The Long Way Around

Remember how I'm a slightly obsessed planner and an organiser?

Well as I mentioned a few days ago, I've been spending a lot of time planning for how the end of the year is going to work for us. It was one thing moving from Sydney to London - trying to plan for a life on the other side of the world with just one suitcase and a carry on bag to contend with. But that little life experience was nothing compared to how difficult it is preparing for the opposite journey home. People, it is harder than I imagined. Insanely difficult.

I should put it out there and say that we'll be officially out of the UK by November - which is only just over four months from now. I've already started the ball rolling for Oscar's departure and he's now the proud owner of an import licence from the Australian government quarantine officials, woohoo! Very soon I'll be handing over an extraordinary amount of money to a pet transportation company to arrange Oscar's flight details, travel crate, quarantine stay and vet fees, and then he'll be ready for the travel process in November when we are.

And as for Jase and me? Well, I've become a one-woman planning machine. I've started getting quotes for excess baggage. I've started donating things and throwing out items we won't be taking home with us at the end of the year. I've started researching travel deals some more and have been frantically trying to make dates match up to go on a travel adventure or two prior to heading back to Sydney - and that part has been more than a little bit stressful. It's not just our own travel dates that I have to work with here: it's tour operator dates, it's the date I return from Europe, and it's Oscar's travel preparation and flight dates. And, oh yes, it's the expiry  date on Jase's UK Work Permit in mid-November that we've been working with, too.

Wait, did I say mid-November? Silly me! After finally working out dates that matched up and getting a mock itinerary scripted - with papers and dates and prices strewn all around me, I had this horrible feeling that we were forgetting something. I went and checked the date on the boy's Visa and then I died.

Okay, so I didn't really die, but my heart did stop beating for just a few seconds & I believe I looked a bit like this:

When I'd asked what date we were working on him having to be out of the UK by, he'd sworn it was the 14th or 15th of November, so I was working on that assumption - which worked great with our dates: I returned from Europe on the 8th, we'd have a week to get the cat sorted out, finish cleaning and packing, hand over our apartment keys and fly away to our first travel destination. Er, no, not that simple. The expiry date on his Visa is NOVEMBER 7th.

(!!!!!!)

If you go back and read my last sentence, you might recall that I don't get back to London until the 8th. And the boy has to leave the UK by the 7th! Cue panic and freaking out. Basically, we're going to have to readjust everything - dates we leave, who does what, plan plan plan and so on and so forth. While I was going to be the one in charge of Oscar's vet visits and final transportation, that is now going to fall on Jase - so I'll have to get him up to speed and in charge of the paperwork very soon. It also means that he'll be finalising all of the apartment cleaning and handing the keys over - and then he'll fly over to our first travel destination and wait for me to join him a few days later. It's crazy: it also means that after living out of a suitcase for a month in Europe, I'll have no home to come back to - so I sense a whole lot of washing will have to be done in a random European laundromat somewhere along the way!

We'll manage, we always do. And I'm glad we found the spanner in the works this early on before all of our travel plans were booked and set in stone. See? Always have trust in your gut instincts. I firmly believe in mine!

We haven't done things the easy way; we never have. If we'd wanted that, we would have stayed back in Sydney, got married, bought a house and a dog and maybe popped out 2.5 children, or whatever the 'average' is nowadays. Instead, we've had an awesome adventure. We've travelled. We've saved. We rescued a cat, who is possibly the best thing that's happened to us since being here. We've lived together and learned together as a couple before finally getting engaged - and now we get to plan the long way around back to where we started from.

Wish me luck with this travel planning: to be honest, I'll need as much as possible to make this all work!


19 Comments • Labels: , ,  

19 comments:

Candace said...

Oh goodness girl!! I am so happy you guys have had such an adventurous time together! :-) Gene and I were together for 10 years before we got married and we had SO much fun and did so much before we finally got married and had kids. I say it's the best way to go!! :-)

Emily Jane said...

