So. After months of deliberation, and years of saying I never wanted to go home, my boyfriend and I have decided to go home. Surprise!
I’m not going to pretend I’m happy about moving back to Brisbane or excited to leave my life here behind. I’ve worked so hard to be where I am, both personally and professionally and now I have to start all over again. I’m actually already at my limit of having people tell me this isn’t a bad thing and that things will work out with patience – please remember that everyone has different motivations and dreams, and this was mine.
So no, I’m not happy about it, and I’m struggling to be optimistic about it. I like my job here, and I have a clear career path within my company. I’m really struggling with having to give that up and start again. So yeah. I’m not OK.
But there’s a few reasons why we came to that decision. A lot of it has to do with money. A lot of it has to do with immigration and the fact that we want to stay together. Although my boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years, we spent much of that either (physically) apart or pretending it wasn’t as serious as it was. So, we only have… at best… a year’s worth of relationship evidence. Which isn’t really enough for one of us to get on a dependent / spouse visa if the other is on a work visa. Also by some weird visa quirk, we can’t actually have a quickie wedding as extra evidence, not while we’re in the UK. So yeah, we looked into that too.
We looked at youth visas, but money was an issue, and so many of them have limitations on what kind of job you can have and for how long. As all the Europe ones are only for a year and so many of them don’t let you transition to a work visa, it wasn’t worth buying ourselves a year that wasn’t actually going to be helpful long term.
The plan is still to live and settle in Europe long term so to do that… right now, we have to backtrack and try again. The atmosphere against immigrants is particularly hostile right now, but it won’t last – I mean, it can’t last… surely?
So this chapter is over, and it’s back to sunny Australia. I know there are worse things in the world but it’s hard to let go of something you love.
I’m going to enjoy being back. I miss my friends, and I miss things being easy. I know that’s a ridiculous thing to miss but you know what? It’s true. I’ve never shied away from talking about how hard it is to be abroad.
But Europe is in my soul now. I’m leaving part of myself here and I have to believe this won’t be the end.