Travel Story | Exciting news!

by Flip Flop Wanderers

Hi everybody,

It’s been a while since we published our last update, so we thought: you guys would probably want to know how it’s going over here! In the meantime we still didn’t do anything special, because it’s still winter and raining a lot, BUT we have some big news for our future, when our visa here in Australia expires!

Keep on reading to find out what that news is!

Skyline of Perth

But first back to work. We both have a new job! About a month ago we got a cleaning job at two shopping centres through John, the caretaker from our apartment complex. We mainly have to clean the staff rooms, toilets and outside of the buildings. Every morning we start at 6.30am and that 6 days a week! It’s also not the most fun work to do, but it earns very well and it’s only 2 hours a day. At least we have something!

Our cleaning job ;)

Unfortunately, Bram can’t work much at the engineering company lately. Super annoying! Luckily, at least we have the cleaning job now AND Bram got another job! At the moment, he is also working at Lucky Rentals, a car and camper rental company in the CBD of Perth. He mainly does the same thing as what he also did 3 years ago in Darwin at Britz and Maui. He checks the cars/campers, fixes what is broken en cleans them. He does this 6 days a week as well, after the cleaning job in the morning, which means he is working 7 days a week in total! So it’s busy. But that’s really good, because at least then we can go to Bali.

Hyde Park (follows later in the story)

Manon still can’t work much for Ranstad, really stupid! They just really don’t have any work… fortunately she can babysit sometimes.

3 cute kookaburras that were sitting in a tree at our house, very close to each other because they were cold :)

At the beginning of this story we already told you that we didn’t do anything special this month. The reason for that is that it’s still winter at the moment. Allright, it’s not a winter like in the Netherlands, but it still is really cold. For almost two weeks it’s been only about 12 degrees during the day and around zero at night, and we really think that’s winter! Outside of these two weeks it’s still around 17 degrees during the day and of course that’s not too bad. It’s only raining a lot now in winter, almost every day, and that’s pretty annoying! And since a lot of activities are focused on the outdoors here in Australia, there really is not much to do right now. Fortunately it already seems to get a bit warmer lately, so at least the winter doesn’t last that long!

But despite the fact it’s winter, we still stil did sóme things. It’s not much, but at least it’s something to not get into hibernation totally ;) So we went into the city for a day and walked around a bit. Because in all the months we already live here we still haven’t seen much of Perth CBD, awful right?! To be ashamed of… we just really aren’t city people en prefer to see the beaches and National Parks here in the area more than the city centre. So we thought it was about time now and therefore we made some pictures at Elizabeth Quay. Elizabeth Quay is a section in front of the skyline of Perth. You have a bridge from where you have a beautiful view on the skyline. Nice to see!

We also walked through the busy streets of the city a bit.

We also met up with Lisa one evening, someone we met in Fiji 3 years ago! She happened to be here in Perth for a few days now, so we had some dinner with her. Really nice to see old travel friends again!

Furthermore we unfortunately had to say goodbye as well to a new travel friend. During the months we live here we have some good contact with a few flat mates and unfortunately one of them left to Sydney! So we had a good goodbye gathering for Marija. Really a shame!

Two weeks ago we explored Northbridge for a day. Northbridge is a suburb that actually lies next to Perth CBD. It’s a somewhat older neighbourhood and there are lots of museums and art galleries. We first went to Hyde Park that day, a really beautiful park.

You have some huge old trees over there which look really impressive! This park must really be very old.

Look for Bram in this picture ;)

We also went to the Art Gallery of Perth that day. A very boring museum, of which they were rebuilding almost everything and there were only a few sneakers there for an exhibition and some paintings. But Manon still had to get a fake interesting picture ;) Oh and they had a big elevator!

After this we walked a bit through Northbridge and found some funny ‘art’ chairs.

We also went to the movies one time after work, to the new movie Dunkirk. It’s a pretty exciting war movie. The cinema is actually the ideal outing now in winter ;)

And last week we went to the Nostalgia Box Museum for a day! The Nostalgia Box Museum is a museum full of retro video games! Maybe a bit nerdy, but we really wanted to see this! We are big Nintendo fans! In the past, when Manon was a small child, she already had a Nintendo at home and also Mario and Marti (Manon’s parents) played it often ;)
In the museum they had a big collection of old video games, including the very first video console, the Magnavox Odyssey from 1972, the first Atari from 1975 and the first Nintendo from 1977. So funny to see.

But that was not the only thing, you could even play some of the games yourself! There was a whole room full of different video game consoles. For example, you could play Pac-Man on the Atari, Mario Kart on the Gamecube, Mario Bros. on the first Nintendo etc. etc. Here we enjoyed ourselves for some necessary hours :P

You also could make some nice pictures ‘dressed up’ as Mario and Luigi haha. All in all, it was a fun museum where you can entertain yourself well ;)

And now the big news you of course all have been waiting for: we decided what we are going to do when our visa expires! And that is: we’re staying longer in Australia!!
Seriously, we really expected that we would write down here that we would go to New Zealand to work there (that was our back-up plan), we even made plans for it already, but at the last moment Bram can get a sponsorship!

