Since we got back from the US in July, our life in Melbourne has been slightly different than we expected. It’s been surprisingly more full, more emotional, complete with more moments of high-highs and lows — and plenty of uncertainty.
My university contract ended and my new job in HR Recruitment with the government started with record pace. Work has felt like a whirlwind I’m barely keeping up with, although I’d never trade the experience I’m gaining.
Cole’s job has entered a similar time of tumult – staffing shifts at the all levels of the company and new priorities shifting the strategy, including he’s now managing a small team.
We’ve been loving the warmer weather and saying yes to any offers we get to travel outside the city, see the ocean and savor meals with friends on patios. Our pace has definitely picked up and we feel ‘at home’ for the first time in a few years. And on reflection, it’s what we really wanted here. To settle in and get a real taste of what life is on this side, even through the busy, full or uncertain times.
As we’ve thought about the future, flexibility seems to be a value that is increasingly more important to us. We have been presented with an opportunity that opens up some flexible options for us here.
So the big news is: we’re coming back to Melbourne for 6 more months after the new year.
The specifics are fairly irrelevant, except that we think the timing is necessary for Cole’s job and for setting him up to maintain a long-term relationship with the company. Cole’s company has generously offered to sponsor us on a visa, which if approved, would give us flexibility over the next 4 years to work in Melbourne as his job requires.
We’ve been back and forth weighing the pros and cons and ultimately, decided to go for it and take a risk. We’re in the middle of the visa approval/application process. If approved, we’ve committed to staying for 6 months next year (January – June) and then plan to return home for good (but maybe you shouldn’t take our word for it anymore).
Lately, we seem to be cultivating the art of limbo. We’re getting to be experts at the in-between…if such a thing exists or if you can call it art…we’re getting good at it.
For me, this is the maddening part of travel right now. Being in a perpetual state of indecision is draining and feels agonizingly long…but somehow – I still have hope at the prospect of what this new opportunity could bring and feel like it’s an option we have to at least pursue to see where it goes.
The good news is: we’ll be home for the holidays on December 14 for a month or so.
We won’t be working, so you can probably find us drinking hot bevvy’s, sledding or attending the new Minneapolis Christmas Markets (Santa has already granted my Christmas wish!)
We’d really love to share more of this story in person and hear some of yours. We know it’s going to be one of the best Christmases in years.
In lighter news, we’ve been seeing more of this beautiful country – with a few weekend trips that have given us some space to think about these big life decisions.
Our first adventure was a day trip to the Dandenongs – a mountain range surrounding Melbourne about an hour away by bus. We were sorely disappointed when our hike ended with no mountaintop view, only more forest. We ended the day from a great restaurant lookout, which made up for the less-than-average hike.
We spent a long weekend on Mornington Peninsula, a beachy quiet town about an hour south of Melbourne. The ocean was outside our back door and it felt like a city somewhere in New England. Great food, wine and an animal sanctuary to see all of the Australian native animals up close.
Over Melbourne Cup weekend (the biggest horse race in the country – people get an actual paid holiday to have work off on race day!), we took a trip to Sydney. I was eager to see some old spots and check out what had changed. The highlights included a sailing lesson in the harbor, a great local open-air bar overlooking the harbor bridge and an orchestra show at the Opera House.
Last weekend, we ended up at a backyard party “in the bush.” A colleague of Cole’s was having a BBQ and we showed up to a full folk band on the deck. It was a really welcome surprise and made me miss the spaciousness and spontaneity of New Zealand.
We’ll update more as the process progresses.
For now, in limbo…