling in local tax etc for me, the fact that everyone we meet will be a stranger at first, will be enough of a challenge for us to meet our 'out of the box' requirements, and test our introverted personalities!

There is enough law & order, and enforcement thereof. Also a more sensible population who see the rules as there to help & protect them, not annoy them.

It would seem there are plenty of quirky individuals to make life interesting, as we tend to navigate towards bright and colourful people to balance ourselves :)

Everything we see about Australia impresses us. Reading crime stats, observing law enforcement ( have just watched the Melbourne press release video of how New Year's is going to be handled by police, ER etc and was blown away at their efficiency, organisation and zero tolerance approach whilst still encouraging fun ), the manner in which the media reports the news ( not sensational ), and lately, how the public reacted to tragic events and handled potential discrimination that those events could have triggered.

I want to document our process, thoughts and reactions to it, as I feel that some people might be holding back on making this decision, based on the fact that they too are not parents, and feel guilty about wanting a better/different life for themselves. I also hope to learn from other couples or individuals that have made this journey kid-free, and how they have settled into society on the other side.

Wishing all a fabulous and Blessed 2015 - hoping that everyone's prayers for their future are answered in the forthcoming months. Hopefully a fresh new year will bring a fresh new start to all forumites !

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OnYellowBrickRd

You will LOVE Aus.

Yes, moving "for a better future for our child" was the one "justification" nobody argued with, but we definitely came to Aus for a better future for ourselves too!

I love living in a country where I don't feel like the ONLY law abiding citizen. I love not fearing for my life or for my future.

I can honestly say that I have felt more alive and happy in the almost 2 years in Aus than I did in the 35years before in RSA.

I believe (and this is my opinion, so don't shoot me) that people who have the means or the opportunity to leave South Africa and choose to stay are...yes, I am going to say it...STUPID! People who stay in their (dis)comfort zones are very quick to call emigrants "cowards", but (as you will find out) immigration is one of the scariest things anyone can do and it takes b@lls of steel to get to the other side.

Stop bothering to justify your decision and come on over to where you have the opportunity to freely be you!

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Thanks OnYellowBrickRd

Your reply put a smile on both our faces, especially the emphasis on LOVE. I think too that we will be a better fit there than we have ever been here.

Today was a bitter sweet day. I awoke to realize that this could be the last year that we spend with our fur kids.

We have four furry purries ( aka cats ) and sadly we know they will not accompany us on this journey. We have 3 siblings, hand reared by my sister which were given to us under the pretenses of being a housewarming gift, but the reality was that her 3 dogs on the farm were just waiting to have a snack, so they had been isolated in a room in her house. They got to fly from Kimberely to Cape Town, when they were old enough, so they have had their grand travel adventure already.

A year later , on the Easter long weekend, a beautiful Siamese wandered into our garden, and settled under the lavender bush to start crying like a baby. I really was convinced we had an abandoned new born in our property ! We found this feisty blue eyed wonder, and have to admit, were quite relieved when no one answered our found posters put up around the neighborhood. He captured our hearts from day one, and certainly has the grandest personality. As a work from home accountant, he makes for great company on the days I don't engage with clients.

Now all four are suffering from arthritis, one's kidneys are failing, and all are speckled with gray fur. The vet has already said they are not fit to get the shots, let alone undertake the journey. So now I shadow them, armed with my camera, and spend a lot more time just stroking them and being the lap on demand.

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EmNew, I can definitely feel for you about your furry children! We had to leave two behind when we left 21 years ago. Although we trust that they went to a good home, you would be surprised how often I am still concerned about them... it does not help to tell me that they would both have passed on by now... I still worry. I have often felt that it may well have been better to have taken the undeniably heavy decision to have them put down.

It still brings tears to my eyes when I look at any photos of them!

Good luck and God Bless you on your journey!

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SurferMan

EmNew,

i would not worry about your friends, I found that most of mine that reacted that way were jealous they cant/dont want to leave. Your choice on the kids, we got married and initially were career focused and did not want kids. Three kids later I can say it's about the best thing that ever happended to me. But it all boils down to choice.

I felt the same when i watch people take the piss at traffic light by jumping them, stop streets that are just run over at top speed. Where i used to live was a 4 way stop down the side of a hill, i cannot tell you how many times i almost got T booned by @asswipes who dont give a damn. Try that in Aus and the cops will nail you.

This is a great mostly law-abiding country that works and you will love it. Cmon over mate!

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DXB2OZ

The only ones in a position to judge what is best for you is you. It can be compared to something as simple as picking a wall color - people will make suggestions, but at the end of the day, it's your house and you need to choose what wall color makes you happy.

At the end of the day it's your life to live and you get to choose where to live it.

