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JonathanR

Awesome @Husky, I remember it is such an awesome feeling to get that grant. Now the heavy lifting starts :)

 

Min Dae...

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Our Numinous journey …   I love words.   I love the meaning of words.   I love the impact of words.   Numinous (adj.) Origin: Latin   Describing an ex

This journey is such an emotional roller coaster. Reading about other people's visa grants last night and though happy for everyone, was feeling rather sad that we didn't seem to be moving forward. 

The joy of the end of the wait is sublime! After 5 months, I eventually received a positive assessment from Vetassess for my experience. Initially received a negative assessment because they said

Posted Images

Thank you everyone. So, as @JonathanR said, the heavy lifting starts now. After a week of feeling elated and deeply grateful that we have our visas, it is now time for decisions and action. Hubby and I spent the week-end on budgets, calendars, schedules and inventory (did I mention, I love excel? .... hehe). Plan is to do an activation trip in July and start actively networking and applying for jobs now. If a job comes up, we will make plans to move over ASAP. If not, plan is to move year end. Our daughter is finishing matric this year and keen to go to Deakin university in 2018. Have done the research around her eligibility and costing. Think all will be ok. Looking at suburbs close by, i.e. Burwood, Ashwood, Doncaster, Mount Waverley. Any feedback on these suburbs and schools in the area? Son is in grade 8 now, so will most likely start grade 9 in Australia next year. Any input on public high schools in the suburbs mentioned above? I have heard from friends in Australia that it is better to send kids to Catholic high schools because there is more discipline. I am not convinced this is true. Thoughts on why this is a perception?

Need to do some household sprucing up (painting, fixing curtain rails etc,), then put the house on the market. At the same time sell 90% of household goods, cars and motorbikes. After living in the same home for 17 years, it is unbelievable how much *stuff* we have accumulated. Plan is to start afresh in Oz. 

Told the family about next steps and thankfully they are all very supportive. Mother-in-law a little emotional, but that is to be expected.

#stillgrateful #stillexcited 

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I think Doncaster is by far the better suburb from those you mention! (mainly because it would be closer to where we are looking :D)

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  • 4 weeks later...

You know how I love words. Found this one today. In case you were wondering, I actively seek interesting words that I would probably never use in a conversation and are purely food for my curiosity.

 

Monachopsis

n. the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits, unable to recognize the ambient roar of your intended habitat, in which you’d be fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.

Ref: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows is “a compendium of invented words” written by graphic designer and editor John Koenig.

 

That is pretty much how we are feeling right now. Like we just don’t belong. Restless, edgy, impatient …… Every time I see another negative story about South Africa, I want to jump on a plane. I do need to start cutting down on social media – just seems to bring out the worst in people.

 

I do need to say that this state of restlessness is far less difficult than the limbo stage when we were waiting for our visas to be approved. Thinking of all of you who are still in the waiting room. That feeling of not knowing can drive one mad.

It is rather an excited restlessness. We want to go NOW. Unfortunately, circumstances make this a little difficult. Our daughter needs to finish matric – she could of course stay with the grandparents, if necessary. We need to sell the house, furniture and cars to make sure we have sufficient capital to sustain ourselves and start over again in Melbourne. It would be wonderful if one of us could secure a job first. At this stage, the plan is to keep applying for jobs. If one of us gets one, he/ she will go over and start setting up and the other will follow with the kids. In the unlikely event of not finding a job first (note my positive manifesting ….. hehe), we will fly out on 31 December and take some time to settle and explore before focusing on the job search.

Luckily both of us have Skype interviews lined up for next week. Very early days and only the first 3, but hey, progress means we are moving and it feels good. Have started connecting with family and old friends in Australia, who have all been very encouraging. We have also started telling a few very close friends of our plans. Thankfully, they have all been incredibly supportive. To be fair, most of them already live overseas or are looking at going to Europe or the Cape in the next few years, so they get it.

Thank you to the SAAustralia forumites, as always, for your support and wisdom.

