In March 2004 I was granted a skilled migration visa to Australia. It was something I had been spending both quite a bit of money and time on getting and it represented something I had wanted to do for a long time. In many ways Australia represented to me what the United States represented to many in the past generations of Europeans, a land of adventure and opportunity. As things would have it I didn’t end up going to Australia, instead I went to Barcelona in Spain and started working with my friends from the GStreamer community and then a year and a half ago I moved to Cambridge here in the UK as part of Collabora Multimedia.
But through these five years since I got that visa it has been something thats always been in the back of my mind, that if I wanted to I could pack up my stuff and move down to Australia. More recently I spent some time before Christmas last year discussing it with friends and family as I realized the visa was approaching expiration. I had almost decided to let it go, but then some friends of mine started talking about moving down to Melbourne and that combined with some company people locating there made me spend the last few weeks revisiting the idea once more. So today I decided to check the exact terms of my visa again, to verify the terms and dates, in the back of my mind the final expiration date was at the end of July, but looking at it I discovered it expired yesterday, 1st of March 2009. So the decision or indecision depending on how you look at it was taken out of my hands.
It does in some ways mark the end of an era for me, strange as it is to mark an era after something one didn’t do. But having that something, which I wanted to do, available to me for the last five years. A thing which by its nature would have had a huge impact on my life and also on my relationship with family and friends, have influenced my life quite a bit I think. It has been a part of my approach to the world around me in terms of how I viewed things in terms of permanence for instance. Made me more than a little restless many a time.
But now that the last train has left the station I don’t actually feel very sad, instead I feel that a new chapter starts for me. Sure I can always start a process of getting a new visa, but I think maybe its time to focus on enjoying where I am instead of wondering about where I want to go :)