In the last post, we caught up in Brisbane, Queensland’s capital city. There are three preceding posts in this series as I share our migration journey in Australia:
In this post, I would like to take you back to 2015 when we started our settlement journey as migrants.
One of the first things that smacked us right in the face upon arriving in Australia was the grim reality that getting a job, even with our extensive experience, would not be as easy as we had imagined it to be.
The initial days after our arrival went past in a flurry of activity as we immersed ourselves with the numerous tasks any migrant would need to attend to upon arrival: applying for Medicare cards, opening up bank accounts, getting a driver’s license, looking for rental units. The biggest focus of course was on seeking employment; it was a steep learning curve as we grappled with the nuances of drafting ‘Australia ready’ resumes and cover letters, and networking within the industry.
After much door-knocking I finally had a breakthrough; I was offered a role in Townsville. We would have loved to stay in Brisbane but we had no choice. I was offered a casual position and it was a shift job that involved 12-hour rosters. But it was in the maritime sector and it was a step in the right direction.
Townsville was a revelation; with a population of around 150,000 this was the perfectly sized township to live and the tropical weather was similar to what we were used to in Mumbai. It has good connectivity with capital cities, and it offers a premium gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns and the lush mountain ranges of the Tablelands.
Those initial two years were our formative years where we began to assimilate into Australian society. Being multi-cultural, this country is relatively easy to settle in and we did have much culture shock. We learnt some new skills, like firing up a barbecue the Aussie way, and we developed an interest in Australian sports – National Rugby League (NRL) and Australian Football League (AFL). I also tried my hand at sailing and fishing on a few occasions.
My work colleagues were my first ‘mentors’ at work and they took it upon themselves to induct me into the Australian lifestyle. Amongst other things, they exposed me to the self-deprecating Australian humour and I was also given a suite of Aussie words to add to my vocabulary – arvo, footy, no-wukkas, garbo, fair-dinkum, crook, crikey, good-on-ya’ being just some of them.
We were also blessed to have a dependable friend circle, thanks to some lovely Indian families, who took us under their wing. Thanks to all this support, my transition into the workforce, and our transition into Australian society was smooth and pleasurable.
This is also the place where I became a self-published author. The first of the self-help books in the Migrant Ninja series – aimed to help newly arrived migrants, was published in 2016, under my publishing banner (Evolving Wordsmith). I was finally able to realize my lifelong dream of becoming an author … my literary journey had begun.
I also participated in my first ever triathlon, a dream I had been harbouring for over a decade. The biggest milestone of our lives though was the birth of our son, Rohan. His arrival heralded a new chapter of our lives and gave us more clarity and a sense of purpose for all of our future goals.
So, here we are … at the very beginning of our migration journey and to the point where our story began unfolding in Australia.
There is a sub-story yet to be told, and this goes back to the time when we arrived in Australia. We did something bold … some may even say it was quite foolish … but despite our apprehensions, we did it anyways.
But more of that in the next post. I hope to have you along on our journey…