For the first time since planning our emigration to Europe I am aware of a growing sense of ‘unease’. I don’t think it has to do with doubt or regret about our emigration plans. It actually started the other night when I received an email regarding a planned future activity. It made me clear that sometimes plans are not that ‘set in stone’ as you may think.
At the same time my husband read an article in the Guardian about some consequences of Brexit. Apparently several Dutch people who live in UK were asked to leave the UK. Despite the fact they are married to British citizens and have lived in the UK for up to 30 years. New legislation for Brexit has not even started but already now this seems to have started to happen. In the meantime it has turned out that this article was incorrect, but still…..
Add to that that I may loose my permanent residency for Australia. I am not registered in the Netherlands as a citizen as I officially left the country. I may not be welcome in the UK despite my British husband and I escaped a narrow possibility not to be able to live in France in the near future. Looking at all this together I think I may have found the cause of this unease….
What country is my home?
With all this in mind I have not only to decide where we like to live but also where we can live. I am getting this fleeting thought of how incredible ‘uneasy’ a refugee must feel. Not that you can compare my status to those people but I can imagine how this feeling of unease can have its toll and affects your sense of belonging.
I know I have the right to live in the Netherlands but at the moment I am not planning to do so. Australia permanent residency gives me the right to live in Australia although my choice is to leave this country for now. The consequence may be that Australia could withdraw my permanent residency. After having lived there for 25 years, that feels uneasy!
I guess that is exactly how these Dutch people in the UK would have felt. I am leaving Australia out of free choice but the UK was forcing them to leave. They may not have the option of becoming a British citizen, I assume. Lucky for me is that I still have the option to become an Australian citizen. Until I leave this country I qualify.
Several people including two of our friends who are immigration lawyers, recommend that I should apply for it. It feels crazy to get citizenship at this stage. I have never done it because I could lose my Dutch nationality. Since I married an Australian in 2011, I now have the right to remain Dutch while having Australian citizenship.
I don’t know if this sense of unease would disappear if I would decide to do the latter. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn’t.
The emotional impact of emigration
So far planning this emigration has been a whirlwind of action with very little time for emotion. We have to sell everything, we need to organise our admin, our house needs an end of lease clean, my business will cease to exist and so on. It all is ‘kind of’ under control and there even seems to be light at the end of the action tunnel.
So maybe now the emotional ‘unease’ is slowly sticking up its head. If there are any doubts or regrets, its time to play a role could be at this stage. To be honest I don’t really feel doubt but the feelings I have are hard to bring home.
What I have become aware off is the habit how we take so many things for granted. It seems that everything I do regularly suddenly has got a label of ‘last time soon’! And it gives me this little pang of ache.
Some of the things that I will miss
The loud Australian birds I hear screeching every day, the sound of the Kookaburra, the gym where I go several times per week, the friends I have made there, the coffee I have at the local cafe everyday with other gym and kick boxing fans, the abundance of colourful subtropical flowers everywhere, the gardens I look after, their owners who have become more than clients, the Brisbane river walks so nearby, the cosy 100 Acre bar across the road, the gorgeous but expensive avocados and the huge choice of international ingredients for food.
Just to name a few…..
They are all going to be thousands of kilo meters away from where I will be. And furthermore I am leaving behind my oldest daughter, for a short while the youngest and possibly my husband as well depending on his work contract.
I suppose I can expect a larger sense of unease and a few more little pangs of ache to come my way. I suppose I have to take it as it comes…
If you like what you read, you can subscribe to my blog. Just pop in your name and email in the boxes below. Thanks in advance.