One Mums story of how she and her family emigrated from Brazil

Many of us Northern Beaches Mums are new to the area, some are just changing City or suburb, and others have joined us from overseas. For some it’s an easy move, but for others it can be really traumatic.  

Brand new Northern Beaches Mum Maíra Beldi from Brazil has recently made the difficult decision to bring her family to live here in Sydney.  It hasn’t all been plain sailing but Maíra wanted to share some of her journey with us.  

Hi, I’m Maíra and I’m a Mum to 3 beautiful girls , Julia  8, Laura, 6, and Luiza, just 3 years old and have been married to Felipe for 11 years.  I want to share some of my journey from Brazil to Sydney with you all…

How I met my husband

Have you ever seen a movie where a couple met on an airplane trip fell in love and the end they lived happily ever after? Well, for me, that was sort of what happened.   It was the end of 2004; I had just completed my bachelor degree and decided to move to Sydney. At the airport, I was waiting at the lounge for departure, a boy came around and we started chatting. We talked, and a few minutes later we had to check in and off we went to Sydney.

On arrival, loads of the passengers’ bags went missing and because he was already living in Sydney and some friends were collecting him, he was kind and trying to solve everyone’s problems. He gave me his phone number and said that if I need something I could call and as soon as he got the news he would call.

Even though I had some friends living in Sydney, I was only 23, and being new in town wanted to meet people. So while I do not remember who called who first; probably I did!

Anyway, he invited me to a BBQ, and of course, I went. For that moment on, we became really good friends.

During my stay in Sydney, I decided to move to Europe because I was invited to do a traineeship in Barcelona. Just one week before I left we started officially dating. I actually fell in love with that boy and to leave him in Sydney was tremendously hard.

I have to say that life in Barcelona is fantastic. Furthermore, if you are around with some of your best friends, it can be even better. I could not complain, but you know when you are in love and when your lover is not around it seems that something is missing, and do not forget I was just 23, at this age we over react some feelings lol.

I think he was feeling the same because he came to Barcelona to stay a month with me, and together with another two friends we went to on a backpacking trip.

When he had to return to Sydney you can’t imagine how we cried to be apart again, we didn’t know when we were going to see each other again. We planned to meet in Brazil at the end of the year (almost 8 months to go), but on his birthday I made a surprise and appeared in Sydney to stay a few days.

Let’s get married

I do not remember anymore the time of things, but I received this fantastic news that I had passed on the Master that I applied in Amsterdam and I was going to live there for 3 years. I told to Felipe about my plans, and we started to plan how we could be together. I told him to move to Europe with me, but he was concerned about the visa, so I came up with this splendid idea – why not get married?

And that was what happened. I was in Barcelona (just to give an overview of my situation, I am an only child), I called my dad in Brazil and said: – “Dad I am going to get married. First, he didn’t reply then he said – hahaha, funny.

Me – “I am not joking dad, I am going to get married because he is living in Sydney and we need to get married for him to come to Amsterdam with me.

Dad – “ok, but who is he????

My poor Dad!  Now that I have my own daughter I can imagine the feeling. But hey, calm down, he met Felipe 6 months before the wedding as we married in the July and off we went to live in Amsterdam.

Grey Amsterdam

A’dam… ahh Amsterdam! I loved living there, even though the weather was horrible, always raining and grey, I loved!  But not Felipe. He comes from a beach city in Brazil, and he had been living in Sydney, how would he like the rainy and grey weather? I was not enjoying my Master, so we decided to leave Amsterdam and go to Sydney again, but before moving, we would stop by in Brazil to see our family.

Our “journey” back to Sydney

After arriving in São Paulo something unexpected happened…..I found out that I was pregnant, and for that reason, we decided to stay around our family.

I was thinking about leaving Brazil a while ago, but our lives were more than perfect, the girls studied in a super cool school, family and friends around and everything flowing without us being able to complain. That’s why a lot of people should look and ask themselves, but why on earth did this crazy woman decide to move?!

According to my husband, my nickname should be tsunami because I love a turbulence! It is not true, what I love is an active life. I can not stand still; I’m always finding something new to do, getting into some business and when I see I’m already distressed because I’ve gone into so much that I do not know how to do everything at once, but that’s what I like … I want to embrace the world, But I have not yet discovered that I can not, so I keep trying! Lol, maybe I’ll find a way ?!

It all happened so fast

Anyway, there I went to put the house for rent, not expecting it to happen so fast, but it happened. Now there was no excuse; we were going to move. But it was not simple; my husband had to leave his job, which he was super good. I had just started the second graduation in Pedagogy and entered into an incredible project in the area, and the girls … for them it was more difficult. Life their grandparents, friends, house, dog, school, their amazing life; they couldn’t understand why we were doing this.

It was not easy to talk to them: – You know this good life that you have, surrounded by friends, grandparents always very present, a school that you love, and us too, zé and the Moon (our dogs), our house, … Yeah, let’s leave it all behind and start a new life. It will be only us, and ten suitcases of 32kg.

Having already been to Australia we knew the place.  But traveling is one thing, living is another!

