Its tough business being a non resident and trying to settle down. Fortunately or unfortunately I fell in love with a guy from a different country – it wasn’t very hard considering I was studying in this country and also single. It was almost destiny that we ended up together because both of us were in a bad place when we found each other and the rest is history.
Being happily engaged to a man in this economy without a citizenship is difficult and expensive. The whole ordeal of being in a relationship demands the two of you to be in close proximity or at least it makes it easier. We discussed a lot of arrangements of when my visa runs out. I was on a student visa which only allowed me to work 20 hours and be enrolled in uni full-time, which is not cheap and every international student can probably vouch for that.
One of the many things we discussed was that I would go back to Nepal and he can stay here in Sydney. I would try to find a job until we would figure out what we wanted to do. It was one of the cheaper options definitely but one with a lot of heartache. Hats off to all the couples dealing with a long term relationship. I get anxiety attacks when I don’t hear from him for an hour. After much we debate we decided to go the pricey route as an investment for our future. We can’t stay in two countries for ever and if I ever wanted to move back to Nepal then I would always have the option to. This in no way has been an easy route and I wouldn’t recommend everyone to do it unless you are a 100% sure. The whole visa cost us almost $10k and we are still recovering from it. It is a big blow and if you’re not sure it’s not worth it. The whole process of it is also nerve racking.
Then there is the whole ordeal of living in a limbo. You can legally stay here but you’re a non resident. You’ve got full working rights but you can only apply to limited jobs. It is quite difficult and sometime you feel like you’re not good enough because you are incapable of doing somethings and it is out of your hand. The only thing you can do sometimes is to wait and sit tight. The support of your lovely partner is always helpful and if he doesn’t uplift you during your dark times he is definitely not worth it.
Budgeting is really difficult, well at least it is for me. For someone who is a drama student and an amateur traveller, I find it very hard to allocate things especially not knowing what you’re going to need while planning a trip overseas. I’m going to discuss the major things that have affected my travel that I didn’t count in my budget.
Visas – Although this may be an obvious thing for many, I overlooked this and it ended up costing me a lot. Mainly because I had my first visa application rejected for the UK and I had to reapply and fast track it because you are only allowed to apply 3 months before the arrival date and they took a month to respond just to give me a big no. Not only did this double the cost of my visa but I had to fast track it which was an extra $300 that I could’ve spent on my trip. The visas for the EU and the UK have very similar rules. You need to have a visa in the first place you enter either the EU or the UK before you apply for the second visa.
Travel Insurance – Many countries need you to have a travel insurance for you to get a visa and in some countries, it’s just recommended. I would definitely recommend getting it regardless because it’s always good to have a safety net especially when your country is known to not be that great in looking after its people overseas. Nothing bad about it, its just sometimes you might be in a city without a Nepalese embassy and it’s better to have an insurance that you know is going to cover you in the countries you are visiting.
Transportation – You might think the plane tickets are the biggest cost but that is where the expenses start. I didn’t factor in the costs for the numerous buses and trains we took overseas getting to places and most times you don’t even know the best deals that the different transportation have to offer so more than likely you’re going to cop an expensive rate. We were purchasing single trip tickets in Paris for 2 days until we realised on our last day there that they do all day tickets and weekly tickets that would’ve been way cheaper.
Food – I only have one thing to say about this, please have a generous budget for food. When you are travelling you realise that you will be more generous spending than you have been budgeting and you’ll want to try everything and you will run out of money in an amazing city that has amazing food and you’ll end up having to cook yourself dinner.
Souvenirs – Being in a new country will tick off something inside you and you’ll turn into this souvenir monster because everything will be super cute and will remind you of everything your trip was. As ridiculous as it sounds you will want to factor this in. This will be your breathing space because the last thing you want is to chip into your food budget and beats having to walk everywhere either. Just account a couple of hundred dollars on top of your cost for every place. This will allow you to spend without making it too tight and if you don’t end up spending so much you will have some extra cash for when you come back or even better for food.
