Hi everyone, after 5 months without posting anything on here, I’m back ! Shall we do a recap ? This might take a while for you to read, so buckle up!
The end of my Australian trip
For those of you who are following me on instagram (@onebackpacklife), you already know that I left Australia on the 24th of February this year. But a lot has happened since my last post ! Last time I talked to you guys, we had just gone home after spending a couple of days in New Zealand, and had applied for my 3 months tourist visa.
We decided to apply for a long-term french visa for Taya. The only thing was we had to book an appointment at the french embassy in Sydney to validate her application. She also needed 5000AUD in her account to show that she could support herself in France. Unfortunately, none of us had that kind of money so I asked my parents for their bank statements and they even wrote a letter saying that Taya would be staying at theirs and they could financially provide for her once over there.
I also wanted to meet her dad and the rest of the family before leaving Australia (who knows how long it will be before I get to come back ?), so we decided to take a few days off and go to Darwin, in the Northern Territory.
And what about joining the two ? We will go to Darwin and on our way back, we would go to Sydney. We then looked the cheapest way to do it and booked flights from Melbourne to Darwin on the 7th of February, then from Darwin to Sydney on the 12th, and we would take the night train from Sydney back to Kilmore (10 hour ride!) on the 13th.
The washing machine story
For those who knows me the best, I can sometimes be negligent. A week before leaving for Darwin, Taya and I had decided to meet up with some friends for drinks. I took my passport with me, because you can’t access any bar without it. Can you see the problem coming ?
We had a great night, I remember putting my passport in my overall’s back pocket (first mistake!) and thought to myself : I should put it back in the backpack instead of keeping it in my pocket !
We came home at 4 in the morning (the night bus leaing Melboune at 2am), I put my overall in the dirty hamper and went to bed. The next morning, I decided to do a laundry. Few hours later, whilst taking the clothes out of the washing machine, I heard a “Bang!”. I started to freak out and looked closer, my passport was in there ! I could feel the panick attack creeping in, and explained to Taya while crying what had just happened. My passport was ruined, what am I gonna do ??? We spent the rest of the day trying to dry it with a hairdryer… No success whatsoever!
Unfortunately, my passport being a biometric one, there is a chip in the cover that I know is ruined, so there is no way of going home now. I decide to go to the french consulate with my mother-in-law (thank you for your support!) on the Monday.
Renewing my passport
The guy at the embassy tells me that because I am meant to be leaving in 20 days, there is no way I can get a new passport done in time… He suggests sending an email to the french embassy in Sydney and asking them for a paper called “laissez-passer” in French, which would allow me to go back home. Two hours later, I get a response saying I have enough time to redo my passport in Melbourne and schedule an appointment to do so the next day.
But how am I gonna fly to Darwin without any passport ? We didn’t take any kind of insurance for the trip… I then look on the Jetstar website that says I don’t need a passport to fly interstates. Let’s hope I can board that plane on Friday!
I have to admit, I was so stressed out going to the airport that day, but everything went smoothly, they didn’t even ask for my passport ! Let’s hope they won’t ask for it on the way back either…
We landed at 1am at the Darwin Airport and looked for our rental car. I tied to turn on the engine, nope, it did not work, the car had a flat battery. We asked a guy passing by if he could help us but same thing happened, he couldn’t start this bloody car! He then offered us to drive us to Mellissa, Taya’s sister, who was waiting for us.
The next day, I called the car rental company and explained the situation. They apologized and even gave us an upgrade !
We had a lovely time up in Darwin, despite the heat and the humidity in the air. I meet the rest of the family, they are all so amazing and nice to me!
Here are a few pictures of our time over there :
The french embassy in Sydney
We flew all the way to Sydney without any problem, despite not having my passport with me, I just had to show my french identity card and it was perfectly fine.
The flight getting in was very early in the morning, having barely slept on the plane, we decided to book a hotel room for the day. Taya’s appointment being at 10am and our train at 9pm.
Time for the appointment. Unfortunately I can’t go with Taya, who is clearly stressed out by it all. I try to reassure her that everything is going to be ok. Everything goes smoothly, except for the funds part. The letter and my parents bank statements didn’t help with her application, she needs the funds in her account. No one we know has that kind of money, so I ask my parents to transfer me the funds and then to Taya. A few days later, everything is in order, yeaaah !
What about my passport ?
While we were up in Darwin, I got an email from the french embassy in Sydney saying my passport had arrived. I replied asking if I could pick it up on the Thursday, but no, thanks to the french administration, we can only pick it up on Fridays. Why ??? Anyhow, I ask them to send it to Melbourne, where I would pick it up the following week.
Last days with Taya
I know I have to leave very soon, but I don’t want to. I want to stay in Australia with my fiancee and her family. Everyone keep telling us it’s all gonna be okay, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder”. Not sure about that, but we’ll see.
We try to enjoy our last few days together, but you can clearly tell we are both so sad.
On the day of my departure, Taya and her mum came to the airport with me. I postpone the time to leave but eventually, I have to leave the both of them and go through security. I kiss my woman so hard and tell her to stay strong, that we are going to be okay, I promise. Leaving her was probably the hardest thing I have ever done, and I feel so heartbroken boarding my plane.