Sunday, August 31, 2014

diy travel journal

We travel to the UK in less than a week! Then Italy a week after that! I'm so very excited!

I've been spending an inordinate amount of time on stationery websites lately. Blogs about stationery, websites selling stationery, photos of other peoples' artistic stationery. I stumbled on the Seaweed Kisses blog and her description of how she uses her Midori Travellers Notebook. "What's that?" I asked myself, and followed the link to a shop selling them. That website provided even more journaling inspiration, and before I knew it, I was obsessed with having a new travel journal for this trip! The website provided several options, but I knew Hugh would judge me for buying ANOTHER notebook/journal. I have several in current use, as well as multiple waiting to be used. I have one Kikki.K journal I bought months ago that still has the wrapping on.

Also, I've had travel journals in the past, and haven't used them, or have used them for the first two days, then not the rest of the trip. Do I really need another unfinished journal sitting around the house?

I also love the idea of "smash" journals, or commonplace books as they were known in the olden days. One notebook that I can put everything in. Clippings, to do lists, thoughts, etc.

So I decided to use one of the three journals that I am currently using (and is super cute to boot), and turn part of it into a travel journal. Here's what I did!

First of all, ya gotta have a map of the world, just in case you forget where you're going or where home is. I googled world map pics, and printed this one out. Then what? Why, washi tape treatment, of course! Also, every good travel journal provides an area for your packing list. Some even include suggestions of ten or so common items to pack. The Moleskin travel journal assumes very little, printing only "toothbrush" on its packing lists. Clean underwear be damned!

Then I wanted a monthly calendar spread.

And pages to devote to scheduling each day of our trip. Not that I plan to schedule every moment! Hugh and I are both definitely fly by the seats of our pants-ers.

I wanted an expenses spread. I have absolutely no idea how to budget for this trip, so I'll record how much I end up spending, and maybe that'll give me an idea for future trips.

Then planning pages for each city, which I get to fill out now! Yay!

I also did a page for addresses, and an envelope stuck in to hold stamps and other bits, and more envelopes throughout. I'm pretty proud of how these two turned out!

For a while, I've been wanting a way to print out little daily photos for my daily journal. I thought about getting a Fuji Instax camera, which is basically a modern-day Polaroid camera. Then I was looking at a new Polaroid camera that has a bit more functionality than the Instax. Then Hugh was like, "Why don't you just buy the Fuji Instax printer, then you can print photos off of your phone?" Uh, the what-what? Off my phone? Why yes, that is actually exactly what I wanted. So I bought one! It arrived yesterday and I love it! It's only little, so I can bring it on the trip. And it prints any photo off of your phone or Instagram or Facebook accounts. The photo printed below (which is still in the processing of developing there) is from Valentine's Day 2013.

Friday, August 29, 2014

big news

So yeah...I GOT MY VISA!!!!!!!!!!!! Woohooooooo!!!!

I got it on Tuesday, while I was at work. My boss and coworkers were all really happy for me. I emailed Hugh and then called him, and he was all "Yeah, whatever, I knew you'd get it." Honestly, my friends and coworkers were more excited than he was. Silly boy.

It took 14 months to the day. That's a long flippin' time. And they still took my money for the travel visa, which I now no longer need. But it's a small price to pay, eh?

I've thought a lot over the last several months about how excitedly I would blog about getting my visa. But it's been four days and I'm only just getting around to it. I guess I did feel a bit like Hugh, that it was bound to come soon and it's not that big a deal. But at the same time, I feel more secure. In a way, I feel more like a person. That sounds weird, doesn't it? I don't know how else to describe it. I feel validated. I mean, I had rights to stay while waiting for the visa, and full work rights, and I had a job with a two-year contract. I even had free access to the national health service. Nothing has actually changed now that the visa is approved, except that there's now no possibility of being given 28 days notice to leave the country. And that wasn't even a very likely scenario. But I feel different all the same. It's a sense of security.

Friday, August 15, 2014

I wished for stickers

I was a bit annoyed today. Okay, more than a bit. I might have shed a couple tears.

I was frustrated with immigration. It's been 13.5 months since I lodged my visa application. It cost $4000 to apply. To travel to the US last October, I had to pay another $125 for a travel visa (to allow me to reenter Australia). Well now we're about to travel to the UK, and because my partner visa is still pending, I had to apply for another travel visa, this time $140. I went into the immigration office on Monday to apply, and the woman told me that they wouldn't process my travel visa application until closer to our travel dates, and they wouldn't charge me the money until they did, so that could give my partner visa more time to be processed.

And that's where the trouble started: I started fantasising that my partner visa would be processed before we travel, perhaps even by the end of the week! I wouldn't have to worry any more, my long year and a bit of wondering would be over, and I'd be saved $140! (That's the most important bit 😜)

So I was probably a little bit too disappointed today when I received an email saying that my travel visa was approved and thank you very much for the $140. Grr. Does that mean they have no intention of processing and deciding on my partner visa for at least three more weeks?

It's really not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I have a well-paying job! I've got savings for this trip (finally). I can certainly afford $140. I'm just being impatient.

I had a cookie last night with a birthday candle, and I wished for stickers. So Hugh bought me stickers today because he knew I was upset. Mwaaaaahhhhhh!! He is the sweetest! He also bought me a little journal with a lions face on it! He is really too good to be true.

(I also bought myself stickers today, totally forgetting that I had wished for them last night.)

blog lovin'

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, August 14, 2014

not moving to Sydney

About a month ago, Hugh had a job interview in Sydney, and they offered him the job on the spot! So we were expecting to move to Sydney around November. I told all my friends we were moving, but was waiting, for various reasons, to tell my boss. And I didn't want to blog about it before then.

Now, again for various reasons, Hugh has decided not to take the job. So yeah, the news is that there is no news! Nothing has changed, and we are maintaining status quo, for now.

Which is nice. Melbourne is a pretty nice place to be. Sydney has better weather, but Melbourne was voted best coffee in the world on TripAdvisor, so there you go.