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From 4 Years Ago to 4 Years in the Future


As you all know, applying for the Australian partner visa has been a huge topic on my blog, and also a subject of interest for many of those reading. A little over 2 years ago, I put in my huge stack of papers for the initial process.

Cooktown, Australia

That stack of papers sat in an office for nearly a year before getting looked at, at which point it took a matter of an hour before they approved the partner visa. That was a very exciting day for sure!

When I got the Aussie partner visa, that granted me temporary residence with a few perks — like the ability to work at any job in Australia and be on Medicare. Yay! But, that was also the moment that we started the countdown to being granted PR — permanent residency.

About 9 months after being granted the partner visa, I received some more fun documents to fill out, and I had to get another police check to make sure I hadn’t committed any crimes in the meantime. That was another headache because it turned out I filled out my first form incorrectly (forgot my middle name) and had to do it again! Bleh.

But, I was happy to get that out of the way and get on to the countdown. Any day now, I thought. Any. Day. Now.

I just didn’t expect that day to be the exact day that I arrived in my hometown in the USA.


Imagine my surprise when Pat sent me an email letting me know that a very large envelope from immigration arrived in the mail. Of course, I asked him to open it and share the details with me: you have been granted Permanent Residency!

Wow – crazy talk! I am now an Australian permanent resident. I know this doesn’t exactly change much for me as I’ll continue living as I was before, but internally it was a bit of a relief. When you’re living in limbo somewhere, it’s weird to classify yourself. While I am still an American citizen, I am an Australia resident. Australia is officially home.

When I started this journey and new adventure in Australia almost 4 years ago now (in March), I really had no idea what my life would be like today. In the process, I’ve met many other American expats in this country, and a couple of our good friends in Sydney were also granted PR around the same time — which is just crazy. I really have no other way to describe the realization of something we might not have imagined happening a few years prior.

If I had to guess, 4 years ago when I was still teaching English in Ukraine, where I would be in December of 2012, I don’t think Australia would have been my guess. Strange where life takes you sometimes… who knows where I’ll be in 4 years from now. Still in Australia? An Australian citizen maybe? I couldn’t guess.

What about you? Where do you see yourself in 4 years from now?


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18 Responses to From 4 Years Ago to 4 Years in the Future

  1. Michelle December 28, 2012 at 8:28 am #

    Very exciting! I have no idea where I’ll be in 4 years. Hopefully starting to travel more frequently or all the time 🙂

    • Brooke December 29, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

      Yay! Here’s to making your travel dreams come true, Michelle! 🙂

  2. Paulina December 28, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    Wow Brook you might have felt so happy after receiving the big news.

    It’s crazy how life changes so fast. There are so many good thing coming our way that we can’t imagine. Just make sure to be always open to new challenges.

    Greetings from Mexico.

    • Brooke December 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

      Yes, I was super happy after getting this news! Thanks, Paulina — hopefully your 2013 brings you lots of exciting travels!

  3. Lauren December 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Yayyyy. congrats Brooke! It is pretty crazy we got PR around the same time. It’s such a relief, isn’t it? I think your journey has been amazing and I’m excited to see what the next four years bring you. I think we will be sticking around for a while…so I look forward to more BBQs, girls’ dinner and lawn bowls 🙂

    • Brooke December 29, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

      Yay to more girls’ dinners! We got Alicia in PR land, too… now we just need to get Miss DeMilta on board to staying longer 😉

  4. Kaleena's Kaleidoscope December 29, 2012 at 4:37 am #

    Congratulations! That’s so exciting! I 100% know the feeling you’re talking about, of finally being out of limbo… For the last two months I have been semi confirmed for my job teaching English in Korea but was waiting for my paperwork to go through, and only TODAY I found out that the job is official! I was jumping for joy! Even though I was pretty sure everything would go through, it’s so nice to be sure and have everything finalized. A huge relief and weight off my shoulders, as I’m sure you feel, too. Cheers to life’s adventures and good luck down undah! 🙂

    • Brooke December 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

      Thanks Kaleena – and congrats on the job in Korea! That’s very exciting. Best of luck in your 2013!

  5. Heather December 29, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

    Congrats on PR 🙂 It’s amazing how much life can change in just a few years time. Looking forward to seeing what life has in store for you in the next 4!

    • Brooke December 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

      Ha, you should know Mrs Married Wife! Things do change quickly 🙂

  6. Tash December 29, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    I have heard all matter of stories about how hard this process is – congrats on getting this far.

    4 years is certainly a long time, who knows what we will all be up to. Such exciting prospects for every traveller! You never know where you may land next!

    • Brooke December 29, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

      So very true! Thanks, Tash 🙂

  7. Andrea December 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    Congrats Brooke! These things always take so long but I’m glad it’s finally over and you can move on. If I was you I don’t think I’d have the energy to apply for citizenship after waiting so long for PR! 😉

  8. Fran December 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

    Great post Brooke. Life is strange and that is why I love it. I started the year in England, soon after I was granted my PR visa and also now live in Sydney. And in 4 years? I wouldn’t even like to speculate 🙂

  9. Tijmen December 30, 2012 at 4:25 am #

    This is awesome, congratulations 🙂 Maybe in 4 years I will finally have settled down somewhere. New Zealand has always been very high on my list of places I would like to live. A few years ago I even went so far as to have all the paper work sorted out and check how likely it would be if I would pass all the requirements, which I easily did. But first there is a lot more travelling todo before settling down somewhere 🙂

  10. Kaylin December 30, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    How exciting!! Congrats!

    I have no idea where I might be in 4 years… 4 years ago, I had only ever been on 1 moderately short (1 month) international trip to France, and was only just about to start my last semester in college.

    And now I’ve been living abroad since August 2011. I’ve been to 6 new foreign countries since then, and lived in 2. I’ve been to Southeast Asia, the south Pacific, East Asia, and back to Europe. Some of those are places I would NEVER have thought to even visit, much less live in, 4 years ago. So who knows???

    Right now I am planning a working holiday in New Zealand for next year, and also some domestic travel in the states since I’ll be home for a few months in between when I finish my contract in France (in April) and when I want to leave for NZ (Oct-Nov ish). After that I just have no idea… I just go with the flow!

  11. Nicole December 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Congrats! I’m Cuban American. Many many moons ago both my parents went thru the same process and have been American Citizens for over 40 years.


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