And Our Next Destination Is…

Sometimes, life moves at an astonishing speed. This is never truer than it is when I come back to the US, and this time around I’ve learned it all over again.

What? Didn’t realize I was in the US? I know. I’m waaaay behind on the real-time blogging.

NYC Rockafeller Center

New York City: this was only a month ago but it already feels like years.

I kind of thought that these three months in Indy would be relaxing; a chance to catch up with my family, friends, food, and culture that I’ve been craving for so long. And it was those things, but it felt like I’ve only dabbled in each of them. I’ve seen most of my friends only twice, spent nearly a month traveling outside of Indy (Chicago, D.C., Philly, NYC, St. Augustine), and all of a sudden it’s almost time to go.

Where are we going? I’ll get to that in a minute.

I’ve definitely been eating too much food and drinking too much craft beer (discovering a new favorite in Boulevard’s 80 Acre Hoppy Wheat), but I’ve tried to counterbalance that by embarking on the Insanity workout. Which, by the way, is really hard and reminds me daily that I’m not in my 20s anymore.

This is how that’s been going:

Insanity workout with cat

I picked up a new workout buddy. She’s super-motivated.

We also got massages, a Christmas gift from my parents.

Here’s how that went:

red marks from massage

Apparently, we were really tense. The ladies had to use tools.

Massage red marks

Surprisingly, the massage felt pretty good for the most part.

I’ve found myself with a steady stream of freelance work, something I look forward to continuing as we head to our next destination. I’ll also be turning my attention back to the mythical memoir, the one that keeps morphing in my mind but never appearing on paper.

Jared and I had hoped to submit my de facto partner visa application by the end of January. We dove into the paperwork, which, to my dismay, required me to list every country I’d visited over the last ten years, including dates. I huddled down with my passport, old emails and ticket stubs, and figured it all out. We were getting close – or so we thought.

Ten years of travel

Putting this together was not the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.

After a few lengthy phone calls to the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C., we took a bit of a blow. They ‘strongly recommend’ that applicants within the US submit a full application. That is, including all health and police checks. If we submitted the application without the checks, we wouldn’t be prioritized.

Obviously, I want to be prioritized. So we began the complicated, hoop-jumping process of applying for criminal record checks from the FBI, state of Indiana, UK, and Australia – any country that I’ve lived in for a total of 12 months during the past 10 years. Fortunately, I’ve already got one from Korea, though it needs to be translated.

All of this meant that we definitely weren’t going to get that application done when we wanted to. We talked about flying to New Zealand, where Jared could work and I could freelance while on a tourist visa. We discussed Canada. France.

But in the end, it hit us – why don’t we just go straight to Australia?

On March 7th, we’ll fly to LA to stay with my sister for a few days. On March 10th, we fly to Sydney.

Jared can work. I can stay for 90 days and will continue my online work. We can keep pulling together our paperwork and then submit a full visa application when we’re ready.

The answer, it seems, was staring us in the face the whole time. It just took a little while to see it.

I still want to write about the east coast of the US, and one of my favorite places of all time, St. Augustine, Florida. But first I wanted to get back to real time. To another Lateral Movement – swinging back to Australia – but one that finally feels like an upward movement as well.

Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine

Bridge of Lions, St. Augustine, Florida.

10 Responses to “And Our Next Destination Is…”

  1. Seems like it’s all coming together. I hope you stick around in Sydney long enough for us to finally meet!

  2. Good luck to you both on the next phase of the adventure!

  3. Good luck with Australia. You are still missed in Yeongwol!

    • Thanks! We still think about Yeongwol with such fond memories. Can’t believe it’s already been six months since we left! Hope you’re enjoying it as well.

  4. Hey guys, so you are back in Oz? We are still waiting for Mark’s visa to come through so we can finally go to London. It’s soo cold here and spring doesn’t seem anywhere near… Hope you are getting your visa done soon, let me know if you shoud have any questions. xKristin

    • So good to hear from you! Yes, we’re in Newcastle now and will be for a while. Planning to submit the application at the end of April, but if I have any questions I will let you know. Where are you guys at the moment?

  5. So fun! Good luck on the next leg of your adventure! Moving AND getting married….double the thrill!

Leave a Reply