What to do when you feel down about your migration journey

I don’t know why, but mornings are especially hard for me. That’s when homesickness and frustration at my lot in life hits me the hardest. Yesterday I was finally made permanent at the second job (which I like), but it wasn’t a joyous occasion for me because I will now be a few hundred dollars poorer. You trade in security for less pay. When I first found out about this system I was at a loss for words. So, they like you so much that they want you permanently, but because you’re now given the privilege of sick and holiday leave, you’ll be receiving less pay.

But anyway, this morning I threatened to spiral again into a morass of despair about my situation when I said to myself, “Okay. Enough! Enough! What does self pity get you? An hour wasted thinking/moaning about the past and the future is an hour you could have used to advance goals towards your future/commune meaningfully with people and God/enjoy the present.”

So I snapped out of it and began working on my dream instead. I began emailing contacts (networking), writing this blog post, and plan for my e-book business.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve always dreamed about having my own business, to being a location independent writer/entrepreneur. I wasted a lot of time last year telling myself that it won’t work instead of doing something concrete towards the goal.

I’m happy to report that my short story, Blood of Nanking under my pen name Antonna Seton, is doing real well. I have another short story under my real name too, but it’s not doing that fantastic, most probably because of its genre and short length. But still, these products are earning me some money! A small start.

Well, what I’m trying to say is that instead of wasting time contemplating and navel gazing, which are not exactly productive activities, I decided to implement strategies to increase my business. Such as write another short story to sell or learn new things about digital marketing, which is an industry I’m keen to venture into.

So, when you feel tempted to moan and cry for a whole day about your situation, ask yourself this:

What am I sacrificing if I’m doing getting worked up about my current situation? An hour of this would mean that I can do less of …? Instead of crying/moaning about your situation

  • You could use that hour to build networks in Australia.
  • You could use that hour to volunteer and gain new skills.
  • You could also use that hour to connect with your family and create wonderful memories.

Sometimes that’s good enough to snap you out of it.

Look, I’m not saying that it’s bad to cry. But it’s bad to dwell for too long. I’ll tell you the truth, I’ve lost days to despair at times, and that’s not a good place to be.

Instead about thinking how bad your life is, think about ways you can improve it and implement them. It’s a better way.

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Weekend Joy

trusty rusty

My trusty but rusty bike has taken me around Adelaide.

This morning, I had a “lie in”. I read a book “Until Tuesday” (a memoir if a service dog and his army vet human friend), then at 9am decided to take a ride around my neighbourhood. I hopped on my trusty but rusty bicycle which I bought two years ago from Gumtree, and headed to one of my favourite cafes in the neighbourhood. So here am I sitting with a up of strong, long black coffee, a muffin and a pizza and typing this.

So, yes, I’m happy to report that my mood isn’t as dour as before, and things have looked significantly better. It’s amazing what rest can do for you. From July to October, I worked seven days a week, sometimes clocking in 100 over hours per fortnight. You may argue that office workers in Kuala Lumpur worked more than that, but I was doing a physically and emotionally-exhausting job, and my body and mind was crying out for relief.

One of the ways I got relief was to stop working Sundays. My money-minded self balked at the idea (in Australia, you earn nearly double per hour on Sunday) but I took the leap anyway. A month into my new schedule and I’m loving it. It’s wonderful to be in step with everyone else; to have an off day with the rest of the population. And most of all, being an extrovert, I was being healed and energised by the presence of people around me. I loved watching people indulge in retail therapy at Rundle Mall, I adored eating bimimbap on a ramshackle table in the middle of busy Central Market with vendors yelling, “One dollar! One dollar! Grab them before they’re gone!” or sipping coffee with my laptop on my table in a cafe in a gentrified part of town where the leaves are heavy on trees and people talk in hushed tones over java and pastries.

When I landed in Oz two years ago, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work surviving almost immediately. I don’t think I quite rested during the two years I tried to fulfill my 35-hour-a-week requirement and it took me a while, even after I got my PR, to get myself out of that mindset of “work or else”.

Now I’m working only 40 to 60 hours per fortnight. I spend my free time writing, volunteering, socialising and nature worshipping.

As my head cleared and my angst dissipated, I realised that I was a blessed creature. In Malaysia I had prestige because of my job at a blue-chip company, money and a yuppie lifestyle but I also battled traffic jams, an obsession with materialism and climbing the corporate ladder, and the realisation that I was not pursuing my dream to write fiction and publish my own books.

