Wednesday, 24 October 2018

The Big Move (to Melbourne, Australia!)

Tower Bridge, 2017

You know that feeling you get when you leave your home town for the very first time? How does that make you feel?

Sad? Happy? Excited?

Well, I must have experienced every feeling under the sun during my move to Australia. (Say whaaaaaaat??!)

I've been very bad in writing these past few months, but with good reason! 

C and I decided that it was finally time to move out of the Smoke and to find a healthier and happier life 10500 miles away in Melbourne. And so, after applying for the elusive partner visa and waiting for the paperwork to come through, we finally got given the green light!

I'll never forget the email and how I felt when I saw one word that mattered: GRANTED.

Thinking that the visa application process was the hardest step? How naive of me. We had barely even scratched the surface.

Now, the hard work was about to begin.

Crossing off the things still left on our London bucket list, quitting work after a company I really enjoyed working at after 5.5 years, and getting all of the boring stuff like bank/tax stuff/pension sorted, going through all our stuff before getting the removals company in, but most importantly we started scheduling in time and weekends with everyone, to try and max out on as much time with everyone, especially my family.

Columbia Market, 2015

We also had the other stuff to think about: when to start looking for a rental in Melbourne, and when to start the quarantine and moving process with Monty (it's probably safe to say that moving Monty across to Melbourne was probably harder than moving the two of us).

And just like that, after months of last minute trips and holidays and family events and coffee catch ups and dinners, my last week in London was spent cleaning and donating the last bits of furniture away.

At a random festival (the name escapes me), 2013

I had my girl S stay with me for the last week to keep me company and to keep me positive. C had  flown out 5 weeks earlier as he was in charge of finding our future house and he had a job lined up and was ready to start work. After Al and I drove our tiny Kia to pick up the last of my stuff, I spent the last few days with my family before the big flight.

Holi festival event, Wembley, 2015

And to be honest, I was conflicted.
I was excited to be starting a new life but of course I knew that I was going to miss everyone so much at home.

Seeing mum and dad wave me off at the coach station before heading to the airport wasn't even the hardest bit, I knew that I was going to see them in a few short months (the Lee fam are coming to Melbs over Christmas and I can't bloody wait!)

Dinner with the Wild Swans girls, Kings Cross, 2014

Now the flight I have to say was pretty damn good. Probably the last time I'll ever fly business but hey, what a great way to start a new life eh?

I arrived early on a Wednesday morning in mid September, and everything has been a bit of a blur since then.

Hyde Park, 2013

My first week was spent adjusting and getting into Melbourne time (9/10 hours ahead is a killer!) And don't get me started on the house (the place was left in a filthy state when the previous tenants left and that's when Operation Clean started - we're still not done thanks to the gazillian venetian blinds we have).

We're in Richmond, which is a lovely suburb super close to town thats full of restaurants and cafes - it takes us about 30 minutes to walk into CBD (thats, Central Business District for anyone who doesn't know).

Back from dinner in Covent Garden, having a giggle on the tube (as always) with CJ, 2014

And 5 weeks on, we are still on bean bags and sleeping on a mattress on the floor, (just a week or so now until the bed frame and sofa we ordered arrives - thank god).

We've got given a few furniture bits from family and friends to tide us over until the majority of our stuff comes through, although when we chased up with our removals company, they told us our shipment was delayed.

In the first house I lived in when I moved to London in Mile End, 2010 (or maybe 2011?)

By about 2 months.

Front door of Mile End house, 2010-2011

As you can imagine, we're pretty fumey about this and currently disputing this with them as the service we've received as been pretty poor, in all honesty - fingers crossed it all works out...

Coming into this new life with no job lined up scared the shit out of me and to be honest, it was all I could think about, was how long would I be jobless for. Having one income coming is great but we have a wedding to save up for, not to mention starting from scratch and having to buy all furniture and white goods all in one go!

With T on the balcony of some dingy bar overlooking Leicester Square, 2013

I kept on saying to everyone that I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get anything, and that I'm worried I won't get anything decent, and my mental health was just getting the shit kicked out of it from feeling so negative about job stuff. Our friends would tell me to not worry, to enjoy my first few months just being in the city, and that it'll take a few practice rounds to get my interview technique right before scoring a role, and just to be persistent. Of course I soaked up as much advice as I could get, telling myself not to worry (even though I wasn't shitting it any less).

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a worrier through and through.

Outside the Young Vic at our show party, 2012

I hate it. I get anxious about everything, constantly thinking the worst. Well, the fact that so many things have been out of my control has just forced me to just try and take a backseat and just ride it out, and just have faith that everything works out in the end. Cliched, I know.

But we will get our stuff, the furniture will arrive. And all will be right. Now it's just about making the most of the city and spending time with our family and friends here and hopefully making new friends.

But you know what? All the worrying about job stuff? I was offered three interviews in a space of a week.

I interviewed. And I did get a job. For the first interview I did, actually.
Approximately 2 weeks after I landed into the country.

Turns out I had nothing to worry about...

F x


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