I have made a life for myself here in Melbourne, a life that I'm absolutely in love with. It's still baffling to me that I was originally planning on just passing through Australia. It was meant to be a place to regroup and save up a bit of money so I could continue my travels. Little did I know that I would be pulled in by a tribe that would fan my flames and a love that would enable me to be the best version of myself.
At first when I arrived in this country, I felt the potential for deep connection, but my heart was still back in the United States. I was holding on to my own experiences of community and put up a bit of resistance toward the thought of finding a community that could serve me better than what I had experienced, particularly in Los Angeles. I didn’t leave LA to escape or getaway from a life I didn’t love. Quite the opposite actually, I loved my life there and intended to return, however I desired adventure and novelty. I was ready to explore my independence and see what the world could offer me. As a result of my attachment to my experience of a loving community in LA, my experiences in Sydney and then Melbourne were perceived more so as a reference or comparison. However, the longer I stayed, the more I was introduced to the most incredible people, the more my heart opened and resistance fell away.
I realized that if I took these new experiences in this foreign land just as they were without comparing them to my past, I could allow myself to really settle in and feel at home. And that’s what I did. My second year in Australia has been spent putting roots down by building profound and supportive relationships, going after my vocational dream, and developing my side passion projects. All of this has felt possible because of the support from communities I’ve surrounded myself with. Being surrounded by people who lift you up by simply encouraging you to be your most authentic self is what true community looks like.
As you may know, recently the love of my life asked me to marry him. There is nothing I am more sure of than spending the rest of my life with this incredible human. Mike has been the most supportive force in my life these last two years and I am thrilled that we get to keep growing together!
All of the puzzle pieces are fitting together so perfectly...writing this out is demonstrating even to me just how right everything feels. The next piece of the puzzle that needs to find its place is my immigration status. Now that my roots are set, my love for Mike has amounted to a promise of a life together, my friends have brought me into their circles, I’ve been promoted to General Manager of Second Story Studios, and I’ve grown into a confident and passionate contributing member of this country - I KNOW that I want to stay in Australia.
But I need your help.
Mike and I are applying for the DeFacto Visa, which is quite the expensive endeavor. I am so grateful for the support that we have already received from so many people to help me stay in Australia. However, at this point, the biggest help that we could receive is in monetary form.
The visa application itself costs $7,160 AUD. Then there are also fees for things like health examinations, police checks (US and AUS), our migration agent, registering our relationship, and whatever other small costs arise. We estimate the extra costs to total ~$2,000 AUD.
Total estimation = $9,160 AUD (~$6,500 USD - for all my American peeps)
Mike and I are hoping to split this cost three ways. He and I will each pay for a third and we are hoping to crowdsource the last third. With your help - even the smallest contribution can help me stay in Australia to continue building a life for myself! No contribution is too small! Thank you in advance for your help, it truly means the world to me.
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