Tuesday, 31 July 2018

What visa to choose?

This can be difficult to figure out and it's easy to make it more complicated than it is. I have always been thinking about moving to another country and see how it feels to be away from Sweden for a longer period. The reason why the choice landed on Australia is because my boyfriend is born and raised there. But my main reasons are to experience another country, to travel and to try a life away from Sweden. I don't know what the future holds for me so therefore I want to stay at the company I'm working for, here in Sweden – work digitally/online while abroad. The problem is that this company is not established in Australia so I have to follow the Australian law. I am allowed to work for this Swedish company for 6 months with the Work Holiday Visa 417, then I need to change employer. We'll see if I need to work after 6 months or if I have saved up enough money to maybe travel. Like I wrote earlier, I'm not planning for the whole year, just for the first 6 months. 

At first I didn't know which visa would suit my situation the best. I called the Home Affairs in Australia and I also emailed around, trying to understand where to pay taxes if I want to stick with my Swedish company and so on. Because my boyfriend is Australian, you could ask why we are not trying for a partner visa straight away. Well, for me it's simple. I want to see how it is to live in Australia first. I have never stayed in another country for more than 4 weeks and I have never worked in another country. Maybe I'll hate being away from Sweden. I don't know. That's why it's important for me to start slow, to try it out first. I want to do everything according to the law (both in Australia and in Sweden) but also do it in a way that feels right for myself.

When it comes to taxes, after reading about it from Australia's point of view and Sweden's point of view, I have understood that during the first 6 months I'll pay taxes in Sweden. After 6 months I have to pay taxes in Australia.

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

Steps on how to find your visa: 

  1. Ask yourself why you want to travel to Australia
  2. Go to https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/visa-1 and read about the different options
  3. Apply for the one best suited for you, pay and wait

It went pretty quick for me to get my visa granted. I did all of this myself without any help from an agency. My visa cost me about 3000kr so I didn't feel like adding anymore costs on my visa than needed.

Be honest to yourself and when answering the questions on your application, then I'm sure you'll get the visa best suited for your purpose.

Good luck!

Swedish summary: 
Att hitta rätt visum kan vara svårt och många gånger krånglar man nog till det mer än det behövs. Mina huvudsyften när jag ansökte om mitt visum var att uppleva Australien, att resa runt om det går samt att testa på ett liv på en plats som inte är Sverige. Eftersom att jag inte vet vad framtiden har att erbjuda mig har jag valt att arbeta kvar på mitt nuvarande arbete så länge jag kan. Enligt australiensisk lag är jag däremot endast tillåten att arbeta för en arbetsgivare i 6 månader, sedan måste jag byta arbete – detta oavsett om företaget är australiensiskt eller inte. Så det är planen. Jag har valt visumet som heter "Work Holiday Visa" som låter mig både arbeta och resa i (och utanför) Australien i 12 månader.

Nästa fråga blev "vart ska jag skatta?". Det jag har kommit fram till efter en hel del mejlande och sökande på nätet är att det första 6 månaderna ska jag skatta i Sverige, sedan måste jag skatta i Australien.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Back to my routines

When my vacation started we went basically straight to the airport and then to Cyprus. My morning routines were quickly forgotten. Today was the first day after Cyprus that I started my day with both yoga and meditation. Nothing too advanced but enough to get a little sweaty, it feels good.

I don't know if I have mentioned this before, I had to do a back surgery in April because of a slipped disk. I was in pain for one year and tried to live with it. In the beginning, I was working out and I was hoping that it would help me but it didn't. It didn't take long until I suffered from sciatica as well, with other words, a pain in my right leg that prevented me from sleeping well, walking normally and so on. After my MRI the doctors said that a surgery was my best option. They just removed the parts of the disk that was pinching my nerve. The back pain remained after the surgery but diminished significantly and the pain in my leg was all gone.

To get rid of the back pain I need to keep working out and strengthen my back. Sometimes I'm lazy and sometimes I'm not. I always feel better after starting the morning the way I did today. So, a reminder to myself and whoever needs it:

If you fell down yesterday, stand up today. Never give up, you can do it! 

