OK, so I’m ready to spill some life-changing news.
A few weeks ago, I decided to apply for the visa without consulting anyone and was approved. I’ve since told most of my family and closest friends (whose reactions have been far less surprised than I anticipated), which is why I now feel comfortable telling everyone else.
Previously, you had only three months to get to Australia upon getting approved for the visa. Now you have an entire year. Still, I am planning to go in mid-January. My lease in Philly is up the second week of December, so I figure I can stay with my family in New Jersey until my departure date. That will give me time to get myself together, save money and say goodbyes.
I am am about 95 % sure I will go to Sydney, where I have some contacts through friends. Once there, I plan to keep freelancing and perhaps get an hourly job to supplement income and live in some one-room shack to keep costs low.
Why am I doing this? Anyone who knows me well has heard me talk about wanting to live abroad since college. I used to want to live in London, a city I’ve visited twice, but it’s harder to get a visa there. Australia, which I’ve never visited, is much more flexible, plus the work/holiday visa is only available to people under 30–and being that I’m two years away from that, it’s now or never. I also have nothing holding me here in the States.
Part of the impetus for going is to experience another culture and another way a life. But I also want to see what I’m made of as I try to make a life in a totally new place. And I want to do it alone. I’ve had friends and boyfriends vow to take an adventure like this with me. But I think it’s important I do it solo (but I will absolutely host visitors).
This is all going to be totally scary and overwhelming, and I’m sure I’ll have many moments of anxiety and maybe even doubt. But right now, I feel like going to Australia is right. With all the work I’ve done on myself this last year, I feel like I’m finally in a place where I can get the most out of an experience like this.
I hope you’ll continue to follow me as I prepare for this next step in my life. And if any of you have ever done anything like this, I welcome your wisdom and advice.