We're Moving to Australia! Q&A Session!
As you may have heard by now -- we are moving to Sydney, Australia! We leave on November 12th, taking a long weekend in Auckland, New Zealand (where we went for our honeymoon in 2017), and will arrive in Sydney on November 17th.
We've gotten a LOT of questions about our move, so I decided to consolidate them the best that I could and put all the answers here into one blog post.
What will you guys be doing for work?
Patrick will be working as a structural engineer. He didn’t need any further qualifications to work in New South Wales, as all of his engineering licensing, training, and experience will translate.
I will be continuing to pursue my own small businesses, both videography + photography as well as the grazing tables. My primary focus will center around wedding and birth videography, as well as family, wedding, birth, and architectural photography. I LOVE the grazing tables, but the market is pretty saturated over there so I’m planning to put the majority of my energy into the film and photo business (Oleta Lane Films) and get that rolling before putting a ton of energy into The Hollow Sloth. I’m super excited to be able to have this opportunity to try and run my small businesses full time.
How does the visa situation work for Patrick?
Because Patrick is married to me (I'm a dual citizen between the US and Australia), he was able to get the Permanent Resident visa. This means that as soon as we arrive, he’s eligible for free healthcare, has the ability to work indefinitely, and after four years’ residency will be eligible for Australian citizenship (in addition to his US citizenship).
Are you excited?
Yeah, we’re both pretty excited!
What's been the hardest part of the move?
Our friends and family in the US. Saying goodbye has been very difficult.
Where are you staying when you get there?
We’re staying with my aunt, in the northern suburbs of Sydney. She’s got a gorgeous house and we are so lucky that we have the opportunity to use that as our home base in the beginning of our move. We will be looking for our own place as soon as possible, but are also very excited and looking forward to spending this time with my aunt.
What are you guys feeling, emotionally?
We have probably felt every single emotion under the sun since we decided to make this move. We have been excited, terrified, nervous, happy, anxious, overwhelmed, sad, happy again, eager, adventurous, bold, stupid, smart, and crazy. We’ve felt it all, seriously.
What are the first things you’re going to do when you get there?
We’ve got some pretty mundane things to take care of first. We need to enroll in the healthcare system, get new mobile phone numbers, apply for my ABN (basically my business license), get our Tax File Numbers, and start networking to meet new people (mainly business connections for me). We are hoping to spend some time with my family, relax a bit, and just take in everything that will feel very new! We plan to visit Koala Park ASAP and get a handle on the public transit situation.
What are you most excited about?
A new adventure. We’re excited for everything.
What sports teams will you cheer for?
I have no idea. I think one of my cousins said something about the Roosters, but not quite sure what sport that is without Googling. Obviously the Socceroos in the World Cup. Patrick and I still have quite a bit of work to do as far as understanding rugby, cricket, and AFL.
How can we contact you?
There’s lots of ways to stay in touch. Patrick and I have a Google Nest Hub, which means we will be using Google Duo for video chats and messages! We both have WhatsApp for texting and mobile video calls. We are both on Facebook and Facebook Messenger. I am on Instagram (nswkendall). You can message me directly for our temporary mailing address (YAY! for snail mail and packages!). We also have a Magic Jack, which means that we will have a house phone with a 206 phone number, which means you can call either of us for a good old fashioned phone chat. Feel free to message me for that number.
Can we come visit?
YES! We want our friends and family to come and visit! Hello, DUH! As soon as we are settled into our OWN place, we will let everyone know that we have a guest room open for business! We are crossing our fingers that we will be hopefully a little settled and in our own place by March/April. For planning sake, I would say avoid making plans to visit before April, but we will let everyone know when we’re ready! If you’re thinking maybe May/June/July, let’s just chat directly and keep in touch about it!
Where in Australia do you most want to visit?
My top destinations are Noosa, Broome, and the Barossa Valley. Patrick most wants to visit Tasmania.
What airline are you flying down on?
We’re flying down on miles with Alaska Airlines and their partners, so we’ll be going Seattle to Los Angeles (Alaska Airlines), and then Los Angeles to Nadi, Fiji on Fiji Airways, and then on to Auckland, New Zealand with Fiji Airways. We’re spending a long weekend in Auckland for Patrick’s 30th birthday (we land in Auckland ON his birthday!), and then on Sunday the 17th we’ll be flying with Air New Zealand from Auckland to Sydney.
How often do you plan to visit the US?
As often as we can! As it stands, our first scheduled trip back will be in August 2020.
What’s happening with Finley (our cat)?
Finley is coming! She’s just coming a little bit behind us – we need a head start. Due to allergies, we cannot have Finley staying at my aunt’s house with us. She is scheduled to fly to Australia in early February 2020. Her process has been a little bit ridiculous, as it’s very difficult to move animals INTO Australia. She will be going straight to Melbourne (via LAX) and will be in quarantine for 10 days before she is put on a plane and we pick her up in Sydney.
We have hired an international pet shipping company to handle everything that pertains to her move because there are so may loops and hoops and boxes to tick that we didn’t want to risk messing anything up handling it ourselves. She needs a little kitty visa. It’s too complicated; we’re letting the professionals deal with it.
What’s happening with all your stuff?
Our furniture and most of our belongings are in a Maersk shipping container somewhere on the Pacific Ocean right now. We expect our belongings to arrive the week of Christmas, and as we do not anticipate having a place of our own by then, we will likely have to put everything into a storage locker until we know where we’re living!
With everything that’s going on surrounding the move, how are YOU TWO doing?
We’re great. And I know I could just say that and you’d have no idea if I was telling you the truth or not, but the truth is, we are great. I am incredibly lucky to have a partner who has the same ideas, wants, desires, and hopes for our future. We are a team through and through; we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We know when we need to be strong for the other and when it’s okay to fall apart. We have each other’s backs, and at the end of the day, this is OUR adventure. Not his. Not mine. It is an opportunity that we might never be able to take if we don’t take it now, and we both realize that and are embracing it fully.
Are you coming back?
Yes, that’s the plan. This is an adventure – we’re very excited to go and start a new chapter in Australia, but ultimately we both love the Pacific Northwest and we love our friends and family here.