Swedish summary: 
I april genomförde jag en ryggoperation då jag hade haft ont i ryggen i ett år samt haft ischia i högra benet. Efter en magnetrötgen visade det sig att jag hade ett kraftigt diskbråck och blev rekommenderad en operation. Under min vecka i Cypern blev det inte mycket träning (endast 30 minuter på cykeln på hotells gym samt promenader då och då). Det var därför skönt att starta denna morgon med både yoga och medition, det är då jag mår som bäst resten av dagen. 

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Before going to Australia: To do list

I'm still having two weeks left of my vacation before I need to get back to work but that doesn't mean that I'm free from other responsibilities. It's a few things that I need to prepare before I leave Sweden for one year in Australia.

What? Status?
Visa (a Work Holiday Visa so I can experience AU) Done
Valid passport Done
Rent out apartment (As a "second lease" so I can have it back after AU if needed) -
Travel insurance (In case of anything happening) -
Write proxy (So my mum can make decisions for me in Sweden when I can't) -
Clean out the apartment (Leave only the things the new tenant might need) -
Buy ticket to AU Done
End subscriptions (Like Netflix, HBO, etc) -
Write out copies (Of my passport, ticket, visa, etc) Done
Pack travel bag (Will do this closer to my departure) -
Plan with work (So I can keep my job the first 6 months by working abroad) (Ongoing)
Change address for postbox (So my mail won't bother the new tenant) -
Finish the course I'm taking (Health influencer) (Ongoing)

Starting on Tuesday, I will have viewings on my apartment by potential tenants. This makes me both nervous and excited. I just want this to be done so I don't have to worry about the apartment anymore. I hope that I'll meet one or two that I really feel comfortable with as tenants.

Melbourne (Australia) 2018

There will be things I need to do once I get to Australia as well.
I have tried to write them down as well.

What? Status
Apply for a TFN (Tax number, so I can pay taxes in AU when working for an AU company -
Apply for an AU bank account (So I don't use my Swedish cards with high fees / Got tip on applying 1-2 months ahead here) -
Make a ID card (One that works smoothly in AU) -
Get a Medicare card (In case I get sick) -
Mobile and phone number? (Not sure yet) -

I might have missed something, but hopefully the most important stuffs are on this list.
Wish me luck!

Swedish summary:
Det är en hel del att göra innan det är dags för mig att ta väskan till Australien. Mycket är väldigt tråkigt och kostar pengar. Ovanför kan ni se en lista på engelska med saker som måste ordnas – några saker har jag redan bockat av. Det är läskigt, spännande och nervöst på samma gång. Jag vill bara få dessa bitar överstökade. Kan ha missat något på listan men tror detta är det viktigaste för nu.

Ayia Napa – Knocked me down

... and not in a good way I might add.

Over all, it was not a bad trip but it could have had a bit less drama than it did. We started our journey on a Saturday, the 21st of July to be exact – me, Sam, my sister, my sisters boyfriend and my mother. We didn't sleep the night from Friday to Saturday because we had to be at the airport so early. The car ride to the airport was interesting, four of us were squeezed in the back and prayed not to be stopped by the police (okay I prayed while the rest of my family were laughing and being cool).

Most of us got a little sleep on the plane and then we had to survive one hour on a transfer bus to Christofinia Hotel. The hotel looked amazing and the location was fantastic, about five minutes to the beach and less than an hour to the city if you walk (faster, obviously, with taxi). The receptionist was not very polite or happy, she basically just wanted to check us in and then go on with whatever she was doing. The rooms were nice and the view was not too bad considering we did not have a sea view.

View from our hotel room

We spent most of our days at the beach and around the pool area, the drama I was mentioning in the beginning always happened in the evening, of course. I'm not going to write down everything crazy that happened, but I can tell you about my own drama. It all started at the place my sister called "Barrundan" which is basically the streets of bars in the city of Ayia Napa. I don't usually party as much as I did when I was younger but sometimes I get convinced that it is a good idea with a party evening and ... well, when shots are involved my judgement is no longer useful. It all started in a happy and fun vibe. We were drinking, dancing, laughing, joking, talking and looking at interesting party-people. We jumped from one bar to another and kept doing what we were doing. Of course we didn't notice that we started talking nonsense and couldn't walk straight. I think it was at the third/last bar where we had the "one too many drink". My sister and her boyfriend had not had any alcoholic drinks at all so they had to babysit us who had been drinking (not very proud of this moment considering I'm the big sister – obs, everyone are 20 years or older here).

