Monday, October 21, 2013

I Am An Island

Something happened to me last week made me feel more alone than I had even been in my whole life. I know it doesn't sound shocking, but it happened when I found out my residency visa for Australia had expired... while checking in for a flight to Australia!!!

Call me a fool, but I thought once you got permanent residency, that was it. I had no idea it expires. And even if it did, not so quickly! So there I was with Hubby at the HK Airport check in and they told me my visa had expired. It came SO unexpectedly I didn't know how to react. The ladies at the Cathay Pacific counter were very helpful and understanding and contacted the immigration department in Brisbane to ask if there was someway I could still enter. Less than 20 minutes later they responded with a big fat NO.

So with my tail between my legs I kissed Hubby goodbye and found my way home. It only hit me when I was seated on the Airport Express train what had happened and I just cried. I cried not because I missed the flight, but because for the first time in my life I wish I actually had a COUNTRY that I belonged to!

I hold a Taiwan passport but had never lived there. I grew up in the Philippines but have no status there. I live in Hong Kong but do not hold a Hong Kong passport. My husband and kids are all Australian, but I am not. I am so tired Lord. I just want to be HOME. I want to write down a nationality on those stupid arrival/departure forms and actually mean it, and not just because that is what my passport says. I want to truly belong somewhere!

So anyways, I went to the Australian Consulate the next day and explained what had happened. I have to commend the efficiency in which they were able to expedite my application for a new residency visa. I was able to receive it a few hours later, and was able to take a flight that evening. Although I missed the rehearsal BBQ, I still made it to the wedding the next day.

I haven't stopped traveling since the day I was born. I was conceived in Singapore, born in the Philippines, studied in the States and now live in HK. We have a house in Melbourne. I have a lot of my things there. All our kids have their own rooms there. But we live in Hong Kong. I know our future is in Melbourne, but in the meantime, I just need to winge. For expats who live here, alot end their time here in HK to go HOME. When we leave HK in the future, although it is home for Hubby, its not quite the same for me... yet.

I just want to stop moving. I want to belong somewhere permanent and not be afraid that my welcome will expire. I am just so tired. I want to get off this train and finally unpack.


RETA said...

I really empathize with you on your situation. It made me think of the book of Hebrews, in the Bible - Hebrews 11:14 - "For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland." I know you seek a homeland. Hebrews goes on to tell us that God has prepared a city for us - in a heavenly country! No matter how it goes for you - maybe you can take encouragement knowing that there is a homeland waiting for you in heaven. You are very dear. I hope this new year holds many blessings for you.

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Anonymous said...

Dear Tehls

How have you been? Apologies for the radio silence, but the journey homewards has taken rather long for me to.

I am now where I need to be and am happy to be in. I hope by now you will have found your home, too.



midee said...