Moving to the USA: Final Preparations
Hard to believe we’re already 1/16th of the way through 2013, right? How are those New Year’s Resolutions working out?
Shelved until 2014? Completely forgotten? Laying in a pile of abandoned gym spandex?
Good. I’m glad we’re on the same page.
Last October, I posted about my plans to move to the States, crack the American Dream, build a house and live happily ever after.
True to form, my plans have changed about seven times since then. First I was staying in London, then I was going back to Thailand, then I was looking at the South of France, and now I’ve finally decided on
Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme America.
It speaks volumes of my indecision that – in the last week alone – I’ve had emails from 3 different affiliates on 3 different continents all thinking I live near them.
No, I’m not some kind of direct marketing gypsy, I just really suck at finding the right property.
My fiancé and I both work from home, and we both like to travel, which means deciding where to move is a liberating joy, but one that can lead to episodes from The Shining if we’re not very bloody careful.
Don’t… touch… me. I’m… typing.
Don’t… touch… me. I’m… typing.
Don’t… touch… me. I’m… typing.
Renting in London: The Road to Ball Ache
If you’re going to live and work in the same building, it really needs to feel like a home.
But how can you make somewhere your home if you need written permission to hang a photo on the wall? Or to give it a lick of paint? That is the problem with renting in London, and it is the straw that broke this camel’s back.
For such a vast monthly spunkage of money, you would expect a home in return. What you actually get is a roof over your head and a pain in the arse. Several of them if your estate agent is Haart.
I want to own what I live in, but I don’t want to pay hundreds of thousands for a shoe box in Fulham. The alternative is a safe family home in suburbia where Costa marks the nearest attraction, and the next bus terminates at death. Or worse, having kids.
Ultimate bitch point: I don’t want my local food store to be a Budgens. I want to live in a country where Budgens is just a bad dream.
One of the great hooks of America is the opportunity to build our own home; something brand spanking new, so fresh we can still smell the timber.
I want something that has enough square footage to incorporate two home offices, a swimming pool and a snooker room.
She wants… to decorate it with candles, cushions and throws. Why are women like that?
Alas, America is the best choice. It’s also the most exciting choice.
You guys have a lot of cornfields. But you also have a lot of exciting, vibrant cities. New York City, Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas… the mind reels with bright lights and a lifetime of Hollywood.
I’m sorry in advance if I besmirch any of the above with my presence.
Knock knock, America
Want to know how the immigration process for moving to America goes?
Very, very slowly.
I’m only just over halfway through the process.
Not only has the ordeal wiped crucial centimeters off my hairline, but it’s butchered at least 80% of my mornings with fun activities such as:
- Chasing vaccination files
- Pleading with the police for my arrest records (Disclaimer: There are none)
- Spending time in photo booths
- Kicking photo booths
- Swearing at photo booths
- Buying enough stamps to post myself around the world
I haven’t even had my medical at the US Embassy yet. There’s still a chance they’ll turn me back when they find my blood pressure reading says **AFFILIATE MARKETER**
Of course, there are things I will miss about London:
My friends and family
The hardest part about relocating is leaving behind your friends and family. I got homesick while living in Asia, and much of it was down to the false belief that I was disconnected from my loved ones. I felt like I was missing out on something, although I could never quite put in to words what that something was.
When I got home, it was great to see everybody. But people move on with their lives. They don’t wait for you to come ‘home’ to continue theirs.
Homesickness has very little to do with your location. It’s how content you feel with your day-to-day living. That means embracing wherever you are, not trying to crawl home to the nest, just because it feels familiar when your current surroundings do not.
The incredible NHS
Health care is a super important issue to both my fiancée and I. There was a point in November where we had reached an agreement that if Mitt Romney won the Presidency, we would stay in the UK. I don’t want to get overly political on a humble marketing blog, but it’s fair to say that we will miss the National Health Service that is available in the UK.
The NHS is a brilliant institution and part of what makes Britain great. It is a lifesaver for people with pre-existing medical conditions.
The infuriating but begrudgingly effective transport network
No TFL is going to suck.