We took a cab back to the hotel, but of course me and Sam didn't feel that we wanted to sleep so we went to the beach. This is when things were getting blurry for me. I had somehow lost my bag at the beach, hit my toe so bad that it was bleeding and the day after I also noticed a huge bruise on my thigh.  Of course ... I cried. Drama girl.

The day after we went to the reception at our hotel and asked about my bag, and there it was. The first thing the receptionist says is "We haven't touched your bag". But she knew our room number so she must have opened the bag and seen the room key. Of course my 150 euros were gone. Did the grumpy receptionist take it? Did someone else take it? Who knows ... I was hangover and embarrassed. And my drama was not the only craziness of this trip but I'll keep the rest for myself. It was a memorable trip to say the least.

Me and my soulmate being tipsy in Ayia Napa

During our visit in Ayia Napa we had a lot of good and bad food. I can really recommend a Lebanese restaurant called Zaatar that served really tasty dishes. The staff was very polite and down to earth. I thought it was hard to eat plant-based food during this trip/vacation, espacially when you're in company with people who wants to eat meat (my mom, sister and her boyfriend). This means we could not go to "all vegan restaurants" and the restaurants we did go to only had vegetarian options, not all vegan. So, yes ... I ate some dairy products but at least I stayed away from the meat. 

The beaches were great, the water is crystal clear and the beaches soft and white. The drinks were cold and my company was entertaining. I can't say that I would like to visit Ayia Napa again, I think I got more than enough from this destination during this trip. Ayia Napa is more suited for the party people, and I don't think I'm one of them anymore.

Thanks Cyprus!
PS: I'm not posting any pictures of my sister, my mother and my sister's boyfriend because I want to respect their privacy. 
I do have some images on my Instagram page, that's the limitation I want to keep. 

Swedish summary: 
Ayia Napa med familjen var spännande, dramatisk, rolig, irriterande och härlig – allt på samma gång. Jag förlorade 1500 kr efter den såkallade "barrundan" vilket sved. Utöver resans dramatiska kvällar var det väldigt mysigt på många sätt också. Stränderna var fantiska, vi åt god mat (och dålig) och sällskapet var underhållande. Vill jag åka till Cypern igen? Inget som ligger högt på min lista, finns andra platser i världen som jag hellre besöker. Tack Napa!

Thursday, 19 July 2018

I'm going on an adventure!

It's been a while since I posted anything on this blog, what happened? Well, nothing dramatic happened really, I just got caught up with life. You should have noticed by now that I'm writing this in English, why is that? Well, I want to practice my English in writing but also, I want to prepare myself for the next adventure in my life – moving to Australia for a year.

My boyfriend is born and raised in Australia and his visa here in Sweden has run out. It's therefore now my turn to see his country and then ... well, we will see. I've been to Australia twice in my life and loved it, but I don't know how I will feel about actually living there. This will definitely be both scary (being so far away from everyone in Sweden) and exciting. I hope to also do some traveling and explore Australia as much as possible.

So why start writing now?
Well, I need somewhere to document my journey and it felt stupid to start a new blog this time considering I have so many nice memories here already. As you might have already figured out, there will be a lot for me to prepare before I leave Sweden (on the 2nd of October). I'll try to document my process as much as possible.

I'll apologize ahead for any misspelling and bad grammar, I'm still learning.

OBS: If you need to read a summary in Swedish I will always add one in the end of every post. Why? Well, I should not forget how to write in Swedish either hehe ... but also for anyone who are not comfortable with English for some reason. 

Swedish summary:
Det var ett tag sedan som jag skrev på denna blogg. Inget galet har hänt mer än livet, det är mycket som har tagit tid och bloggen har fått lida. Jag flyttar till Australien för ett år i oktober och kommer dokumentera mina förberedelser inför det. Jag har valt att skriva på engelska då jag vill bli bättre på det. Tidigare har jag besökt Australien två gånger men det kommer bli en helt annan upplevelse att faktiskt bo där under en längre tid – både spännande och roligt.