The Unlikely Bookworm

A Girl Down Under: In Which I Face Deportation

A Girl Down Under

I’ve been toying with writing this post for a while now. Of late, I’ve made a conscious effort to offer readers of my blog more than just a glimmer into my life down under; I’ve offered bits of blogging advice, travel tips and reading round-ups in the hope that those who choose to visit my site might find something of use.

Often, as a blogger, it can feel somewhat self-indulgent to harp on about one’s life, and despite the fact that my most popular post of 2016 was of a personal nature; I had hoped to steer my blog in a slightly different direction in 2017, by establishing myself as a go-to blogger for book reviews and travel tips.

However, after reading an inspiring post from Brenna at This Battered Suitcase, in which she laments the new culture of travel blogging, I decided it was time to air my dirty laundry, warts and all. Writing has always been a great form of therapy for me and never has there been a time when I’ve needed to seek solace more.

It was a little over two years ago that I found myself spending the last day of my Australian holiday lying on the grass at Watson’s Bay, gazing across the water at Sydney’s famous skyline. It was a day steeped in sunshine and sadness; and became a pivotal point in a trip that would change the course of life as I knew it.

A Girl Down Under
I’ve now been in Australia just under eighteen months, and suffice to say it hasn’t been a smooth sailing chapter. I’ve blogged at length about the trails and tribulations of training as a yoga teacher, just a matter of days after arriving in Sydney; just a matter of weeks into any sort of consistent yoga practise. Those who know me, or are regular readers of my blog, will know that all that glitters certainly ain’t gold; and that despite the endless stretches of sky, sea and sand that feature on my Instagram, there, too have been an endless sea of tears behind the camera lens.

While there are copious things I love about my life in Australia, the career and visa aspect of life down under have undoubtedly been the most trying of all. After turning down a sponsored job six months into my time in Sydney, I soon found myself nearing the end of my working holiday visa, with no sponsorship in sight. At the last minute I was offered a role and it felt like all my Christmases had come at once. But alas, the fairytale ending was not to play out.

Without going into too much detail, I went on to endure five months of work-place hell at the hands of my boss, before deciding that being broke, unemployed and at risk of deportation was a better option than staying in my job a day longer than I had.

And so I find myself at the ripe old age of thirty-one in a place I never thought I’d be. As the days roll by, the likelihood of finding another job – one that I can see myself in long term, and at an agency who are willing and able to sponsor me immediately – seem to lessen by the minute. It’s currently illegal for me to work; and thus earn any sort of living, and while my boyfriend is Australian, we have a seven-month wait before we can begin to apply for a partner visa; and less than 60 days until I need to leave the country.

A Girl Down Under

However many friends and family one has rallying around to support them, during times like this it can feel like a long and lonely road. And yet, despite everything, the highs, the lows, the stresses and the strains, the one constant has been thus: never have I doubted that Australia is exactly where I’m supposed to be. The clock may be metaphorically ticking on my time here in Sydney, but as my yoga teacher Duncan instilled in us on retreat; now is the time to find comfort in discomfort.

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8 Comments

  1. Flo
    Posted 18th March 2017 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    What a truly difficult position to be in, Lucy! I truly hope something wonderful comes up in the next 60 days – I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

    • Lucy
      Posted 18th March 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Thanks Flo! It looks like I might be Bali bound for a month with my bf to apply for a visa to override my current one; but there are certainly worst places to have to go to! xx

  2. Posted 18th March 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    oh no! I hope everything works out well for you. My passport being very stricted, I need to have a visa in almost every country I’d visit before going. So there’s no such thing as a holiday working visa for us in Australia – it’s either a tourist visa or a working visa. Either you’re a visitor or you’re already sponsored by a company before going.

    hopefully you find a good job before your visa runs out.

    • Lucy
      Posted 18th March 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Thanks Pinay! I’m staying positive and hoping that everything turns out for the best xx

  3. Posted 15th April 2017 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Oh my goodness, I feel for you. I’ve certainly been in this position before – visa limbo. It’s not a fun place to be, but everything works out for the best. And Bali is a pretty cool place to be in visa limbo! If you’re going to be stuck somewhere for a while, be stuck in Bali, I say!

    • Lucy
      Posted 16th April 2017 at 2:53 am | Permalink

      Yes – visa limbo is definitely a precarious position to be in – but like you say – Bali ain’t all that bad! Thanks for stopping by Amy xx

  4. Posted 26th April 2017 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Hi Lucy I just came across your site. I’m from London and live in Turkey just started my one book review site. Luckily I don’t have to worry about Visa as its relatively easy to apply for a residency permit here, but that still doesn’t stop the stress that comes ever year with applying for it! I hope you get it all sorted in which I’m sure you will as everything always works out in the end! Paige xx

    • Lucy
      Posted 26th April 2017 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

      Hi Paige, thanks so much for stopping by! Oh I love Turkey – whereabouts do you live? Ah, the ongoing stress of visas – guess it’s part and parcel of being an expat – wherever you choose to live! xx

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  • lucy Welcome! I’m Lucy, a long-standing bookworm with a passion for literature and all things bookish. As a former Londoner and current Sydney-sider, this blog will offer you a window into the life of an expat, along with weekly book reviews, travel features and blogging tips, all written lovingly from my bedroom in Bondi. Read More

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