It’s been just over three weeks since we arrived back in Byron Bay — enough time to catch up with friends and to visit our favourite spots. There has been surfing, swimming, tree climbing and even a few sleepovers (for the big kids). We feel so lucky to be back in this extraordinary corner of the world and have been overwhelmed by the sweet words of encouragement we’ve received and all of the welcomes from Australians. We have also had many thoughtful questions about our family’s future plans: Is this your new home? What will you do there? Will you buy or rent? Will the kids return to school? Is this your forever place? So many BIG life questions — and the same ones that have been swirling around in our heads too.
If only things were so easy. While we’d love to call this beautiful place home and answer all of these questions now, we’d be getting ahead of ourselves if we did. We’re not there yet. For the moment we are just like anyone else visiting Australia from the UK or US — tourists. We have been granted a 90-day visit and will be using that precious time to get to know this community, to look for opportunities here and to investigate all paths toward a resident visa.
It is admittedly a bit of a gamble. Will this be the first three months of a long life in Australia or a three-month extension to our family travel adventure? We cannot be sure. What we do know is that this place, above all the amazing places we’ve visited this year and in years past, is where we’d love to settle. We know we are happier as a family here than anywhere we’ve been. We know we wake up feeling so thankful that we have found somewhere we love this much and so excited to discover what the new day will hold.
After so many months on the road, moving from place to place, you would think we’d choose somewhere easy and certain. Instead we’ve chosen to follow our hearts to where we’re happiest and hope that our determination will help us find a path toward making things permanent. With a bit of luck and lots of effort we hope things will work out as we imagine. Until then, all of the BIG life questions will have to remain in a holding pattern, circling above us as we await clearance to land. As always, we welcome your advice and recommendations.
p.s. My camera broke at some point on the flight from the US to Australia, so I’ve been without my camera for the past few weeks, only able to snap some shots on my iPhone. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to share some better photos from this magical place. x
Thanks for all of your comments and questions. We’ve received many on the topic of immigration to Australia. While it’s a super interesting topic, and it makes sense that readers of this blog would have a special interest in it, we do not feel comfortable answering these questions or discussing the specifics of our application. In our case, we are working with an immigration specialist and slowly but surely making our way through what is a lengthy and complex process. Someday we may be able to share more about our experience but for now we just ask that you keep your fingers crossed for us! 🙂
Courtney, Michael & the kiddos