So why do we decide to go? My Answer: Security. For me, that’s the key point. I did not feel safe where I lived, not for myself, but for them … I wanted a life that I could feel safe and calm. Here we find it! To live without a wall, children playing quietly on the street, drive with the open window without the fear of being robbed, not to be afraid to enter the house at night … Security – this was the reason.

Let the chaos begin

Well the chaos began, we told te kids we were going to live in Australia, the first reaction was euphoria !!! But when the changes started to happen, there was doubt and all that euphoria was over! First, we had to leave our house almost two months before we traveled, this was our first change and break. Pack a life thinking of only ten suitcases …  Ze and  Moon … all this changes two months before the actual change, I DO NOT RECOMMEND, but we had no choice. We did a great farewell party, and with many tears, we said goodbye to this stage!

Step two, camp at my parents’ house! I can not complain because there we are always more than well treated, we have 5-star hotel service! But it’s not your home, anyway, we could not do anything because think about our own home would take a while.

It was from my parents’ house that we had the second break, say goodbye to friends, to school and to pack our bags to go! I thought I had packed ten of the 32kg bags, but it definitely, had NOT happened. Poor of my parents, they kept a closet full of ours!

Farewell wasn’t easy

Anyway, for the girls this farewell was not easy at all; Neither for them nor me … my heart had already betrayed me, and I blamed myself every day for making this choice. How could I have done it with them, take them away from that comfort, from those warm embraces and those friends who have become our family … how??? Every day that I went to pick them up from school, a tear trickled … and the worst, or not, was that I could not hide from them! I was crying madly to take them away from all that we had! I knew it would be an amazing experience but the sense of doubt and guilt were walking together!

But the choice was already made, we were going, but not for Australia, for the third stage! This time we went for our family vacation, everything was already arranged before we decided to move out. Our family trip consisted of my parents my husband’s parents staying one month at my aunt’s house!

Just imagine how we got to the airport!!! I hate to travel with lots of luggage; there we were with ten, 32 kg bags, three children, five handbags, a stroller, some pillows and teddybears! Iupiiii!!! Felipe was already in a panic; he asked why we had to take so much! WHY????? I almost killed him !!!! And the angrier he got, the worse the situation. We stopped at one terminal and guess what … our flight was at the other terminal… Let’s walk the whole terminal with that bunch of stuff! I was laughing not to cry!

So we arrived in Barcelona. I had thought that this extended family vacation would be a catastrophe, in the end it was incredible! The place was beautiful, the whole family gathered in a super harmony … it was WONDERFUL! A perfect holiday, but I can not help but remember that we spent Christmas over there, that means gifts. Do I need to move own?1 That means nightmare! How I was going to take all those presents?!

Finally, we arrived at the last stage, farewell to our parents and let’s go to Australia. I’ll tell you that it was harder than I though.  For the girls and me. I spent the day after the farewell crying. I could not stop, not even the girls! It hurt! But we had to move on. There we were facing 9 hours flight to Dubai +14 to Sydney! I thank my dear mother for giving the damn American girl to my daughters + kayak + helmet, because how can the doll go kayak without a helmet? + a bag for the dolls clothes! Thanks, MOM, LOVE U !!!

So this time we were 5 + 10 suitcases + a thousand things in hand + 2 American girls with their bags full of clothes + kayak +helmet + trolley + pillow and I will not even tell you what! Yes, this time the husband had freaked out !!! And I was laughing!!!

You are wondering how was the flight, aren’t you? Well, I have to say that we were lucky! We were flying at the executive class, and the girls were amazed at that! Moreover, I have to say that the girls were fabulous and they slept all the flight long. Julia and Laura spent most of the time sleeping and watching movies.

Finally arrived

We finally arrived and went to an Airbnb house. A tiny house but it was for only ten days, BUT, do not forget that for 3 months we had not had a house. Those last ten days seemed like forever! I could not bear to keep things in my suitcase! We left desperately looking for a house. I guessed it was going to be easy, but NO … that was hell. The real estate market here is hell!

But we did it!!!! Although it was not what we wanted, we discovered that the neighborhood is amazing for kids, and in the end, everything was meant to be! Now we are well accommodated and adapting every day! I have to say that we still miss many things about our lives in Brazil and especially our family and friends, but I live without fear. That gives me a lot of peace!

The house faces the street, we do not have a wall, and the doors are always open. The children play in the street go around on their bikes. We ride bikes every day without worry.

Is it difficult?! Yes, a lot. Sometimes the girls started to cry that they miss their friends, grandparents that they hate being here and so on. Then I need to go there and just cuddle very hard.I try to make they understand that I know what they are feeling and that is ok. I sometimes feel the same. I have to talk every day the reason that made us move and let them know that we are going to be always here for them. That is the only comfort that I can give.

I fell that I am the worst mother ever when I see them suffering but I need to calm my heart that it is for their best! Here is what everyone asks me:

Do I want to go back?! No, not now!

But do you want to live here forever? Forever is too long, but for the time being yeap! I do want to be here for at least two years. But let’s live day by day because we never know what will happen.

Maira x



Author: Laurice Klaire

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