I’m now actively pursuing what I used to dream about. Since landing in Australia in August 2012, a short story of mine was published in the book KL Noir. I have also published a children’s book and two of my e-books on Amazon are earning money (which still totally amazes me). In the meantime, I have also finished two more novels! Artistically, 2011-to present has been the most artistically fulfilling time of my life. I’m now even thinking about taking painting lessons!

But I realised one thing. Although you’re pursuing your dreams, it doesn’t mean that life becomes all roses and pansies. You still stuggle with problems, and a lot of times they are problems that you have never encountered before. Living in a new place, doing things you have never done before can stress the hell out of you. Sometimes it even breaks you. But if you do it wisely and with the right mindset, taking a career break and moving to another country can be one of the best things you could ever do for yourself.

If I do return to Malaysia (and that question is still up in the air), I would remember my time in Adelaide as being one of the most vivid, entrancing, stressful, amazing, awe-inspiring and memorable experiences of my life. Why? Because I dared to give my dreams a chance, and I believed in myself and in God enough to leap off the cliff not just because of the chance of succeeding, but to experience the journey, even if it’s for a brief moment in time.

Longing for home

Apologies for not having posted for almost two months. The truth was I was not in a good place and I didn’t want to discourage anyone with my sob story. In the last post I hinted that I was desperately unhappy. And in the post before that, I said that I was longing for what I left behind in Malaysia.

Well, October came and I crashed, big time. I couldn’t sleep.  I was hit by bouts of anxiety and depression and I found myself crying – sometimes to sleep. I was also achingly lonely. At first I blamed it on my work. Yeah, I’m misreable because I’m not doing the job of my heart. So questions whirled in my head: Should I study this or that Masters to get ahead in Australia? Should I restart my writing business?

Perhaps it was triggered with me working seven days a week, but I think these symptoms were building up long before. I believe it began on the day my parents left for Malaysia after spending a fortnight with me in Adelaide.

memum

Me & mum admiring the setting sun at Glenelg

I brought them to Hahndorf, Glenelg- the usual touristy things. Taking those long walks with them down the beach at Glenelg and around the hills in Hahndorf reminded me of our morning ritual of walking to the nearby flats near my home in Subang Jaya for breakfast. I knew I missed that, but I didn’t realise just how much until that fortnight.

When I saw their backs going into the airport gates on their last day in Adelaide, something just broke inside me. And when I drove home, tears slid down my cheeks. I felt bereft and alone. I wanted to join them so badly.

After months of the symptoms: Anxiety, depression, loneliness,deep aching longing for home … I finally understood what I was suffering from.

I was homesick.

Which surprised me, because I didn’t think I was the type to suffer from it. I spent a year in Perth as a student without once longing for home. I travelled the world, and always enjoyed myself when I was there. I am mostly amazed by how incredibly intense the symptoms are.

Being homesick is a common affliction for the migrant, according to this New York Times article. I read the blog of this French lady who suffered symptoms very much like mine and find myself reassured.

Honestly, if not for the fact that I’m now on a bridging visa (I could lose my PR if I return home, and yes you can apply for special permission to return but I probably wouldn’t bother), I would’ve booked a one way ticket home too. I even spoke to my former colleagues back home, hinting that I’m coming home. The symptoms were that intense.

Now that I’ve realised what I’m suffering from, my symptoms have lessened somewhat. I’ve reconnected with my friends and family back home through phone calls and Skype calls, which helps immensely. I admit that I had gone on months without calling them, so absorbed am I on the act of survival in Australia.

I’m also connecting with people in Adelaide instead of just burying myself in work. I realised how much I’ve isolated myself (again!) socially. I’m also trying to reconnect with my personal legend eventhough on some days I just don’t effing feel like it.

But you know what? I’m also leaving the door open to return to Malaysia.

I know some of you are horrified. This is not what you came here to read. This is a blog called Malaysia to Adelaide, not Malaysia to Adelaide to Malaysia, isn’t it?

But honestly, I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, especially on the thought that I will probably have my parents for another 10 years. More, if I’m very lucky.

The thought of it all fills me with a kind of anguish I can’t really put words to.

Here’s the haunting question I’m dealing with right now: Shouldn’t I be with them in their twilight years?

Running from my calling

brighton

The last two months have been one of the most stressful times of my life. Yet, things were heading the right direction for me. I was working on my PR application (filed at last!), applied for another job and got it, and I’m earning more money than before.

BUT I was unhappy. Desperately so.

