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Changing plans: when expat realities interfere with dreams of travel

In our About Us section, we’ve alluded to the fact that we’ve been quietly dreaming about a BIG trip. As in, leave jobs and lives and material possessions behind and spend an entire year being untethered and able to travel at our own pace kind of big.

Australia is such a great place to live and work when you have goals like ours, because it’s both common and accepted to take long stretches of time off from your job to travel and still have that job to return to. In most industries here, there isn’t a need to quit your job to travel the world. So we felt like we were perfectly set up to take this leap in 2017.

Then… real life intervenes. Doesn’t it always?

We’re incredibly lucky to have had a (mostly) smooth and heartache-free immigration process here in Australia. It’s been very expensive, time-consuming, and stressful, but we’re just about at the point where we both have dual citizenship (Canada-Australia for me and Italy-Australia for him).

But that process of getting citizenship, understandably enough, takes time. I think during our initial trip-planning stages, this was time we didn’t really estimate correctly– we kind of assumed it would all work itself out in time. Until we realised about a week ago that it wouldn’t. There just wasn’t any way to stay in Australia until we both had citizenship AND go on a yearlong trip starting in January or April 2017.

Remember how M. is overseas in Europe right now? Yeah… that was fun, having a huge life-changing/relationship-changing discussion over Facebook chat with a major time difference. But we did some thinking on our own and some talking it out together and we decided that we would have to postpone the big trip until 2018.

So now here I am, waist-deep in a travel blog and we’ve decided not to travel for another year! I feel a bit ridiculous.

This was the point in the year where I’d planned to start posting updates on our planning process. We were meant to be giving away our furniture and asking for travel gear for Christmas right about now. Instead we’re wondering whether we should finally upgrade our cars (mine is from 1993 and may not last another year…) and trying to decide what kind of couch to buy when we move out of our houseshares.

Ultimately, though, this blog is intended to share a snapshot of our real lives as expats and travellers, and this is our real life. I guess there’s nothing much more realistic than having to wait to do a big trip because you need to stay in the country to get dual citizenship!

Anyway, lovely readers, I’ll still be blogging. I think this way we’ll be able to share even more– more about the immigration process, more about the trip-organising process, more about how we balance living our day-to-day lives while still planning to travel as much as we can.

We’re wide open for time and ideas now that our plans have changed– tell us, what kind of content would you like to see us write about in the next year?

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Eat Melbourne: Aussie Donuts and Coffee at All Day Donuts in Brunswick

Melbourne has recently had something of a renaissance of American food. With more people travelling than ever before and lots of great deals on flights to L.A., New York, and San Francisco, more varieties of food have made their way to our restaurants and cafés.

It’s not quite up to the standard of what you can get in a major city or down South, but there’s a huge variety of barbecue, burgers, po’boys, you name it popping up in my Aussie city. When I moved to Melbourne five years ago there were two diners and one bar that served U.S.-style meals.

As much as I adore burgers, the foodie trend I have really gotten behind these last two years is the rise of the donut.

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When you’re craving travel but have to stay put

There are some days when the wanderlust hits hard. I get the itch, the need, the craving to head to the airport and go– wherever. Sometimes it happens when life is particularly routine or stressful; other times when I’m feeling envious of someone else’s photos from Prague or Cambodia. Sometimes it’s just a shaft of sunlight hitting the pavement or the scent of wet earth, reminding me that the world is out there for me to see.

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