The Big Leap

Tree Frog we found at the Wilson Reserve in Melbourne

I’m more nervous than this little frog as I prepare to leap across the enormous pond. I’ve been burrowing through piles of paper work for months trying to get an exemption for a visa to Australia. It was hopeless, I might as well have been a frog under an avalanche of mud.

Then the Australian government decided to open its doors, as long as one can pass certain conditions. I downloaded the Australian ETA app on my phone, followed the directions and in one hour I was granted a tourist visa.

A tourist visa means I can stay for three months. I still need a negative RT-PCR test before I get on the plane, and proof of vaccination. Once I arrive in Melbourne I will need to take a RAT test and self isolate for five days or until I get a report with negative results.

My big worry is the airport in Sydney. After flying for 16 hours I will need to rush through customs with my baggage at the International Terminal. Then haul my bags on a shuttle bus to the domestic terminal, all within two and one half hours, so that I don’t miss my Virgin Australia flight to Melbourne.

My Australian cousin advised me to get my ticket changed to a later flight. I called Delta, they said there was a later flight, but it would cost me $600 to change. I originally purchased my tickets in October, and I upgraded to Delta first class so I will hopefully be able to sleep during the 16 hours of torture. I’ve already spent a fortune on this journey, $600 was too much more. Please cross your fingers and hope I can make all these flights.

Tune in next week for a report on how this works out.

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