Well, the first reason was pretty clear. I was working seven days a week, clocking over 90 hours per fortnight. But I told myself it was a necessary sacrifice to transition myself to the new company (I’m juggling two jobs right now).

Second reason was also clear: I was biting off more than I can chew. As always. Dealing with a 90-hour per fortnight, physically demanding job is hard enough, but also juggling a PR application and my studies (I’m learning how to write fiction and it’s more complicated than I thought!) with less than ideal sleep is a nightmare.

Sometimes, I found myself in tears at the end of a terrible work day. Hell, sometimes I was in tears at work!

So, outwardly, I have the appearance of a successful immigrant, but I was miserable.

Initially I thought it was the lack of life balance I was having. And yes, it plays a big part, but some migrants juggle more than what I have and are still content.

It took me a while to realise that I was unhappy because I was not pursuing my calling. Or, rather, I was too afraid to.

Running after, running away
I’ve always wanted to write. I started penning stories when I was 10. I drew comics of a girl with a fabulous life in New York. She had a cool job – she was an astronomer – and fabulous digs (a mansion with swimming pool, waterfalls etc). Penning that comic was a joy – I filled exercise books with her story.

Then, when I was 12, I discovered the joys of the written word. I penned my first non-fiction book (a book on astronomy, of course) when I was 12, and I remember tinkering with it one day and my tuition teacher saw me with it. She remarked, “I’ve never seen anything like this!” I remembered thinking how odd it was that she thought it was so remarkable. It’s just something I did, nothing fancy really.

By the time I was 15, I was penning my first novel. I lived for the days where I could be alone in the hot, stuffy study room where my barely-functioning computer was.

Then I grew up.

And I began listening to the naysayers (You can’t make a living from writing fiction! Why are you writing junk when you should be writing literary masterpieces?) and became afraid of my circumstances (it’s too difficult to publish a book! I’ll never be able feed myself!).

So I gave up writing fiction.

At first I flirted with the law. I had an uncanny way with the subject; I always had distinctions. (Basically I can bullshit my way out of a paper bag, and I think I would’ve made a great career at professional bullshitting). But at the 11th hour, just before I was to enrol in a UK Law degree programme, I did a U-turn and decided to chase after my passion somewhat.

I decided to be a journalist.

Now, don’t get me wrong, being a journalist was the best thing that happened to me. It opened up my world in unbelievable ways. I travelled the world, honed my writing, so no regrets. But it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I had become what Julia Cameron of The Artist’s Way called a Shadow Artist. I did what Shadow Artists did: I tailed people who had the courage I didn’t have to pursue their writing dreams. I interviewed and worked with them but I didn’t want to jump into the rabbit hole myself.

Running to Oz
In a way, coming to Australia was my way of running away from my calling once more.

At the end of my 15-year career, I became disillusioned with the writing profession. I viewed it as an unstable, unprofitable profession. I felt that I didn’t learn any useful or valuable skills. I eventually regretted becoming one. I should’ve become a lawyer, I chided myself. Or worked in corporate. If I had stayed in advertising I would’ve been loaded and happy.

I came to Australia with the intention of pursuing a different career while making writing my side affair. I chose nursing because, well, nurses are in demand everywhere, and it kinda fulfilled my childhood dream of becoming a doctor somewhat. (Nevermind that I discovered in college that I didn’t have the temperament to be one, nor the interest to lead a doctor’s demanding life.)

But the last few months, I discovered that nursing wasn’t for me. Sure, I can be technically capable but my head wasn’t going to be in it. Am I willing to spend years and money to retrain myself to be in a profession that I may come to loathe?

I realise the answer is NO. And again I’m at the crossroads. I feel like a kid asking God, “What should I be when I grow up?”

Two weeks ago I sat down and realised that I was running away from what I wanted to really do. So, tiredly, I told myself that I will stop running away and make writing my thing. My MAIN thing.

And my soul calmed down.

After I made that decision, I worked a 90-hour week as usual, but I was at peace because I had cut my hours from 90 to a mere 50, and promised myself that I’m willing to cut further to accommodate my new goals. I told myself that writing will be my “personal legend.” No more running away business. No more being a shadow artist.

For decades I tried to write another legend for myself. It was comfortable, but an ill-fit. I compromised a lot for the sake of practicality. Well, getting to Australia was one step in the right direction. It was part of my personal legend since I was a kid, but my TRUE legend was to be a writer whose words can inspire, entertain and impact others.