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wonderer
1 hour ago, Husky said:

 

Monachopsis

n. the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place, as maladapted to your surroundings as a seal on a beach—lumbering, clumsy, easily distracted, huddled in the company of other misfits, unable to recognize the ambient roar of your intended habitat, in which you’d be fluidly, brilliantly, effortlessly at home.

Ref: The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

 

Absolutely love it!!!

Trying to practise the pronouciation as I drive :D

 

3 interviews - thats amazing! Well done!!

Prepare to be the airport fetcherer (*evil laugh) :P

 

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Haha @wonderer

Have no idea about pronunciation. Guessing moan-a-cop-sis ...... :D

Well, at least one of us will be an airport fetcherer. Yay.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

How does one balance the elation of being able to migrate to Australia with the roller coaster emotions of leaving loved ones behind. Goodness, this takes some skill and EQ.A quick update. Over the past two weeks we have:

 

  • Finished painting and fixing up a few minor items and put our house on the market. The area we live in has a very slow property sale rate so we are starting early. If we sell early, will be moving in with my in-laws until we leave. Thank goodness for family with big houses.
  • Told most family members, friends and colleagues about our plans. Responses have ranged from “how fantastic, you are so brave, we will miss you but understand” (the best) to one friend breaking down in tears (the hardest) to complete indifference (the worst) to “no, why Australia, why are you leaving us, how did you get in” (the most frustrating). We are so excited but have learnt to downplay it until we see the reaction. If people are positive and ask questions, we tell them the whole story and it is lovely to know that though we will be missed, people get it. I am hoping that I do not get a “traitor” response, because I may just lose it. My family and I have been exemplary citizens, we have always paid our taxes, voted, been involved in community projects, been members of charity organisations and worked in social enterprises. I am no traitor. I have done what I can and will continue to support South Africa from afar.
  • Am trying to sell my car, which is proving to be very difficult. I am one of those lucky people who drive a Ford Kuga. Yip, the one that bursts into flames. Practically impossible to sell.
  • I was retrenched in January and have gone back to freelance consulting, which has actually turned out for the best. The only concern is that my income is no longer consistent. With having to save every penny for the big move, I am working hard at increasing my client base.
  • Had three phone calls scheduled last week to network and discuss job opportunities. The first one was with a niche recruitment firm. The woman was incredibly nice and gave me lots of encouraging advice. She felt confident that I would be in a position to get a good job, but probably more likely once we arrive in Australia. I had to call the second person, a director of a small OD consulting firm. The woman did not answer and despite a message and follow on email I have not had a response. These things happen. The third call was on Friday evening with an ex South African (great to get his insight) director of another boutique consulting firm. Though they are not actively looking for consultants right now, he was very encouraging about my prospects with them once we make the final move. I was also encouraged by their advice around positioning myself. I was mindful of being humble and said I was willing to start in a junior role to gain the Australian market experience, understanding that would mean a lower salary. Both of them told me that my senior management experience and qualifications were not junior, and that I should rather position myself at a middle management level to start off. They indicated that senior roles were not out of reach as my field is pretty universal. I do leadership and organisational development.
  • Got in touch with an old primary school friend who has lived in Melbourne for 20 years and she has been incredibly helpful. We don’t know each other well enough for us to expect a place to stay when we arrive, but it is nice to know that we know at least one person there.  
  • Thanks to @ChrisH , we managed to secure flights on the Qantas companion special at R33,865 for 4 adults (kids are teenagers) for the end of July to go and activate the visas. It does mean taking the kids out of school for a week, which is not ideal but in the greater scheme of things, worth it. Any tips on how to handle the school with this? Plan on setting up meetings with networks, seeing some schools and visiting the university my daughter is keen on. All this in 4 days (eish). I know it is crazy, but hey, that’s how we roll. Still looking for accommodation. Seems that Hotels.com have better prices than AirBnB. Plan to stay in the city centre so that we are close to potential meetings.

