Hello everyone, I hope you’re okay. I wish you a happy new year, healthy and full of happiness with the people you love! ❤️
As you could see on Instagram, I spent Christmas with my in-laws in Seymour. On New Year’s Eve (which is not celebrated in Australia), we spent a quiet evening at home, watching a Christmas movie while packing the last gifts. We also cooked a pasta salad and a chocolate cake infused with Bailey’s cream.
On the morning of the 25th, Cassie, who lives in the bungalow at my mother-in-law, picked us up (there are no buses on holidays and we had all the gifts and food to bring to the house). We then spent a good part of the day cutting the different meats (ham, pork, lamb, chicken) as well as the rest of the dishes. By 4pm, everything was finally ready. The outside temperature being over 35 degrees, we had lunch inside. It was delicious!
A little nap for everyone, followed by an evening in front of the TV, my first Christmas in Australie. The last time I published an article, we had no visa response. On December 19, we learned that I could only stay until January 15th, what a disappointment…
After contacting the Australian immigration office, they gave me two choices: either reapply for a visa and hope to have the 6 months (by paying again the $365) or temporarily leave the territory and apply for a tourist visa abroad, free of charge, and being guaranteed to get 3 more months in Australia. Decision, decision…
After talking with my mother-in-law, I ask Taya about going a few days together on vacation abroad for this visa settlement story.
On the evening of the 26th, we are still at my mother-in-law’s house, and after spending two days looking for the cheapest tickets and accommodations, we book our tickets… for Auckland the next day! My first last-minute booking 😉💪🏻
So we took the train home, and packed our suitcases (caarry-on of course, and one for two!). Around midnight, I decide to check in online to avoid the queue at the airport counter, and I learned that since October 1st, you need a tourist visa to visit NZ, which can take from 10min to 72h to process !!! No visa – I won’t be able to board! Panic on board, I hasten to make my request and I wait for the answer.
I go to bed around 1am with my stomach knotted, I don’t sleep all night. Taya wakes up, I’m panicked, our plane is at 4pm and I still have no visa. I can already imagine the worst, the $1700 spent for the weekend, the loan we had to apply for just to get be able to pay for it all. I blame myself… When suddenly an email from New Zealand immigration, I HAVE MY VISA! Phew I can finally breathe.
This is Taya’s first trip abroad, she’s a little stressed. I leave her in charge of finding our boarding gate, she nails it, I’m so proud!
Having not heard from Judith for almost a month and a half, she is unreachable on WhatsApp, I’m a little panicked, I’m afraid that something happened to her, I decide to send her an email. I get a reply before boarding, I am reassured. She’s suggesting we get lunch on Monday, I’m excited!
We arrive at the hostel at midnight, and I decide to apply for a visa immediately, we never know how long it could take! Moments later, I get the confirmation email, a good choice made! Off to sleep now.
Woke up on Saturday morning, had a walk in the city center and found out that there are electric scooters to discover the city, thanks to an app. After struggling to create our account (we don’t have a local phone number), we ride our electric scooters and here we are smiling, zigzagging between people.
The memories come back to me, and I tell my stories to Taya through the city. A quick lunch at Burger Fuel (probably the best burgers in the world), I missed that!
A little nap at the hostel, we are on holiday after all, we ride back the scooters (yes, we are addicts!), my bank card is blocked by my Australian bank (I forgot to warn them that I was going abroad …). I contact my bank and 15 minutes later, the problem is solved!
On Sunday morning, we set off for Mount Eden, an ancient volcano in the centre of Auckland with a 360-degree view. The climb is a bit difficult, but it’s worth it! Three years later, I’m back on top of Mount Eden!
Again, Burger Fuel for lunch (I enjoy it, it doesn’t exist in Australia!), a movie, and an afternoon strolling downtown. Monday is our last day and I must confess, my heart is a little heavy to leave New Zealand, but we’ll be back one day !
We get some gifts for the daughters of a friend of Taya, and here we are heading towards Cornwell Park, where we find Judith and a young chinese girl she took under her wing. Harry, her sweet little dog is here too! We go back to Judith’s, before looking for a place to have lunch.
It takes us almost 2 hours, all the cafes are closed, either the kitchen is closed… We finally find an Italian restaurant and set up on the terrace. Everyone gets along well, but quickly, it’s time to leave.
Judith drops us off at the airport, a big hug, we immortalizes the moment.
Our plane was scheduled to take off at 7:15 p.m., I get a notification announcing an hour delay, we’re off to a great start ! In the end, we didn’t take off until 9pm! Upon landing, customs control, the officer tells me that someone will come and talk to me.
Taya, on the phone with her mom, hangs up and comes to support me. The officer asks me the reason for my stay, my history in Australia, the money I own, if I am going to work. A stress stroke, but 15min later, I have my passport, I can go, whew! It is almost 2am when we get home, off to bed, Taya is working at 7am …
On the way home from work, we rest, we prepare a candlelight dinner, a little movie on TV accompanying the two fireworks of Sydney and Melbourne live. Nothing extrordinary this year, we are just enjoying being together.
I think this article is long enough 😉 After all these tests (sacred visas!), I am relieved to be back in Australia for a few more weeks (return scheduled for mid/end of February).
Lots of kisses ❤️