So September is a landmark month for me in many ways. I’ve lodged my PR application and finally embraced my “personal legend”. While failure may dot my way, there’s no better path to be on than the road to your dreams.

The Australian PR is not your golden ticket to life. Seriously.

Photos of liliesAnother day, another difficulty. That’s what I thought after yet another hard day.

I must confess, I’m a professional worrier. If companies can hire professional worriers, I’ll probably be the President of that department. Hell, I’ll probably become CEO.

But these days, I don’t worry as badly as I used to – only because I have some sense of perspective now and have learned the art of being grateful no matter what. Although I’m not a professional in this area yet (more like a junior on the way to becoming an executive, perhaps!), I’m in a better place than I used to be.

Why?

Well, I’m going to share something really personal with you. And because quite a number of folks in Adelaide know my identity (to my chagrin), this is not information that I share very lightly. But I’m sharing it with you so you can take it with you, fellow migrant or would-be migrant, and that it will give you some real perspective about the migration journey.

The worst year of my life

Two years ago, I lost my health.

My hair fell out in clumps. I wagered that I must’ve lost about 30% to 40% of my then-lustrous  wavy, black hair. I couldn’t sleep more than 3-5 hours, I had rashes, weird bodily aches (which included sharp, painful-to-touch areas on my scalp). And here’s the “too much information” area (look away if you can’t tolerate it): My poo turned GREY.

Suddenly, I found myself depending on drugs that I was told that I may have to depend on for the rest of my life. Drugs that had severe side effects such as chills, chronic insomnia, diarrhoea, weight gain and, Lord help me, suicidal ideation.

I was really, really sick. I thought I’d have to live like this for the rest of my life. And that sent me into a tailspin of depression and despair.

I clawed my way back to health through sheer determination and much leaning on God. I was determined get off the drugs despite what the doctors said. During this time I worked hard on my recovery by educating myself a lot and by implementing holistic therapies on myself such as exercise, diet modifcation and by totally changing my social life. I reconnected with God and my spirituality. Dealing with my illness, trying to recover through self-therapy and working at my high-stress job was no joke. Worse, my parents fell ill at the same time!!!

It was, seriously, the worst freaking year of my life.

At times I thought I could break apart, but fortunately I have such amazing friends. But most of all, I have an amazing God.

Yet, this is also the best thing that has happened to me.

A blessing in disguise

Before I was sick, my life was about work, work, work (and work x10). Eventually my circle of friends shrank so much that I didn’t know who to call to hang out with. Friends who know me now would be absolutely shocked to know the person I was – I had absolutely no confidence in making friends because, well, my life was work!

When I became sick, I realised how foolhardy I was to ignore my health, my God, my friends and my personal growth – all in the pursuit of money and career advancement.

I told myself that my life had to change after that.

Well, anyway, after 1 year of struggle, I did recover and I did stop taking the drugs. It was a long battle, but my hair grew back, my poo is now a boring brown (TMI? LOL), I slept 8 hours (for 1 year, I considered an amazing triumph to sleep more than 5 hours!) and I smiled again.

But the biggest gain for me is this: Because I’ve gone through the worst thing in my life, I began to see my world in a very different light. I realised that I was so very, very blessed. And because I’ve gone through such an ordeal, all those fears that held me back no longer seem so catastrophic.

I began taking more risks and to venture out of my comfort zone. I stopped worrying about whether people would like me if I approach them. In the process, I realised that I was actually very gifted in making friends! So much so that I can make friends with strangers across the world whom I’m not met before!

Because I realised that I didn’t have time to waste on being held back by my fears I refused to listen to that critical and fearful voice in my head telling me I wasn’t good enough to do thsi or that. I approached a publisher to publish a book and to ask an editor for a column. (Both successful!) And I discovered that if you don’t take risks, you simply don’t gain anything.

And then I decided to move to Australia without a job.

Now you know the root of my move here 😛

Your real golden ticket

ticketSo, every time I fret about my job situation here or other troubles (and I do, because old habits die hard), I remind myself: “You know that time when you lost half your hair, your poo turned grey and you had to pop pills to sleep, to stop your heart from racing and to, I don’t know, walk in a straight line? Well, seriously, does this compare?”

And I think: Holy Batman’s underpants, it doesn’t by a long shot.

I also remember why I’m doing this, and why it’s really, really, really okay not to achieve my PR dreams because, one, your health is your real wealth (so goes the saying that my friend posted on her Facebook wall today).

If you have good health, be very grateful for that every day because you’re not sure how long you’re going to have it, so why waste time on worries and worse, don’t worry yourself to ill health!