Oh my gosh I would've died!! But this is so exciting, and it's good you still have lots of time left and it wasn't a last minute sort of surprise... I love that you've adventured instead of taking the easy way, too. These are the things that give a lifetime of memories shared together. D & I plan to do lots of travelling (though sadly probably not as adventurous as you actually MOVING all around the world!) before we settle down after the wedding too :) Yay for adventure!

heidikins said...

Oh goodness honey, this is crazy! I love all the adventures but reading about The Crazy makes me want to poke my eyeball out. Blah!

Here's hoping things go smoothly!
xox

Fiona said...

That would have been an oh shit moment :\

P said...

Oooh bugger, that was lucky you worked that out when you did!!!

By the way, any chance you are planning on heading northward (ie Scotland) before you head back to Oz so we csn meet???

Britt said...

Oh gosh! So stressful! You guys are in for quite the adventure though - just getting out of London is proving to be one!

Kirsten said...

It's stressful now, but you're managing just fine, as much as it may not seem so at the moment. At least you're finding out about this schedule snafu ahead of time and not showing up at the airport a day late like I did. :-)

Lara said...

Bah, so sorry to hear about that! I know how frustrating that kind of stuff can be. :( I'm sure you'll handle it, though!

CuppyCakes said...

I all tingly when I read that you're officially coming home. There was always that little bit of 'what if' in my mind.
NOW I WANT TO GREET YOU AT THE AIRPORT WITH BALLOONS AND PARTY STREAMERS AND NOISE MAKERS!!

Operation Pink Herring said...

Does a visa expiration mean that you have to stop working, or actually be out of the country? And would anyone notice if he overstayed by a week or two? I have no idea how that actually works, as I've only had a student visa and that was in a different country and almost 10 years ago (eek), but what are they going to do if J shows up at the airport with an expired visa -- deport him? I would totally chance it (and possibly end up in a British jail).

Dayna said...

Oh no! As a fellow planner, I totally know how you must of felt!

Good luck with changes the dates :)

Non Sequitur Chica said...

This post just makes me tired. Good luck putting it all together without wanting to drink- a lot. :-)

Hilary said...

Good luck! If things worked out too easy, would it ever be as much fun? You are going crazy now, but in a few years, you will think back on all of this and smile. Believe me, I know. I got married in Aruba. We ordered our tickets months and months in advance. I just scanned the confirmations when I received them. I never noticed that they had my destination as the Bahamas instead of Aruba. I had to go through so much drama, shed so many tears, and play on the mercy of every airport employee I came in contact with to get everything squared away…..Hang in there, and just think of the wonderful life you guys will have together with Oscar!

Becky said...

You can do it, you can do it!

MASHley said...

ash - oh wow. i'm pretty sure i would have had a heart attack. but you can do it! besides i'm sure you'll be happy to be home. after that you can just repress these next few months of stress :)

Jaded said...

man, what a shomozzle!
When you come back to Sydney once and for all, perhaps we can catch up one fine day for a coffee... or a cold drink or whatever it is that all the cool kids do these days!

Manderz said...

Trusting your gut when it comes to travel seems like the best plan. Good thing you figured out the visa bit now. Hopefully your Jase is better at handling details than mine!

terra said...

Oh my goodness! You've pretty much got a full time job planning all your adventures and your trip back home, not to mention your wedding! So glad you caught the different date for Jase's visa early on - I can't imagine how difficult it would have been to change everything after booking things. Good luck with all your planning!

Karen said...

Is there anything like a grace period on a British visa? I know in the US you have 30 days after the expiry of a (J1) visa to actually leave the country (at least on the one I was on, you had 30 days before the beginning and after the end of the exchange program (first & last day of classes)).
But either way, I bet you'll figure everything out. Good luck with all the planning.





All content (C) Breathe Gently 2006-2015
Blog Design by Splendid Sparrow