Thank goodness we got our visas and bought the tickets before the downgrade yesterday. The events over the past week have just solidified our decision to migrate. I just hope that some honest and courageous leaders emerge from this debacle.

Oops, not quite the quick update I was planning. Once I started writing, realised how many action steps we have taken. It is cathartic. I am feeling very content and excited about our progress.For those of you just starting out, please hold on and stay focused on the goal. Our journey has not been a smooth, easy one. Most worthy goals aren’t.

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie

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12 minutes ago, Husky said:

 

How does one balance the elation of being able to migrate to Australia with the roller coaster emotions of leaving loved ones behind.

 

 

It is all in what story you tell yourself about what you are doing.  Are you leaving loved ones behind or are you breaking the trail for those who may choose to follow?  It's all in the narrative you decide to embrace...

 

 

13 minutes ago, Husky said:

 “no, why Australia, why are you leaving us, how did you get in” (the most frustrating).

 

This is the jealous response.  Don't be fooled by the emotional blackmail of "why are you leaving us".

 

In fact in light of events this past week, NOBODY can be surprised that people are leaving. The Facebook groups for migration are on FIRE the past few days in a way that I haven't seen before. Rest assured you (and your family eventually) will be grateful that you have paved the way and made the hard decisions.  Never allow anybody to try to lay a guilt trip on you.  If a boat is sinking, nobody would expect us to all drown together.  It is expected to save yourself and if possible to then save others.  Right now you are saving yourselves...

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21 minutes ago, Husky said:

It does mean taking the kids out of school for a week, which is not ideal but in the greater scheme of things, worth it. Any tips on how to handle the school with this?

 

Re school: not sure exactly what you mean about how to handle school.  Do you mean that they won't give permission because that's just the wrong way round.  You don't have to tell them the full story.  Just that the kids won't be at school for the few days as you have urgent family business to attend to and they cannot be left home alone.  

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@Husky, as you told me: #noguilt. Most people have been positive and understand our reasoning, but there are certainly those whose responses throw you off kilter for a moment. Glad you managed to book your flights in time! We are still waiting for the lady who put an offer on our house to finalise her bond before we buy our tickets. Simply cannot afford to go over without that house money. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Found this on Pinterest and had to add it to my journal. Numinous - Love this word. Still how I feel today after a year on the path to Australia. 

image.jpeg

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  • 3 months later...

Eudaimonia (n) The contented happy state you feel when you travel

So lots of eudaimona during our quick trip to activate our visas in Melbourne, excluding the hours spent in airports and aeroplanes (I’m not a great flyer).

This is going to be a long post. It is important for me to have a place in my journal where I reflect on all our experiences during the migration journey.

Am going to try and be objective with my feedback. We all loved Melbourne and know we are making the right decision. So, starting with the not so great stuff:

 

1. Costs: We found it expensive, but then we were converting from Rands and eating at nice places in the CBD. For example, taxi from the airport was $70 (paid $48 on the return trip via uber), a very small glass of white wine $9 and a simple fettucini alfredo $16. We met my husband’s cousin who had flown in from Sydney on business for dinner, which came to a staggering $580 …. *cough cough splutter*. It was at a top notch Japanese restaurant at the casino, there were 5 of us and there was quite a bit of wine consumed and luckily he paid for most of it. Walking through some supermarkets and retail stores, the prices did not seem that much more expensive than in SA. The cost of houses is rather frightening. The effect of the slowing economy is clear. We were surprised to see homeless people sleeping on the pavements and even witnessed a young guy washing windscreens at an intersection. Apparently begging is illegal and there are a lot of charity organisations who help the homeless.

2. Jet lag: This was expected and we managed as best we could by going to sleep by 9pm on our first night (midday SA time) and drinking some vitamin B drinks.  

