The final days are flying by. But this story started 2 weeks ago on a Tuesday. Husband was home not feeling well, and somehow we both got to poking around the immigration website to find out what we needed to do next for me to get permanent residency in Australia.
It didn't take long until we reached a point where we looked at each other and said we need to go to the office. So in the span of a half hour, we went from pajamas to fully dressed and snacks packed. We headed over to the kindy to pick up our daughter and hit the road down to Brisbane (3 hours) to meet with an agent at the immigration office.
We were stunned to learn our best bet for getting my permanent residency approved was for the paperwork to be filed back in the states, and it would take 8 - 9 months for it to be processed. We weren't expecting that. Not even a little bit.
Should I go back by myself? Take our daughter? How would we manage being apart so long? Where would I stay? Did we want to be apart? So many questions. And the agents (We had 5 agents working with us.) needed an answer right now. There was no going home to figure it out and getting back to them.
In the end, we decided we would all of us go. And as fate would have it, we had just lost our tenant from the cottage on our property back in the states, so we can move in there and get to working on the main house (that's a whole other story for another day). The agents were generous and gave us a 4 week window when normally it's just 2 weeks.
The next day, I start taking photos of our stuff and posting it for sale on the local buy/sell fb page. It was more of something to do at that point than an actual plan, but it got me busy and that was better than just sitting around feeling stunned. My husband gave his notice at work that day and finished out the week.
Every day since then, we've posted more items for sale and had people stopping in at the house to pick up their purchases. We've decided to leave no loose ends behind so nothing is being stored here in Australia. (Thank you to our friends who have offered to keep things for us.) We have every intent of returning, but that said, who knows what will happen in the next 12 months, right?! We will have to have time for the paperwork to go through plus save up money for the move itself. The flight tickets alone are close to $5000.
So, we're in the process of selling everything. What isn't sold will be donated. And what isn't donated will be taken to the tip (landfill, dump).
Yesterday, I did a trial run on packing suitcases and I have to do more sorting. I was so excited that the airline included 2 suitcases for each of us and thought I'd have so much space! :) Well, yes 2 suitcases is more than the 1 suitcase that I came over with, but it's not a huge amount of space.
This is the hardest move I've ever gone through. Not only is it not my choice, but I love this community and the friends I've made here. This was a permanent move in my mind and not just an off-the-cuff relocation for a job or whatever. But it is what it is. With my daughter having dual citizenship, I won't risk a black mark on my file which might hold me up when I return to Australia.
So I am returning to the US to live on our property there in 8 days. Funny thing about time zones.. we'll leave Brisbane, Queensland on Tuesday the 26th at 10:30am and will arrive in Dayton, OH at 11:45pm on Tuesday the 26th.
p.s. While moving is always an opportunity to declutter, which I am all for; moving overseas is not frugal or thrifty. In fact, it's expensive. But we're using the money we're making from selling our stuff to cover all our expenses up until our departure. And we're worked the kinks out of the paypal system to transfer our money from our Aus bank to the US bank without getting hit with all kinds of banking fees.