These are the 5 things where my budgeting failed me and I found myself wishing I had saved more money for these or at least accounted for before diving head in first and purchasing my tickets to Europe. I hope this helps some of you out there planning on travelling soon. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.
Weddings are definitely the most hectic yet exciting part of a family and it’s even better when you grow up in a joint family like mine. In the past decade, admittedly our family has become diluted across the world. But there is something about blood, no matter how much you separate a family it’ll fall back together like pieces of puzzles no matter what. After being away from my family for almost 3 years, there was a lot to get used to and it was not just living under one roof.
When you live away from your family, you forget their tempers. And you also forget about your pet peeves. Staying away from your family for 3 years and being crammed with them for 3 weeks is not the ideal situation but we did find our common grounds. When you have to organise a wedding in 2 weeks everybody starts compromising.
I’m not a massive believer in marriage. I’ve always looked at it as a social construct that people follow to continue the inheritance and the celebration as a way of connecting families as well as keeping in touch with your extended families. I’ve gone by months on months not seeing my extended family because there was no funeral or wedding or any sort of social gatherings that would bring us together. But that is one great thing about Nepalese weddings, they go on for ages and that is also the worst thing about it – it goes on for agesssss; my sister’s was five days to be exact, that our family was involved, she probably had a few more days in as the bride.
This is a part of the main wedding ceremonies. Photo credit : Namlo events
One of the reasons I’m writing this blog is because I attended a total of 3 wedding during my time in Nepal. I got severely drunk at two of them and I was an insider responsible for organising a lot of things in one of them, you could call me the “Maid of Honour” of this wedding. This series has a look into the core of these wedding and how all these shenanigans become a part of a culture that has been carried on for years and still has the importance it once held and the meaning behind these traditions.
Owning a pet in Sydney is close to a crime. It’s similar to being a sex offender; you have to declare that you have a pet and hope for the best. You can’t just abandon your pet in order for you to find a home so you’re stuck with Sydney’s few homeowners that allow pets. Unfortunately for me, nor do I own enough to afford high-end houses that allow pets and nor can I lie in an application saying that I don’t have a pet and just hide my little cat like he is an illegal immigrant. I bet if he was an illegal immigrant it would’ve been easier.
Searching for apartments has been a horrible struggle. Your search result goes from 500+ to a mere handful when you click the pets allowed filter and in today’s day and age, I don’t know what homeowners are scared of. Letting random humans stay in your apartment/ house seems scarier than letting a little pup or kitten stay. This struggle of finding a home for me and my pet definitely baffles me. Am I supposed to stick to not having a friend who greets me when I come home and makes my life 5000 times better or should I try to find a place out of the 50 pet-allowed properties, which might I add seem to be going off the shelves like they are free? The number of listings that I’ve been to where the inspection has been cancelled because it was leased is just ridiculous.
Humiliation is the word. How dare I have an animal that I care for and want to take with me. How dare I help out the RSPCA by adopting a furry friend and how dare you live out of home and dare to rent a pet-allowed apartment. I must be bonkers!
America is a place that alludes me. It is a place of great diversity and strength but also a lot of bigotry and hate. America is known to be a place of dreams, where people get the opportunity to achieve things. A lot of big things have happened in America and a lot of big things are happening there now. It is amazing to learn a country’s history not only through history books but to break down each era through the literature and connect the events that were occurring and the corresponding literature that was being written.
This unit has been a wonderful journey, not only did I get to learn more about few of my favourite writes, but I also got the opportunity to discover connections between the artists and literature. This unit connected us with the rawness of Native American values and took us on a journey to rediscover slavery and its struggles. These blogs have allowed me to experience a journey and make me think outside the box. In these past 12 weeks, I’ve started questioning every source of information that I intake that could be influencing my decisions consciously or sub-consciously. I’ve always been spiritual but and loved nature but is it because of the literature I’ve read or is it because of my nature? Am I more open to the concept of immigration and things not having boundaries because I’m a post-modernist or because I’ve listened to The Beatles so many times that I’ve been conditioned in such a way? There are so many possibilities that make you question everything and these questions have widened my horizon of learning.