3. Driving: Melbourne city traffic is crazy. We hired a vehicle on the Friday to drive around suburbs and it took us over an hour to get out of the city because of various “rules”, including lots of no right turns, having to stop for trams and something called a “ hook” turn, which we eventually figured out. A hook turn is where you want to turn right, but stay in the left lane until all other cars have gone straight and then you can turn right (from the left). It’s weird!

4. Ummmmmm – right cannot think of anything else not so great.

 

Onto the great stuff:

1. Trams: We got Myki cards that allow you to travel almost anywhere across Melbourne. There are free trams inside the city which are clean and easy to use. Didn’t get to use the train or bus this time. There was no need with the extensive tram service.

2. Coffee: There seems to be a coffee shop or truck every 5 metres. Despite lots of reading on the topic, I still cannot fathom how to just order a cup of black filter coffee with hot milk (haha). Stuck to flat whites and lattes, which were all fantastic.

3. Food: The variety and quality of food is exceptional. Spent a lot of time eating and trying out different things. Must admit that the kingfish sashimi and soft-shell crab tacos at Nobu were our favourite.

4. Things to see and do: I don’t think you could ever get bored in Melbourne there is just so much happening there. For a country girl like myself, I was awestruck at how much is on offer, from the eclectic architecture (old and new), to the green clean parks, to the art galleries and street art, to the shopping centres and markets, to the interesting laneways and graffiti, to the open spaces and walking/ cycling trails. I just loved it.

5. Cleanliness: They say that a country has a smell. To me, as we got off the place, Australia smelt clean. It smelt new. It smelt fresh.

6. Safety: At no point did I feel unsafe, even when walking in the city at night. We even left our AirBnB unlocked one evening.

7. Weather: You weren't expecting that, were you? So given all the bad press Melbourne gets for its weather, we were expecting the worst. What we got was all four seasons and very little rain. On the coldest day, we wore jackets and beanies and on our warmest day we ate ice-creams on the St. Kilda pier. The temperature does not vary that much between night and day so it was very pleasant to walk around at night when we went out. Maybe we were lucky, but the weather did not have any negative impact on our trip.

8. People: This is probably what I loved most about Melbourne and Australia in general. People are just nice. The immigration officer in Sydney welcomed us and made jokes that we all seemed to be smiling in our passport photos. The tram drivers and tourist support staff in the Melbourne CBD were helpful and polite. The taxi and uber drivers were all interesting and shared information about Melbourne. Not one of them had been born in Australia. The waiters and shop assistants could not do enough to give good customer service. Still feels odd not to tip a waiter, especially when they have given such great service. It is good to know that they get paid a living wage. The couple from our AirBnB went out of their way to make sure we were happy and informed. An Instagram photographer was happy to explain what a group of about 50 photographers were doing on the beach at St. Kilda together. The Air Qantas staff seemed interested in who we were and what we needed. I could go on. People often maketh a place.

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July Activation Trip Timeline:

· WEDNESDAY: Left Joburg at 7pm (SA time) on the Tuesday night and arrived in Melbourne (via Sydney) at 7pm (Aus time) on Wednesday night. Took taxi to AirBnB where my wonderful ex professor had dropped off MyKi cards, brochures, maps, some fruit, cooked chicken, bread, cheese, butter and lots of other goodies. Hubby and kids walked down to the local IAG to get some salad and drinks. The AirBnB provided coffee, tea, sugar and milk. You can drink the tap water. Went to bed just after 9pm.

· THURSDAY: I was up at 7am as I had meetings in town and was not too sure how to get around yet. Whilst hubby and kids explored the city, I went to three meetings (1 recruiter and 2 companies I am interested in working for). All very positive, though no job offer, which is OK. I get the importance of building relationships and a network now. Met the family in the afternoon and took the free tram around the city and stopped for coffee. Had a lovely reunion dinner with our UK cousin who we have not seen in over 20 years. Food and service at Nobu were phenomenal, but very pricey. Got to bed after 1am.

