I’m now back in Brazil. Bali was good but my stay there was coming to an end – I wasn’t feeling as comfortable in Ubud, and given the covid-19 situation, and all airports and borders shutting down, I thought I’d feel safer in Brazil than in Bali in case a major public health and/or economic crisis hits.
It’s been nearly a week since I arrived back in South America, and although I’ve been self-isolating – so not seeing or doing much – the whole experience has been interesting. I had forgotten that Brazil is so green and has so many open fields. On the three-hour journey from the airport to my hometown, I marvelled at a beautiful sunset (video below) and the different shades of green and open spaces. It kind of felt that I could breathe freely, whereas in Ubud I at times had a feeling of being oppressed by busyness, intense humidity and a dense energy.
It’s strange being back after nearly four years. I do feel like a “gringa” (foreigner) here. Even though my interactions are at a minimum due to self-isolation, I still have to order food or ask someone to come clean my hotel room, and sometimes words in Portuguese don’t come to me easily. I still think and dream in English, and am trying to take time to take everything in.
Today I was told by the hotel that I’ll have to leave – there’s a new government regulation that hotels should now close and have no more guests. I don’t know if this is really the case here why the hotel can’t extend my stay, or simply the fact that there are rumours now in town that I’m sick with the coronavirus. Yes, small town – people talk. When my dad told me about the rumours, I was very upset. This is one of the reasons why I don’t relate to other Brazilians in general. I know small towns and rumours are found anywhere in the world, however this lack of sense of community and a lot of gossiping in Brazil gets to me. People spend too much energy gossiping when they could be using that energy to help each other or heal themselves.
Let’s see how life will present itself once my self-isolation is over. I’ll move tonight to a house for another nine days of self-isolation, then in with a friend who will kindly open her home to me, to live with her and her son until this situation is over.
On a different note – lawyers: the FOI has been finalised and the lawyers have now received all the documents related to my state nomination application. I should receive more information from them soon.
There’s something interesting about life – it’s always changing. We can make plans as much as we like, but the fact is that we never know what’s in store around the corner for us. Not in a billion years I could’ve imagined that I’d be living in Asia. I’ve always had some sort of curiosity about Bali, however visiting Asia has never been at the top of my list of places to visit. Yet, here I am. And from Bali, I’m today travelling to Singapore for a long weekend away.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this, and it actually blows my mind. So much can happen in a person’s life from one week to the other. And it makes me think that, no matter what, we’d better make the most out of life, throw ourselves fully to whatever is thrown at us, with an open heart and lots of courage to be ourself.
I’ve been rediscovering that open heart and that courage inside of me. Not an easy task but I’ve been incredibly proud of the person I’ve become. I now confidently say that resilience is my middle name, and that we all have the ability to bounce back after reaching bellow bottom.
On the way to the airport, I passed by this beautiful statue of Rāma – the ideal hero, the sun of sun, the embodiment of truth and morality, strength and vigor. I smiled and silently prayed – May I always remember to carry Rāma’s qualities within me as I face the ups and downs of life. May those qualities equal the strength and courage I need to keep making changes, growing, awakening. May you all experience those qualities, too, my friends.
I started this blog to let everyone know how I was travelling and to send the latest news regarding the lawyers and migration stuff, particularly to all of you who contributed to my crowdfunding to pay for the lawyers, and friends who have supported me along the way. I haven’t been able to post as often as I’d have liked, as my emotional life has been a roller-coaster. But I wanted to come here today to give you some updates on the lawyers.
The application for the FOI (Freedom of Information) was lodged at the end of October 2019. The estimated processing time was 30 days. By the end of November, we still hadn’t heard from the relevant department. I asked for updates from the lawyers, and after a few communications, the lawyers requested $1500 in trust as a way to get funds for further work, claiming that they were already doing much more than what I had paid for initially. It was a very intense period for me. I argued that this wasn’t our initial deal – the deal was to pay for the FOI fee, which would include a brief feedback after they have reviewed the documents received from the department. After some more emails back and forth, we agreed that I wouldn’t pay the $1500 (I wouldn’t have that money anyway), I’d still expect feedback from the information received linked to the FOI, and any further work would be quoted and approved separately. It is end of January 2020 now and I am still waiting…
The latest news is that I now have to sign an authorisation granting the lawyers permission to act on my behalf. So hopefully, after I send them the signed authorisation (possibly tomorrow), I’ll finally have clearer answers. Who knows? Fingers crossed.
Thanks everyone for their support. I really appreciate.
There’s so much diversity in the world that sometimes I feel I was living in a bubble in Australia. Not that there isn’t diversity in Oz. On the contrary. But my mind was so focused on visa, visa, visa (and making money to pay for school and visa, then, only then, live my life and my purpose), that I kind of forgot how big and expanded the world, the mind and ideas can be.
Staying in Ubud seems to be waking me up from some sort of dormant state. The place is such a melting pot of multicultural, creative people – sometimes even very overwhelming – that it’s making me see life through different eyes, and encouraging me to think outside the box. I still think Australia is the place for me, where I want to build my future, retire, reconnect with and contribute to my community, etc. Nevertheless, it feels so much needs to change as far as my mindset is concerned. I’ve been questioning career, my purpose in life, friendships and boundaries, relationships… I feel like a volcano about to erupt. Soon to create beauty from such eruption.
It’s an intense, sometimes painful journey (ah, all that lava being produced inside), yet it’s starting to feel very exciting. I can see how/why inner change is necessary. So wait and see – I’ll come out of this stronger, happier, expanded, with more purpose, and even more empathy. Right now I totally feel I can do it. And I will.
As I sat at the train station in Cefalù waiting for my night train to Rome, I looked at my suitcase, my toiletry handbag and my laptop bag, and bang! It hit me – these are all my belongings for the time being. I once thought it was extraordinary the fact that my life fitted in a car when I moved from the Gold Coast to Adelaide. It was comforting though, to know that I was driving to a city where I already had a furnished home to move into, I was ready to build a new life, and in one year my dream of migrating to Australia would start to come true (#not). Now this – one suitcase, a small bag, a computer, and the uncertainty about when I’ll have a home again – feels like a whole new level of unexpected minimalism.
Six weeks have passed so far and I’ve managed to live with so little. Few belongings and lots of emotions. Life is interesting – who’d have thought that I’d be experiencing something like this? Sometimes it feels so simple – it’s all temporary, it’s only a matter of navigating through this period, and before I know it, it’ll be over. Other times it seems too complex – there are lots of awakening happening, lessons being learned, and wounds being healed. Too little, yet too much. Simple, yet complex.