With the blogs, although the writing of blogs may seem to be more important, I’ve found the process of reviewing very helpful to not only the blogs but the readers as well. Reading other student’s blogs open you to a new perspective that is unique to their understanding and the events in life that has affected them. The ability to share our experiences and our understandings with each other not only allows us to expand our horizon but also gives us room to grow. Unfortunately, this is my last literature unit in my degree. But I definitely vouch to carry on my blog.
I would like to thank everyone who has taken the effort to review my blogs and I would like to thank Michael for encouraging us to blog and practice our writing outside of essays and exams.
From today’s massive, subversive and powerfully creative world of the Beats and beyond which artist and/or writer inspired you most? Which unresolved question did they bring to stir your imagination? Which innovation in language, an image most struck your sense of what was powerful and new.
I have been a massive fan of The Beatles. The Beatles may have hit Nepal some off 30 years late, but I grew up listening to them. I still do listen to them; their songs soothe me and help me focus. Whenever I am anxious or my mind is wandering off, I listen to them. One of the things that have surprised me the most is connecting one of my favourite artists to a movement. And it is indeed amazing how perfectly it fits.
Artists are usually considered to be trendsetters but you take for granted how much of an impact they can have on the whole generations. One of the songs I would like to put forward is Imagine by John Lennon. Although this is not a Beatles song, John Lennon was one of the popular members of the group is accredited to have written many of their songs.
In this song, Lennon asks us to imagine how it would be to live life for now and not for what would happen in the later life. Imagine a world, where you are not governed by a religion, or a country state. Although it may sound too general, this is basically the post-modernist agenda. And this completely baffles me because I’ve listened to this song a million times without questioning the agenda of this song.
It is absolutely amazing, the things that you discover once you start connecting the dots.
I love how your blog is laid out and how you use numbers to keep track of your weekly blogs. I might pick that up because I always end up having to go back and count my blogs every time to see where I’m up to.
This is a very powerful post, and I can feel the sympathy you feel for animals and animal caretakers alike. It is a very hard job to take care of an animal who you know should be free and out in the wild. Humans are very strange when you think about it. They have sympathy and at the same time, they can be really cruel. In a way, we are no different than cats, who will let you pat them for a while and then claw you because they’ve changed their mind.
One last thing, in your comment box, after the comment is posted, the contrast between the color of the font and the comment box is not too high. I could barely read the other comment. You should look into changing that because it looks like a plain grey box at the end.
I love your play of words on your blog title “whatalittime” !
This blog is very to the point and short. I both appreciate it and would’ve liked a bit more. I found one typo on this post. You should be able to find it when you go through it. This letter is very powerful and your use of language is commendable. I do encourage you to write something longer to express your emotions. Overall, I’m enjoying your blog.
I’m loving the overall theme of your blog. You should definitely try adding more photos to make your blog more interactive.
You make some good points in your blog, but I think there are a lot of ideas floating on here. I had to go back and forth to read it to understand the point you were trying to. Overall you make some interesting points. I think adding pictures will help break up some dense parts of your argument and make it easier on the reader.
What do you think Faulkner might have meant by the caption that is around his neck in the image at the top of this blog?
Being better than other people makes your development reliant on the other person. It limits you. If you are already better than your contemporaries or predecessors, and you are competing against them, you don’t feel the need to improve and work on yourself. On the other hand, if you try to be better than yourself you are constantly working to improve yourself. Its progressive, the more you improve yourself, the higher the standards get. In the caption around his neck, I think Faulkner is telling us to try to be the best possible self, if there is room for improvement then there is room to grow. And there is no better way of knowing how much you can improve unless you compete with yourself and know how much you can evolve as a person and how much potential you truly have.