Changes

Back in February, I participated in an expat blog challenge that was hosted by my fellow expat Cristin, an American in Sydney who blogs over at In an Opal Hearted Country. The month-long challenge was a success and a little community unexpectedly emerged from it. In the Facebook group, we talk about blogging, post links to daily entries, and post prompts. My blogging results are mixed. I tend to read a number of other expat blogs, but I…

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The Road to Residency Part 5: Death and Taxes

In my last entry on residency in mid-April, I mentioned that I had all my ducks in a row and my application for a de facto partner visa subclass 820 was being lodged. That went through without a hitch and Immigration issued me a bridging visa. A bridging visa is a temporary visa that allows me to say in Australia in the period of time between when my previous visa expired and my current visa application…

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Facebook Messenger to Keep Expats Connected

In August 2012, I wrote a blog entry on three tools to help expats stay in touch with family and friends abroad: Skype, the magicJack, and Viber. As it turned out, I rarely use Skype with anyone other than Theo (and he’s in the next room or just beside me; we use it to share links and files). My family just never quite caught on to it and my friends never seem to be on…

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The Road to Residency Part 4: All the Extras

I set my foot down on the road to residency in June 2013, nearly a year ago. The process is finally coming to an end. Well, sort of. I’m applying onshore (that is, from within Australia, as opposed to offshore) for a de facto partner visa subclass 820, which is a temporary visa. If granted, if the relationship is still intact after two years, I will be granted a permanent visa, subclass 801. Today is…

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Spring in Autumn

I have Seasonal Identity Disorder. Ok, I made that up; there’s no such clinical disorder (not yet), but it’s a thing, really it is. Keep reading and you’ll see. It’s autumn here. It’s brought a bit more rain and the leaves are turning glorious shades of golden orange and deep red. The days are mild and the nights are cool. The grey, rainy days aside, it’s mostly a nice time of year. A few weeks…

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Vote for Batman

I received an amusing letter last week. First of all, it came from the Division of Batman. Apparently, I live in the Division of Batman. Seriously. I live in Melbourne and in Darebin and in the Division of Batman. Melbourne is a metropolitan area, which means it is a region with a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, which share industry, infrastructure, and housing. So, I live in the greater metropolitan area of Melbourne.…

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Between Cultures

The prompt for the Expat Blog Challenge on Saturday, February 16th was to respond to the following quote from Sarah Turbull: It is a bitter-sweet thing, knowing two cultures. Once you leave your birthplace nothing is ever the same. Growing up in Miami, I was like everyone else – Cuban. Ok, there were other people in Miami such as Haitians, Nicaraguans, Dominicans. I even knew a Polish kid. But with about 35% of the populace…

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Possessed

Today’s prompt in the Expat Blog Challenge is to explore the trait I possess that most equipped me for life abroad or the trait that held me back the most, or both. More than once in my life, I’ve been told by friends that I am so brave, that they can’t believe I’m doing this or that. Moving to another country you’ve never even vacationed in? Crazy is a good word for that, but I’ll…

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My Accent

Today’s prompt in the Expat Blog Challenge is “my accent.” I could write about my accent, but I thought I’d let you hear it instead. Just press the orange play button.

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The Pantry

Today’s prompt in the Expat Blog Challenge begins, “Since moving abroad, my pantry looks different because…”. Back in Miami, I didn’t have a pantry. I think the house may have had one at some point, but by the time my family moved in during the early 1980s, what might have been a pantry once was closed off in the kitchen and opened on the living room side to create a small closet. We didn’t miss…

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Doing Expat Again

Today’s prompt in the Expat Blog Challenge begins, “I would/would not move to another country after this…”. With a few exceptions –  namely the most dangerous cities and countries in the world such as Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Yemen, Somalia, and so forth – I think I would move just about anywhere. I feel like I complain about Melbourne quite a bit, but not as much as I want to. I definitely don’t express everything that…

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An Expat’s Fifth Post

Today’s prompt of the Expat Blog Challenge says: “Look at the fifth post you ever wrote on this blog. In hindsight, what do you think about your frame of mind and your style of writing?” My fifth post is from January 5, 2012, How to Sleep, and I wrote, “You know when you’re really excited about something and you can’t sleep the night before? I haven’t slept since July.” I don’t know when I decided to…

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