Jul 24

Becoming an Australian Permanent Resident

Credit: http://vittoriobloggs.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/we-are-economic-slaves/

As many of the people reading this blog will already be aware, on June 7th, 2012, I received an email from my Australian Immigration Case Officer informing me that I had been granted an Independent Skilled Migrant Visa for Australia – also known as: Permanent Residency.

This was HUGE news!  But there was just one itsy bitsy little catch which has had huge ramifications for the Tour de Zack y Tony:  To accept my permanent residency, I need to re-enter the country before April 2013.  Damn! Tony and I now had a deadline.

A deadline for the Tour de Zack y Tony.

Traveling without a deadline is a beautiful thing because it negates one of the three great limiters of traveling – Time – and allows you to embrace the opportunities that the road tosses at you along the way.

When Tony and I started on this outrageous adventure, we had no deadline, no firm destination, and no real plan.  All we knew is that we were heading south towards Colombia, a journey that “could take

months or could take years” and that once we got there we would… uh… do something.  Continue on bicycle down to Argentina?  Work in Colombia?  Buy a donkey to travel Peru and Bolivia? Go visit the brother in NY and work there for a spell?  The possibilities were endless.  The bloody Aussies though had thrown a spanner in the works – even with a deadline 10 months away – and in the weeks that followed the big news, I felt the spirit of the Tour transforming as I started to make plans.

Credit: http://celebrateaustraliaday.blogspot.mx/2012/01/australia-day-most-important-for-nation.html


To be honest though, I welcomed the deadline with a sense of relief.  When you are on a long trip like this it can be unbelievably mentally and spiritually exhausting (Spirit being one of the other great limiters of traveling).  It’s akin to running a marathon but not knowing if the finish line is at the 26.2 mile mark or if is actually at the 40 mile mark.  Now though I knew when – and where – the finish line was so I could plan my trip and pace myself accordingly.  So this is what I have come up with:

July/August – Go to Cuba

August to December – Ride to Colombia

December/January – Colombia

January to March – Sail across the Pacific

Mid to Late March – Arrive in Australia.

April – Find a J-O-B

Obviously, sailing across the Pacific relies heavily on my being able to find a sail boat that will have me.  I will be in the right place at the right time – so it’s a very real possibility – but I also have a relatively tight time frame that drastically reduces my chances.  I put my odds at finding a boat at about 50%.

If I do not find a boat.  I will be flying back in mid-March, which leaves me two months free to do… uh… something.  That something will be largely determined by the third and final great limiter of travel: Money.  Needless to say, 18 months of traveling without working is a very very effective way to run your bank accounts dry.



  1. Cindy

    Quick – come on back and fix up Fair Rover and sail to Austrailia.

    1. Zack

      Haha, if I did THAT I’d never make it to Australia in time!

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