And if you have a loving family, be grateful for that every day too, because that’s where  real treasure is. Don’t fret on things that may seem so priceless when the real reason why you’re pursuing that PR is for your family.

Some people think that getting an Australian permanent residence is the gold ticket to happiness.

I don’t believe it. To me, real happiness is not so fickle. Or so demanding.

The bible has a very wise saying:

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21

PS: Sometimes I forget and slide back about worrying about small things. That’s why I’m printing this story and keeping it in my wallet. I invite you to do the same – write what REALLY matters to you and keep it in your wallet. Take it out to read when life gets you down. 🙂

Photo by CTR.

Surviving with a positive mindset

support

Yesterday, a friend of mine came over for dinner at my place and she immediately noticed that I was down. I proceeded to tell her about my fears and how tired I felt about the job hunt.

She immediately cheered me up with her presence and told me to hang on and just have hope. Another friend had a chat with me a message on FB later to keep my spirits up.

I don’t know what I’ll do without the friends I’ve made here in Adelaide. Because we have the same struggles, we speak the same language. They’ve been where I was (sometimes their situations were worse than mine) and could empathise.

So, yeah, friends are so darn important!

Times like these I feed myself with positive reading and listening materials as well. I listen to sermons about God’s provision, read books that encourage and uplift me and only watch things that will cheer me up.

Being a very social creature, I make sure that I spend time with positive people (and stay the [beep] away from people that drain me) and try to do the same for others. I have also made a very conscious decision to stay away from the FB forum Malaysians in Adelaide for now … although the majority of its members are wonderful people, lately the group has been taken over by a very vocal minority who seem intent to use the forum as their own personal soap box to highlight their awesomeness (or lack thereof) by coming down hard on some posters. The latest kerfufle involved a ridiculously analytical argument about … salt. Being involved in such petty nonsense is an energy drainer, so I have decided to bid MIA adieau for now.

I spend a lot of time on my knees as well, praying to God and then connecting with a church. And I’m not shy to ask for prayer as well. And I make sure I go to church every Sunday to keep my spirits up.

I learned from past experience that it’s really important to be as positive as you can during challenging times. And you don’t just do it via mental gymnastics but by consciously engaging in activities that will enhance your spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. It’s not easy – especially if you’re a natural worrier like me – but the more you practise at it, the better you are.

Photo by Mattox

What if I fail?

I’ve been quiet on the job front, mostly because I prefer not to talk about work in a public blog but also because I wasn’t certain about my situation. But anyway, to cut a long story short, I am currently jobless and am now hunting for work, like thousands of other migrants here. Why? You can read my post My personal brush with Sham Contracting for more details.

Again I’m confronted with the fears of What if I fail?

What if I fail …

  • to get a job and I lose my savings?
  • to fulfill the terms of my 475 visa and fail to get that coveted PR?
  • to live in Adelaide, the place I consider awesome to live?

As I confront the sea of uncertainty before me, fear and doubts began to creep in. A part of me is shaking, wondering what I should do now. The fear is paralysing sometimes. During this time, one of the realities I had to face was that I cannot pin my hopes on any human being – God along is going to see me through. I have to face the fact that human beings are unrealiable and that’s just the way things are.

I have become really introspective during this time. Why is it that we Asians fear failure so much? Why is it considered such a bad thing to return to Malaysia after giving Australia a go? And if I decide to return to Malaysia, is that such a bad thing?

A friend and I observed that in the forums Poms in Adelaide, there’s a category called “Returning to the UK“. British people who decide to leave Australia to return home to the UK is given encouragement when they make that decision. However, there’s a definite lack of that in our Malaysian forums. What I see is lots and lots of encouragement and support to make it here, but near silence when it comes to people leaving… (crickets chirping). Ocassionally, I see people posting on the Malaysian in Adelaide Facebook forum that they’re leaving, and that’s met with puzzlement. Fear, even. 

 So a lot of times, those who have left Australia leave in silence… better leave quietly than to be faced with the questions, the probing … and the loss of face, perhaps?

But this whole jobless situation also made me think about what really makes me happy. I mean, back in Malaysia, I had what you considered a really good life. I had the job I loved, friends who supported me, an apartment all to myself etc. But I was shocked that I wasn’t happy. So, I thought freeing myself from all things Malaysian would make me happy. When I came to Australia, I thought that meeting certain criteria would make me happy – get a job, cycle to work etc. But that too proved false.