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Emnew, I share your heart ache. We have 3 loving cats. Two are turning 14 years old in Apr 15, the newest one my wife found at shopping mall (fallen from the roof). My cat started with arthritis few months ago and it is sad to see my "street fighter" crying to get onto the bed, his sleeping place for last 14 years. Sadly we will need to take to the vet end of Jan. The other elder in the house did not take us moving into a rental this past dec to well, so we are concerned with what to do with him as he will not make the move with us. Our youngest will also remain, but he is would more easily adapt.

Sad times for us it seems.

PS There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast. ~Author Unknown

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Re being young professionals who don't have kids:

We were the same as you - until we moved to Australia!! Once we were living here we realised that we DID want children, we just hadn't wanted to have and raise them in RSA. So now we have two little Aussies aged 8 and nearly 10 and it's the best thing we ever did - took quite a few years to fall pregnant but that is another story.

Although it is not the reason to have kids, I did find it really easy to fit into Australia once we had kids. Our first three years here we were childless and we made friends, had jobs etc but having kids gave us a reason to fit in. My friend who moved to Wales to marry said the same thing.

So just something to think about that you may find that your reasons for not wanting kids are more about geography. Obviously entirely your decision and I don't want to be one of those people who says you're not a family without kids because I HATED being told that (heard it a lot!!) It's just that I never thought I would change my mind until we moved here.

Unless of course there are medical reasons why you can't have kids - in which case ignore me completely and excuse my insensitivity.

Edited by Crisplet
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They say a husband and wife IS a family, children are welcome additions. :wub:

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Thanks to all for your encouraging & supportive words :)

Faduv & Mara - glad to know I will not be alone in this heart wrenching decision to leave them furry purries behind :( I know that I too will look back on it for years to come with a heavy heart, but honestly, at their age and with their health problems, I know we're making the right decision for them not to take them. The lump in my throat however remains....

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SurferMan

We gave our dogs away to good mates homes that had massive gardens.(Criteria was >5000m2) For my female staffie we gave to her an old lady to see our her days. (She was old already) She is happy hunting birds and lizards ALL day long.

As for my pedigree make, I gave him to a mate who had two females so he spends his days doing what malle dogs love doing the most... :whome:

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I literally squealed with joy when I read the Skillselect email today telling me that I have an invite to apply for a 189 visa today!!!

I know the real emotional and daunting stuff awaits in the actual visa application, physically moving over etc, but I am just enjoying not feeling stressed right now, in this moment - just pure relief and happiness :D :D I feel as if I have won the lottery!

Edited by EmNew
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OnYellowBrickRd

:congratulations::ilikeit:

Now that you've bought the ticket, enjoy the rollercoaster ride!

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Thanks OnYellowBrickRd :D Well, we have that invite to the ball, now we just have to snag the Prince ( aka visa )

I was told by someone to enjoy(??!!) the stress while it lasts..... It seems as if life is sure going to be so dull once this process is fully done and dusted and I am munching on a Tim-Tam on Oz soil ;)

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Excellent news, good luck, soon we will get your post, saying we got it!

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Thank you Mara. Then I will lean on your sage advice / posts regarding living in Melbourne :)

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So the euphoria of having obtained the 189 invite has died off.

Frustration and a feeling of being in limbo has now set in.

I understand our agents only got back to a full staff compliment on Monday, but have had no word as to progress/status of actual application, and have not even received instructions about booking for medicals etc. We held off applying for our PCC's until after invite received as we didn't want to have an activation date that was too close to actual date of visa being approved. Not sure if we should just go ahead and apply for them before getting instruction to do so now. I don't even know how they normally operate - ie load upfront and submit missing docs upon request, or only load when all in hand.

Trying to remain positive and that all will happen as and when it's meant to.

In the meantime, I guess we are being over all positive about our prospects, as we are frantically trying to get all the little issues, fortunately only cosmetic, sorted out on the house, in anticipation of putting it on the market later this year. My painting and wooden window frame sealing skills are now top notch, so I guess that if I can't initially land a job in my profession when landing on the other side, I have a handy skill to market in the interim ;)

We've also started looking at the cupboards full of stuff - and identifying the sell/donate/bin items. It's quite horrifying to see what has been accumulated since our marriage, especially since we started out with the bare minimum. It's a good exercise though - partly a trip down memory lane, partly a realisation of how much stuff we own that would be better off in the hands of someone else.

Hopefully by the end of January good progress will have been made on all fronts ...... :wacko:

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SurferMan

Hi EmNew.

If its any consolation, we did the same. When we got married we bought a sure 200K over our budget( in those days I paid 380K for our house, wow) and we worked every night by lead light in the garden making it our home. When we got our 457 to come to Aus MAN DID WE HAVE CRAP! We did the honourable thing and gave most of it away to needy friends and family. But im with you, you collect crap along the way. Now days, we have cleanups 4 ties a year, and I have a strict no crap policy in the house. Man its a whole new universe.