· FRIDAY: Went into town to collect our pre-booked car from Budget (Tip: Use drivenow.com.au - we got a Hyandai Tucson for $59 a day on special). All good until we tried to get out of town. The trip in via the tram took all of 7 minutes. The trip out took over an hour and frazzled our nerves with the Melbourne driving rules. Spent the day driving through suburbs we are interested in and seeing a few universities for my daughter. My husband said that many places reminded him of England. Something that was very interesting were the barriers on the highways to keep out noise. At this stage we really liked places near parklands in Rosanna, Blackburn and Burwood. Important to be near a train line. Ended up at a lovely restaurant in Brighton for a late lunch. Beautiful suburb – old money! Went to my ex professor for a light dinner in Parkville. Lovely area near the zoo and Melbourne University.

· SATURDAY: Managed to get the hire car back with no incident. Spent most of the day at the Queen Victoria market and shopping in the CBD. The market is unbelievable. There is a lot of Chinese *stuff*. The best part was the fresh food side with organic fruit and vegetable, meat and fish etc. Had a light lunch at the food court. Happy we took our beanies as this was the coldest day. Kids are impressed with how hip Melbourne is and spent too much money on new shoes and clothes. Ended up in one of the little laneways for a drink before dinner at a lovely Italian place near our AirBnB.

· SUNDAY:  By the end of Sunday we had walked over 16km. Must be the reason Melburnians are so fit despite all the fabulous food. Visited the National Gallery of Victoria, which is beautiful, then onto the Docklands and Etihad stadium. There was a big AFL match on and it was wonderful to see entire families all dressed in their supporter’s gear walking to the stadium. Walked through the city taking in the graffiti art and interesting architecture before catching the tram to St. Kilda beach. Kids got an ice-cream as the weather was sunny and mild. Ended with coffee on the pier. Walked down to dinner at a hip bar on the banks of the Yarra River. Despite it being a Sunday the place was pumping.  When I asked if it was OK for my 13 year old son to be in the bar, the barmen may have misheard me but his response was epic: “Australian law says that he is allowed one alcoholic drink with his parents with dinner”. Haha. We were just wanting to know if he could be IN the bar not drink in the bar.

· MONDAY:  Up at 4:30am to get to the airport by 6am for 8 am flight. This was the day after the terror threat in Sydney so the airport was crazy with extra security. Flight was long and eventually got home at 8pm (SA time) Monday evening.

 

Was it worth it to go for such a short time? Absolutely yes. It is what worked for us at the time and we managed to do an incredible amount in such a short time and activate our visas. We all love Melbourne and are looking very forward to making it our forever home.

Now the pesky little detail of getting jobs and finding a rental for us and our dogs #eish

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wonderer

Well done! what an achievement in the time you had available. And I'm glad everything went well / smooth. (With the missile somewhere, our flights was less than streamline and only got to the airbnb I think after 12 at night.)

 

Not asking to share, but I am curious what your trips final budget came to.

 

We didn't do the LSD, but seems it was soo worth it for you.

 

We have now greeted Melbourne :( and for now its not meant to be our forever / for now home. Happy with progress with things here though. 

On the pets issue: of the 9 homes we inspected only one was adamant that there are no pets allowed. The other agents seemed a bit surprised that we asked the question. 

We found a lovely home but can only move in on 25 Aug, so will go into a vacuum and emerge again at that time (or maybe time travel - seems like the best option currently, as all the airbnb's and other short terms are suddenly fully book (in our price range anyway)

 

Your trip was indeed very quick - one day here and then sommer home again.

 

I hope the joy in your hearts will carry you throught this difficult last stretch before arriving for good. 

 

 xxx

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Sharlene

Hi Husky

I enjoyed the read.

My family and i will be doing our activation trip end of October. Tickets are all booked....  We will be flying with Air Qantas and we are just awaiting the time now.

We will be in Melbourne for a month.

 

Lets see how this turns out for us.....

 

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SimpleSimon

Thanks for the very interesting information @Husky, I really enjoyed it. Australian employment is changing and its a lot easier to get work as a contractor than permanent employee. When will you come over?

