Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

I remember handing in the permanent residence application for Australia on Feb 14, 2018. I remember telling a friend that day that my love for Australia must be true cause I handed in the application on Valentine’s Day. After waiting for a good ten months and a few back and forth with the application process, on Dec 12th 2018 I received confirmation that my permanent residence application had been approved. I jumped with joy when I read the approval letter.

When you have been working towards something and all the stars align so you can have that thing, you rarely forget these moments.

Two moments I remembered while I sat down after I got the citizenship certificate:

I remember sitting in the Hong Kong airport for my first visit to Australia as a permanent resident. I had a 12-hour wait from when I landed in Hong Kong to when I was to fly out. After few hours of walking around, I checked into a hotel room. Four hours later, I walked around again, ate, and chatted with my good friend Archeet. I remember telling him I was looking for a return ticket to Mumbai from Hong Kong. Sitting in the airport for 8 hours, I started to think about life in India the last ten years. It was nothing but full of joyful moments. My niece was five years old, and being with her over the previous five years was outstanding. I could not think of why I was moving away from her. I remember Archeet messaging me then and telling me that I should go, stay for a few days and see how I feel. I could always return.

The second moment I remember was during Covid. Feb 2020. I had just moved to an apartment in a new suburb. I did not know anyone there, but I loved the suburb. The first month of living there was great. Setting up the new place and walking around to new restaurants and cafes. Covid started, and I was locked in an apartment, not knowing anyone or being able to meet in person with friends and collegues. A month into COVID-19, the isolation began to get to me mentally. I heard stories from friends and family back home about how they were together and having a great time while I was locked up alone in a room. I wanted to be there. Nothing else mattered then. Being a citizen was the last thing on my mind. I did follow the news very closely then. Compared to others, I was in a much better position. My job helped me pay rent and cover my food/living expenses. I decided to toughen up mentally and make adjustments to my living arrangements.

The road to becoming a citizen has had a few bumps. Being away from family and friends has been challenging. I have made some lifelong new friends here and met some great people. People who I would not have met and gotten to interact with had I not made the move. I have travelled to some great places, eaten some delicious food, and learned so much from this place. A place I now call home.

On 11th September 2023, I got my citizenship certificate. I jumped with joy as I got the certificate. The next day, I applied for the passport, and I could not stop smiling when I opened the envelope and held the passport. I cannot wait to start travelling in 2024.

Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi

A good friend in the gym made this card to celebrate being a citizen. ❤️

Sunil Shenoy @sunil
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