So if you have been following along (in RL), You'll remember that I had decided I wasn't going to go to Australia because I thought the timing of my birthday and the rules of the visa would stop me from saving enough money to feel comfortable before I went. Well, a good friend of mine from working for Royal Caribbean suggested I apply and if I got it I'd have the option, if not then I was only out the application fee (which he mentioned was $160). At this recommendation...and with slightly over a week left before my birthday (the cutoff date)...I applied. Well, as it turns out, the VISA application fee was $420USD ($391AUD). Since this is where I REALLY wanted to go, and I didn't have much time to think about it, I went ahead and applied. I spent the next 3 weeks selling stuff I wasn't going to need where I was going selling things on eBay to pay for it all. September 25th, a week after my birthday, I received the email with my approval! Unfortunately when I got it I was at work, so I couldn't celebrate too much
Since finding out about my approval, I've joined SUBS (Sydney Underwater Buddies) and Sydney Gaymers so I can make some friends before I head down under. I'm also looking for a springboard diving group so I can continue what I've learned here. It's one of the most fun and challenging things I've taken up recently. I spoke to SUBS about trying to find an LGBT dive shop...or at least one more friendly to our people, and they said all were LGBT friendly! That's awesome! I have heard Sydney is the Gay Mecca of Australia, which makes me happy that I'll be in a place I consider to be similar to what I picture Miami, FL to be. Australia does have it's Texases...but I've read that Sydney, for the most part, is all LGBT Friendly. Here's hoping! And I'll keep you all updated.
P.S. Make sure you comment so I don't think I'm writing this to myself.