It made me realise that happiness is not about meeting your goals, but about being happy with your present, and putting your focus on the right things … perhaps I’ll be finally happy when I realise I don’t need to meet lofty goals to be happy. That I can be happy being average or a nobody.

So, if you have to leave Australia to return home, how would you feel? Just curious.

Putting yourself out there

I have to say, sometimes I wonder if I’m doing the right thing – blogging about my life in Adelaide. I did it not for fame or fortune (like, I wish!) but because as a writer, I just need to write down my experiences, and since what I write could be beneficial, why not share it?

A good friend of mine here wonder why I do it. Especially since it exposes me to less-than-pleasant people or worse – ridicule and criticism.

It’s part and puzzle of being a writer, really. You have to be ready to accept criticisms – founded or unfounded.

Though I have to admit, I do feel vulnerable about this blog sometimes because everyone knows what I’ve gone through and I often get queried about what I posted while I’m attending functions in Adelaide! They know all (okay, about 50%) about me, but I certainly don’t know about them! I’m at a disadvantage here 😉

I’ll be honest – I do sometimes get upset when I’m accused of something that I did not intend or if my post is spun in a direction I never meant it to be spun. But my annoyance is over after a few minutes because everyone needs their say, whatever it may be.

I don’t have to blog about my experiences in Adelaide and my life would certainly be less complicated and personally, less intrusive, but I remember how much I longed to read a blog about a person’s experiences in the migration journey because I really need to know what it really is like. So, if I could help someone fulfil that need, why not?

Besides, I met a few of my closest pals in Adelaide through this blog and people have told me that my posts did help them somehow! I think that’s worth its weight in gold!

IF there’s one thing I seem to pick up on from the criticisms is that some folks mistake me for being an authority or think that my posts should be of research quality – with footnotes, proper quotes, and maybe an encyclopaedic explanation for all things (yes, I’m exaggerating).  I’m flattered, however, when hint strongly that I should not mislead people with my posts. (That means they are taking my posts seriously!)

Let me clarify: The blog is here to tell you what my journey is like. I’m in no way an authority on all things migration, nor do I EVER, EVER claim to be some kinda guru about life as a migrant. So all the posts here – including the ones I term “informative” – are from my perspective. It doesn’t mean that what happened to me will happen to you, and please, please, don’t think that my way is the only way you should do the “being a migrant” thing. And take my advice as merely that – advice. It’s not  something you have to do.

Malaysia to Adelaide is meant to be an online memoir of sorts so that you can have an idea of what it’s like to be an immigrant in Australia. IT’s actually also my online notes about my experience. That’s why when I research things, I try to be as thorough as possible as it’s also for my own good.

Anyway, I’m more than happy to help you if you have questions, but do remember I’m not a qualified lawyer and migration agent.

Okay. Hope things are clearer now!

Life gets busy

image

I try to makr an effort to explore Adelaide as much as I can. Here is Glenelg.

Hello people,
I am blogging from my smartphone so forgive me for the spelling errors.

Life has gotten busy in good old Adelaide. Work consumes me a lot these days. So much so tht i think I should improve how I spend my time in this lovely city.

How do you prevent yorself from losing the joy of living in a new country? I guess you start walking around and meet new people.

To be honest what i have not gotten good at is getting to know Australians. It is often so much easier to stick with yoyr own kind and this is a trap many Malaysians have fallen into. I dont blame thrm though. Its not easy to get to know Aussies as I think they are a very individual and private folk. We Asians are more communal.

I made some effort by joining a church near my place that is predominantly Aussies. Unfortunately I have allowed work to consume me far too much.

Any suggestions on how i shld spend my time wisely in Oz?

So, my decision is …

I am going.

Meaning, I’m leaving Malaysia for Adelaide.

Hopefully by July. Though, realistically, it possibly will be in August.

I’m going to land in Adelaide right smack in winter. Haha, what a way to start a new chapter of my life – freezing my socks off! But, you know, I’m really looking forward to wearing boots. Particularly knee-high boots. Have always been a little wish of mine.

That, and getting a pair of Ugg boots!

Right now, I’m in the middle of packing away the things (which includes an apartment) I’ve managed to accumulate for 12 years since returning from university (I studied in Perth). The task is as daunting as you can imagine.

I promise, from now on, to update this blog on a regular basis – at least twice a week – so that you can have an idea how one emigrates solo. So many Malaysians come with their families, there are pleny of examples of those on the ‘net, but very few are in my shoes. So I hope that this blog will be helpful for them somehow