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An amazing thing about this journey - you go from a feeling of limbo & playing the waiting game, to progress, in a matter of hours!

Our 189 visa application was lodged today!!!! Trying not to think about the FNB incontact text that arrived when the charges went through..... :blink::blink:

So, now it's get the medicals done and get those pesky PCC's in hand.

@Surferman - good idea on regular cleanups! Hoping to start that new habit too once settled that side of the world.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So an update : our PCC applications have arrived in Pretoria. We're now back in hands of state employees, so will just have to sit back and hope that all is processed as it should be.

We booked our medicals for 17 February, as we didn't think that there was a rush considering the current turnaround on PCC processing is longer than usual at the moment and no VPO assigned for our application as of yet.

Still feeling very calm about the process in general - the feeling of peace makes me feel that we have made the right decision for us.

I know that in a way the REAL stress starts when the visa is approved , and the actual exit needs to be planned.

We have all the 'joys' of the potential emotional backlash from loved ones to deal with, getting the house sold, my business to wind up, hubby's employer to give notice to, deciding once and for all on the matter of ship all belongings vs start from scratch ( currently leaning towards a movecube for personal items and getting all we need when over that side ) , getting the moving quotes, and worst of all, deciding how to handle our 4 elderly kitties that can't make the journey across with us.

Everyday something new is learned on this forum, and for that my husband and I are both very grateful - it is a goldmine of information. I like the fact that you get details and assistance on the general application and settling in questions and issues, but also some insight into what could be deemed trivial matters to some, but important to others. Each of us have unique criteria against which we measure our particular lifestyle, and I feel that no question asked or answered can been deemed unimportant, even if it raises some eyebrows. I like to read that some don't like the taste of chocolate in Australia and it makes me curious to taste it and see if I agree or not ;) I like to learn what everyday things are called, that I could take for granted are named the same as in SA - can clear up some awkward communication blunders in the future!

So, just a huge thank you to all that have shared their journeys and experiences on this platform - you have helped a lot, and we look forward to learning more, and helping where we can.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today has been a strangely emotional one.

One up was seeing that we can now track our PCC applications online - took 7 working days to register on the system from hand deliver in Pretoria. So now that online tracker will be watched with a beady ( and untrusting ) eye. I gather from others that this does not always reflect an accurate report on status of the application, but it does feel somewhat comforting to know at least we are officially in the system, awaiting the issue of the certificates.

Another up was seeing what price the house across the road was listed for - a smaller house with fewer bells and whistles than ours and it was listed at a much higher price than I would have expected. I have read our particular suburb has become a sought after one, as it's within walking distance of government and private schools, hospital, shops etc while being less than 2km away from a wine route and farmland. I had always wondered why it wasn't more expensive here. So perhaps its boom and rise in public opinion comes at a great time, seeing as I am hopeful of a positive outcome to our application and putting our own house on the market later this year!

Then the downer emotions......I was reading posts about being in two minds about leaving SA today on the forum, and whilst my own convictions are not swayed - still think this will be the best thing we've ever done for ourselves , and am overall excited about it - reading them did bring home some issues that I have been pushing aside. I have 2 blood relatives left in the world, one I don't get along with and never really have, and one to whom I was very close, but thanks to family member number one, have lost a lot of the bond that was there before. The emotion that hit me today was guilt. Knowing that in leaving, I am saddling the second closer family member with the burden of dealing with the very difficult first family member on their own. Then guilt hit me for feeling relieved that perhaps I have an out for myself, and one that the closer family member had sought for themselves and been 'guilted' into abandoning. I was warned by a close friend that this process is very emotional, but for some reason, it didn't hit me until today. I am sure that this will be the first of many such days to come.......

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another step closer to that goal!

Medicals were done today, just a bit of waiting for the radiologist to arrive at work, but once xrays were done, it went fairly quickly. Was lucky to have a Dr that allowed all clothes to be left on!

By chance I checked the SAPS site when arriving home from the tests, to see that our PCC's were finalised yesterday!! ( actually gave a squeal of delight when reading that ) Not too bad a turnaround - they were hand delivered on 28/01/2015, and the system was updated / sms received on 04/02/2015 confirming receipt of application. They were finalised 16/02/2015 according to the online enquiry. ( didn't get an sms though )

No VPO appointment yet, so we are hoping to get the PCC's in hand and the medical results uploaded before that happens, so that all should be in order when VPO first takes a look at it.

Hoping for a home run now.....................I need to get this stress behind us, so that we can replace it with other stress (eg like starting to sweat over employment prospects etc )

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Great. Hope things happen quickly on the vpo side.

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SurferMan

Ennew,

Well done! yes you will hit the emotional wall about now, and some more just for good measure. Stay your course, you will be just fine.

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