Tuesday

Do I stay or do I go? (Thinking aloud)

It's a winter wonderland out there today; big snowflakes waft down past my window, blanketing every surface that last week's sunshine exposed. Inside the cat sleeps to Leonard Cohen and Nina Simone. I lost all of yesterday to a migraine; I lay in bed avoiding daylight, munching on ibuprofen and codeine between sleeps. Today I emerged from the cocoon, grateful that the miniature climbers who spent all of Sunday scaling the walls of my head with crampons and icepicks have finally left. Today all the curtains are open and the whiteness of it all doesn't faze me.



I've been grappling with a decision that is proving difficult to make. Anyone who knows me will know that I'm hopelessly indecisive at the best of times so when it comes to something important I'm a mess. I have a plane ticket from New York to Sydney on March 9 - the return leg of my ticket. So I haven't got long to change the ticket to May, when my current visa expires. Unfortunately the change will incur a fee of around $250 plus the difference in fare to secure a new flight home. And I don't have a spare $250 right now. I don't even have enough to pay my rent this month. Much of my work has been postponed or in some cases, projects have been cancelled or had their funding cut. One of my government clients is being investigated for fraud and another has recently retired. 

If I let the ticket go, and instead stay here in Montreal, Fred and I will have to apply for the de facto visa - where he sponsors me as his spouse - but this will cost us almost $1500 to apply. It will still be months before I can (legally) get work here. If I go I won't have enough to get back here for a long time and Fred won't be able to cover the rent. I'd also have to get to NY (rideshare maybe...) and travel insurance for my computer and other work things I'll need wherever I go. No choice strikes me as being the better one.

Maybe it's time to get that lottery ticket!

There's a curious sense of freedom in not having a clearcut answer, knowing that I could go anywhere in the world really... no one place has a clear advantage over another; anywhere I chose would/could have the same struggles, the same opportunities.

I've been clicking through rental listings in some of my favourite places: the Blue Mountains, Melbourne and here in Montreal too (with lower rents!) I could browse Brooklyn or Reykjavik or some tiny country town somewhere in the middle of nowhere. As long as it had an internet connection or a dire need for graphic designers...

Where would you go if
you had nowhere to go,
...or everywhere? 

10 comments:

Lin said...

A communal property in Northern NSW, an abandoned farm in Central Italy, a hotel in a small town in India...

You know what they say, any decision is a good decision (and in this case no decision is a decision too).

the river said...

I'm spinning in circles..!

Hsien-ku said...

I'd go where there were people that I loved and people who loved me . . . everything else is replaceable

Sid. said...

West Coast: Bella Coola. East Coast: PEI.

If Jane said...

oh i agree with hsien-ku!

the river said...

Yep, Hsien-Ku knows some stuff, that's for sure :)

But I have love ones here, there and elsewhere. I'm incredibly lucky like that!

Sid - I don't know them but I'm going to google them...

the river said...

Oh of course - Prince Edward Island :)

karine leger said...

we must go to PEI, ....one day : )

Felicia S. said...

I'm about to make this very choice. I've been traveling and living in different countries for years now. I'm currently in Asia and I don't know whether to stick to the this side of the world for another year or head back to Europe (Love it there!) or go to some amazing city in the U.S. (I'm American so I don't have visa issues, well not in America) I'm trying to figure it out. I'm at a huge crossroads. I now know what I want to do with the rest of my life but have not decided where to do it. Good luck to you!

the river said...

Good luck to you too Felicia! At least you've figured out what you want to do with your life - that's huge! All the best...

Karine, yes we must! Put it on the list...