A visa round two, Number 462

So I decided that you, my faithful audience, might like to join me in my attempt to head back to Australia to see some cute people that I met the first time around.

Step 1: Visa

So I applied for my work holiday visa online about a week and a half ago through immi.gov.au, I have it memorized and it should probably be my home page at this point.
Well right off the bat, I need to get a chest X-ray.
I thought okay, no big deal.
but wait I have a list of like FIVE doctors that I can go to.
WAIT WAIT the one in pittsburgh wants $420 not covered by my insurance. LOL
Next option, Hamilton Ontario, Good ole Canada
Rise and Shine at 8(ish) am

Paperwork CHECK
passport CHECK
mother CHECK

We are on our way, smooth sailing to the border.
We get there and hit up the duty free to exchange (and part with) some $.
(the duty free is awesome for this btw no extra BS charges)
Smooth sailing across the border to the Dr Office,
when we get there the ladies already knew me because I had only called 24 times.
"Oh no, why are you smiling in your passport picture?"
Uh oh.
Note to self (and note to you) the Australian Government doesn't like it when you smile in your passport picture, but the United States does.
By the time I got a new one, I wasn't smiling.
So off to the X-Ray place with a brief stop to get a passport picture/mugshot.
"Brief" however meant an extra hour and a half finding parking exchanging more money and getting 4 new passport photos.

Right as we were parking the Dr office calls me and never gave me back my passport, so after we get the photos it's back to the Dr.

Once we got that, it was down to the X-Ray place, which again parking was well, parking was just not there. A little smarter this time, I get dropped off and pop in there just before the mid-day rush. Who knew so many people get X-Rays.

20 minutes later and my chest is rayed.

Let's recap

Passport Photos, round one $10
$160, american exchanged to canadian cash
1 hour and 30 minutes each way
Too Smiley in my Passport Photo $15 plus 1 hour and 30 minutes
$4 for a 15 minute parking spot
When your phone switches to roaming so you have no GPS to get home, priceless.

No but really, it was halfway smooth sailing, despite getting the actual appointment with a Canadian Dr being American (this caused a lot of tears) and the passport photo mishap.

Crossing my fingers for good news and a Visa!

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to the best decision of your life Sam!

Happy 1 Year Anniversary of your acceptance to study abroad is grounds for a hallmark card don't you think?

I remember laying in bed when the "ding" from email went off on my phone. "You've been accepted to study abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast" Woah let that sink in for a minute mixed with every emotion you could think of.

I know everyone says "Study abroad, it will change your life, you will learn so much about yourself...." blah blah blah, But you really will and if you're lucky you will meet the most amazing people and have the time of your life.

I say this all the time, that I could not have asked to meet better people on my journey abroad, and I honestly had no expectations. I was just star struck that I was landing in Australia, a place that I misspelled in a 6th grade project that I beat out another girl to study, a place that has just been a picture on a map for so long.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined meeting my room mates Gene and Shannon, who were so friendly welcoming, fun and awesome. I was so lucky that Shannon offered to drive me to the chemist when I had pink eye the second day I was there.  All my Americans, who were just as excited and ready to travel as I was, made Cairns, Fraser Island, Brisbane, MojoSurf and Melbourne that much better to see in great company. And to my other Australian Friends I had the pleasure of meeting.

So here's to studying abroad, wherever in the world you may choose to go, just do it!

A teacher of mine once told me that if you really want to do something, you'll find the money. You'll get through the paperwork, and looking back it will have been much easier than you stressed about, and the experience you'll gain will be priceless. I would do it ten times over again!