I filled in my newsletter subscribers on Monday, but I promised a proper blog post with my big news: I’m staying in Australia!
I came back to Australia a little while ago to submit my French visa. My decision to come back was actually pretty rash. I had been planning on travelling in and out of France on a tourist visa (meaning I have to switch countries every three months) until I felt fluent enough in French to secure a work visa and find a journalism job.
One random evening in September, I spontaneously decided that I was ready and started making plans to return to Australia. However, things were far from simple. I had to jump through endless hoops to get all the paperwork required for my visa and it not only cost me a lot of money but time and energy, too.
My best friend and her family were absolutely incredible during this time and I would not have been able to get my visa without them. I headed back to Australia on a very expensive, last-minute flight and submitted my visa paperwork. I had a slight problem with my bank account and worried that they would not accept my application.
However, the funny thing is that, when I submitted my visa, I had an unexplainable sinking feeling that I was making a mistake. I started thinking that France wasn’t the right place for me at this point in my life, and that I would be better off staying in Australia.
I had floated the idea of staying in Australia by my best friend, and she was obviously very enthusiastic for me to stay. However, I felt like I’d already put in so much effort and money into getting my visa that it would be a total waste not to go. I gave myself a three-week deadline to decide, but I didn’t even need that long.
With every day that passed, as I spent more and more time with my friends who I missed so dearly and had a glimpse of what my life could be like again, I became increasingly convinced that I should stay. I started weighing up the things that I love about Paris to the things that I love about Australia, and Australia surprisingly won.
Of course, I have friends in Europe but they have had me for five years, and I really miss my oldest friends. My life here in Australia is so cruisy and simple, and I’m lucky enough to have social events on almost every night of the week. I am genuinely the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.
I realised that a lot of my negative opinions about Australia were actually that of my ex, and not my own. As much as I have loved travelling all over Europe, I am also tired of living out of a suitcase and not living in one place for more than a month at a time.
I really want to buy a house in the next three years, and it’s just not possible if I live in Paris. Here, I can earn three times as much while my cost of living is less than half of Paris. I’ve decided to be a serious adult for once, so the decision was a no-brainer from a financial perspective.
One of my dearest friends is moving to Europe in one month (sob), so I am taking over their house, car and dogs. It all just seemed like perfect timing. While I will always be a minimalist, I’m looking forward to actually being able to accumulate a few belongings once again.
My flight back to Europe is booked for February 14, but I will not be on it. What actually sealed the deal for my decision was imagining how I would feel getting on that plane, which was very sad.
I started hoping that my visa would be rejected (as you can only be accepted once in your life), but it was unfortunately approved. This means that I will have to find another way to get back to France.
I do not plan on staying here forever. My great dream of living in France is still there, but I would like to pursue it in another two to three years. I will still visit Europe regularly, although it is obviously a lot more difficult to travel from all the way down here.
Some of my European friends have accused me of being rash, when this decision has been far from it. I have been thinking about this for months now. Over the past couple of years, I have successfully made the best decisions for myself, above everyone else. I know for sure that I am happier staying here than in Paris.
I was lucky enough that most of my visa components were refundable, except for one of my flights and the cost of the visa itself, as well as the frankly extortionate cost of travelling cross-country to submit my visa. I lost about $1000 but it was worth it if I was able to realise what would truly make me happy in the process.
As I alluded to recently, this means that I can also start competing again, now that I don’t have to deal with tragic Parisian gyms. I’m actually injured at the moment so not training at all but, hopefully, I can start building up to full strength soon.
I think that’s everything but feel free to hit me with your questions!