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Hoping to go back by November @SimpleSimonwith the rest of the family joining early January. We think it'll be easier for me to finalise arrangements like a rental and admin on my own. I'll possibly fly back for Christmas. Have done this kind of thing on my own before.

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RedPanda

Hahahaha.... so many comments I had to laugh with you. Yes, the 'hook turn' is what minibus taxis do whenever they want: you know you want to turn right, but you squeeze past the left hand side then sit there in the intersection and wait. When the light changes you quickly turn right and pretend that you where first in line from that side all along! :D Also "you can drink the tap water". My AirBnB landlady looked at me as if I'm not quite right when I asked her that, like, Obviously you can drink the tap water, what did you expect?

I think your experience of the price of food was mainly because eating at restaurants and coffee shops is expensive here, and is mostly seen as a treat. (And Nobu is famous! It's not like the local Pizza e Vino)

I'm so glad the city treated you well, and that you had a good time here. I hope you have a smooth landing later this year.

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SimpleSimon

We've just been out to an RSL this evening @Husky. 5 people, meals were $51 and drinks $24. We eat at fancy restaurants if we are trying hard to get business. Then we'll spend the kind of money you mentioned because we know we'll get it back.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The last few weeks since our return from Australia have been very topsy turvy. The extremes of emotional highs and lows have been difficult, to say the least. I have always considered myself someone who is reasonably comfortable with uncertainty. I love trying new things and think that change is mostly good. But wow - I have felt totally out of control and scared. Knowing that action makes me feel better, made some quick decisions and paid out a big portion of our budget;

1. Applied via VTAC (Victoria Tertiary Applications Centre) for university for my daughter. A very seamless and efficient process. A little scary that we will only know if she has got in sometime in January. She is busy with prelims at the moment, so tensions are a little high. We have discussed it and said that if she does not get in, there are options of a TAFE course or she can work for a year.

2. Booked my flights for November. Flying via Perth to say a quick hi to my cousin during my 10 hour stopover, then onto Melbourne. A very kind ex-professor of mine has offered for me to stay in her apartment whilst I'm there. Plan is to continue networking, do lots of coffees, handle all the admin (Centrelink, drivers etc.) and try my very best to secure a rental for January. Rationale is that it will be cheaper overall for me to do this than for the whole family to have to stay in an AirBnB until we find a house. I also hope to open more job prospects. Dare I say finding a job would be the cherry on the top. Been applying remotely but know that being on the ground is more effective and that the recruitment cycle can be long. Fly back early December to say goodbyes and have Christmas with the whole family.

3. Paid the pet agent (*ouch*) in Melbourne who is arranging permits, quarantine and transport. Dogs flying out end January.

4. and the big one ...... Booked our one way tickets for 30 January. We arrive in Melbourne at 23h40 on New Year's Eve. Think it is quite an apt way to start our new lives in our new country. After a rather ridiculous quote from IOM, booked on Emirates using my Standard Bank credit card and got a great deal: R6918 pp with 46 kg luggage each. It does mean we go via Dubai and travel for 25 hours, but could not justify paying the IOM R15k per person for the Qantas flight.

5. My husband has sold his beloved adventure bike. Not an easy day as it is very much part of his life. Hoping we can get back on our feet quite soon so that he can get one in Oz.

6. Started investigating taking our RAs out to place into a fund in Australia. Have been told this is not possible. What? Going to contact FinGlobal tomorrow to get some expert advice.

 

Actually that's quite a lot. Feel a sense of achievement.

Cannot believe I only have 2 months left of work .... surreal.

Our biggest anxiety at the moment is selling our house. It has been on the market for over 4 months and we have not had 1 offer. The agents say it is a buyers market and of course, the economy is not helping. Still, I have faith that the right family will come along. It would be nice if that happened sooner rather than later. Weighing up our options. 

I have renewed respect for all of you who have already done this. It takes an unbelievable amount of courage and faith. Once again, thank you for being trail blazers.