How did all of this happen?, you might think. We will start at the beginning: for a few months already we were wondering what we should do after this visa expires, of course you all now that. However, we were running more and more out of time, because in 3 months we have to get out of the country and in the meantime we also go to Bali on vacation. As a result, we didn’t have much time to arrange a lot of things.

Meanwhile, Bram still had contact with the engineering company he probably could work for (and maybe could get a sponsorship). Unfortunately, they still didn’t have any big orders in and it kept on going like that. We therefore didn’t have much hope anymore that these orders would come in before we had to leave the country. We actually had given up on this company. Also, the engineering company he worked casually for at the time did not really have any prospects on full-time work and a sponsorship. And there weren’t many full-time engineering vacancies available either. So it all was a bit hopeless.

Thus, the idea arose to go to New Zealand to work over there on a Working Holiday Visa. That would allow us to work for a year over there as well, which might have given us some more certainty about money. And than we even had a welcome change in our lives! Only than, of course we had to start all over again with finding jobs, renting a home, buying a car etc. Still, we had already given up everything here in Australia, so we were already making plans for New Zealand. Until Bram, as a last hope, contacted the earlier mentioned company, and they told us, to our surprise, that they had the big orders in! They wanted to hire Bram and if he really was as good as he came across, they could also offer a sponsorship! Wow, we didn’t expected that anymore! Therefore, our first reaction was: ‘oh gosh, what should we do now? We already focused on going to New Zealand!?’

After considering our options and discussing everything well, of course the smartest option was to just stay here in Australia. At least, than Bram certainly has a permanent job, which will enable us to save money in the next few months! Because it’s not earning badly as a Mechanical Engineer here ;) Of course, In New Zealand it would be all insecure again.. and the more we are preparing on our sponsorship here, the more we are excited to stay longer!

So: for the upcoming months we just stay nicely in Australia and Bram can get started at the company called Agito. Agito is here in Perth the biggest company in de food industry and Bram will do about the same job as he did in the Netherlands at Hellings. It seems to him a great company to work!

Initially, Bram wil work casually for a few weeks, because the boss obviously wants to see what talents he has ;) This is likely to flow into a full time contract and then we can arrange our sponsorship and next visa as soon as possible. The visa we then will be arranging is a 457 visa: a Temporary Work Visa. This doesn’t give us permanent residency in Australia, but we could stay for 4 years, as long as you continue working for the same boss.

We really don’t know yet how long we eventually will stay here in Perth. We prefer to travel further of course, but at the moment we like it here and we really want to save some money. We will have to wait and see!

Elizabeth Quay

For now, it is necessary we will arrange all the important things for our next visa. And that’s a lot: Bram has to do the English IELTS test, he has to prove his ‘skills’, we have to get police checks from the Netherlands and here in Australia, we need to get prove that we are partners (because Manon goes with Bram on his visa), arrange birth certificates etc. etc….

But fortunately we are going on a well-deserved vacation to Bali in September! We are really looking forward to it, especially now it’s winter here and with the prospect that we’re staying at one place for a longer time. Then we really want to enjoy in-between :)

What Manon is going to do still remains a big question.. getting her Teaching Registration and getting started as an Early Childhood Teacher somewhere? That was of course the first intention.. Or maybe save the money and find another job? The upcoming time will tell us all…

Hopefully you all are just as excited about this news as we are!
It’s going to be a very busy time for a while with a lot of arranging, but that doesn’t matter, because it’s worth it! And than at least we do something again instead of only sitting inside with a winter depression.

We’ll keep you updated soon!

See ya!

Love from us

Our life doesn’t go on a plan. We just have to keep on working for what we are living for.


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Mario August 10, 2017 - 6:39 pm

Fijn dat het werk voor Bram eindelijk doorgaat. Hopelijk gaat alles goed en nog veel plezier!

Arianne Kamphorst - van der Steen August 10, 2017 - 6:46 pm

Hey Bram en Manon,

kei fijn voor jullie dat jullie nu waarschijnlijk langer in Australië kunnen blijven!! Laat Bram zijn talenten maar flink gebruiken ;)
Jullie winter lijkt nu erg veel op de zomer hier… Het is vandaag maar 18 graden geweest en regenachtig, dus wat dat betreft mis je niets… ;)
Liefs Johan en Arianne

Mama Betsie August 10, 2017 - 9:47 pm

Goed nieuws! Succes met de nieuwe baan en het regelen van alles xxx

Marti August 11, 2017 - 3:54 pm

Wat fijn dat het nu eindelijk doorgaat met het werk! Hopelijk kunnen jullie nu flink gaan sparen zodat je weer verder kunt gaan reizen ? Want dat is toch wat jullie willen. Nog ff volhouden, de winter is bijna voorbij voor jullie.(en 3 maanden lang iedere dag boven de 35 graden gaat ook vervelen) ? Groetjes en een dikke knuffel van je moeder en schoonmoeder ?


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