 

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SimpleSimon

It will work out brilliantly. Many have come before you and nearly all have come right. Enjoy the adventure. Lack of control is exhilarating, enjoy the ride and you'll look fondly back at this time.

 

Don't be despondent if it doesn't happen before February. Most businesses slow down from November until February so enjoy the holiday season, particularly New Year. Getting a job remotely is very rare. You already have contacts in Melbourne, that'll work for you. If you're going to do lots of coffees make sure you know how to order.

 

Pity about the bike, but Melbourne is a biking city and there are lots of great second hand deals on eBay or gumtree. My brother has just sold his house at Hartebeestpoort after 7 years. 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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These last 2 months will fly by. Good luck with all the admin. We also battled with our house but eventually after 6 months here in Australia we accepted (an absurdly low) offer and even though we have lost money we are happy to be done with it.

 

We are also looking at starting the financial immigration process to get our RAs out.

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Gosh @Husky just reading your journal today and I am feeling so despondent.  We have still a long way to go and with the stress of getting the process done, somewhere in all of that, emotions of being a real person is getting lost.  Just took the time to read your story and now reality bites.  I feel the sadness now as we are going through this process - emotions I have thrown aside as I cannot afford the negativity to pop out and confuse the universe, now raises its head.  We have not told some of our family members about this until I have my EOI sorted and this saddens me, firstly if we do, we will have all the "but why and how could you?" lines, secondly, when we do break the news, there's no telling of the reactions and we would not have time to mend broken hearts before we leave.

I am sure you all have been through the daunting what ifs and buts of this process.  For me it's a race against time since the new age regulations and what not.  I am awaiting my skills assessment which was received and paid for on 14/08 and I believe it's 10 week (on a good day) wait for the return.  Thereafter, it's EOI and I need all this sorted before the end of November if I am to stand a chance of visa before my 45th birthday come March next year.  So it's fingers, toes and whatever that can be crossed, for good luck.  So far the Lord has been really really great.  Heck, immigration was not in my cards until hubby brought it up and then before I knew, I was to become the main applicant and start the ball rolling.  I got my IELTS scores first time with 20 points in the bag. Sent my qualifications as secondary school teacher to AITSL and now the dreaded wait.  My qualification is not straight forward as one would like, so I'm using an agent, the very same one you used.  So far so good.  The past few months have taken its toll and with each day passing by so quickly, the race is becoming faster yet the end line is moving further, with constant changes to immi rules.  I believe that the Lord has His plan and that seeing that I was minding my business and going about life, that in April, He knocked my husband's head and said:  "You are going to OZ!", He has to make this work, right?  HE just has to.  I am so far gone into this process (not to mention the money spent, money that we had to somehow suddenly get by cashing up things) that I cannot imagine myself  wanting to be anywhere else.  Just like your daughter, my younger son is writing his prelims and he does really well at school.  My older is in his third year of study for civil engineering.  They have both worked hard and given off their best. I really want this move for my boys so that they can start their lives without having to worry about quotas and BEE and so on.  I want them to grow up where hard work is what pays off at the end of the day and that one is acknowledged by that, not by how wealthy or how you fit in the ranks of being a part of a quota system.  I am praying really hard that really soon, I will write in this very same thread about all the stuff I am getting ready to do because we have received our visa grants:holy: 

Have to thank all the forumites here,  for  it is through reading their threads and joining in their joy when grants are received, that makes me feel better.  

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SimpleSimon

Hey @March2 turn it around in your head. You're going on an amazing adventure. If it doesn't work out then too bad. At least you've lived your life to the full. This is Australia, first world country just a plane ride away. Hardly an exile to a backwater. To the naysayers, secretly they wish it was them.

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I had hoped that my story would inspire and not make someone more despondent @March2

Your faith will get you through and as @SimpleSimon says in his wonderful frank way, it is an adventure. Feel free to pm me if you want to chat. I find that my friends and family don't always get it, but that other forumites do. Take care.

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