I’m sure I’ll feel guilty for mocking the Picadilly Line within about 3 weeks of our separation. Even for those occasions where it really, really deserved the scorn.
It also means I’ll have to buy a car when I land in America.
For all the hate that gets directed at Transport For London, very few cities can claim to be as well connected. Until it snows.
It snows, we perish.
The ability to keep calm and STFU
There’s a certain way of life in London that can be summed up quite simply, “I won’t bother you, if you don’t bother me.”
If you’ve taken the tube before, you’ll be aware that it extends to just about all lines of communication. “I won’t catch your eye – even though I’m the breadth of a nose hair away from your face – if you won’t catch mine.”
To tourists, we must come across as the least social animals on earth. But to a Londoner, that moment of sweet purposeful avoidance tells us that we’re home.
The glorious tropical climate
Yeah, about that…
Show me the plane, already.
I’m hoping to make the jump across the pond on March 25th, as long as I get through the visa process in time.
It can be quite stressful to hop continents. And it will be the third time I’ve done so in 3 years, but it’s also very exciting. I can’t wait to meet new people, explore new cities and chase that elusive American dream.
Which may or may not be Taco Bell, screw you.
20 CommentsLeave a comment
Where are you moving to exactly? I moved here to Washington state from Norway around 2 years ago.
Yeah, it’s hard to move to the USA. Some Canadian friends of mine had to buy a business with employees (shudder) to get to stay in America. I’m doing the opposite, trying to leave, the USA, for a while.
Luck to you on your upcoming skip across the pond … we’re awaiting your arrival and your next post!
“Chasing vaccination files”
Maybe you should watch
before further poisoning yourself.
Do you really know what’s in vaccines? According to the CDC, all the following neurotoxic metals and chemicals are intentionally added to vaccines: Mercury, MSG (monosodium glutamate), Formaldehyde and Aluminum.
These toxic elements should never be INJECTED into any human being! Their toxicity explains the deadly side effects of vaccines, including:
* High fevers
* Spontaneous abortions
So why doesn’t the vaccine industry make “clean” vaccines without these additives? The answer is because the whole point of vaccines is not to medically help people, but rather to intentionally POISON them.
I&W – We’re not sure where we’re going to settle yet. Our point of entry is Indiana, as that’s where we have family while I wait for all my documents.
I like the look of Chicago, San Francisco, certain parts of Florida… but there are parts of America that I haven’t even visited. I’d want to get a good feel for the country before choosing somewhere to settle and setup my business.
BannersBS – That might be the case, but without the vaccines or a damn good medical explanation, I can’t get in! I’m okay with them. America is pretty straightforward compared to some of the vaccinations required for SE Asia.
Check out Sarasota, Fl as a potential place. Night life isn’t tremendous but click booth, boars head, and quite a few other corps have called it home as well it’ll give you an excellent opportunity to build the house you desire without needing to sell kidneys and other extremities.
Cheers Justin. I assume Florida is definitely more suitable than Cali in terms of setting up a business, right?
You meant that great health care service where you all have crooked teeth. Please. Take your socialized medicine and shove it up your you know what.
Jess – I was wondering who would be first to see that as bait. It’s sad how insecure some people are about a differing opinion…
Awesome, America will be lucky to have you.
I vote Florida as well, its at least worth a visit. In terms of weather it is the best, even San Diego can get freezing, and the beaches in Miami can’t be beat by any California city.
I’ve also lived in San Francisco and although it is my favorite city, living there was difficult due to the awful draining weather, anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
Where you reside and where you setup your business paperwork does not have to be the same state. Know your options. Life style in location a might be best but you can still have the business in location b for the best combination.
Welcome and looking forward to your slant, rants and humor on the colonies.
Good for you Finch, it’s always nice to see people following their dreams.
I’m not from the UK but can you just move there and open a business and everything?
From where I live I can only get a tourist visa or invest like $500k to $1mil if I wanna’ get full residency rights.
Finch how are you doing? Long time reader first time commenter. I’ve just done the exact opposite as you, moving from CA to London (I was pretty much forced into it by the massive evil conglomoco I work for), and I gotta say man you are spot on about the climate. Damn I miss Cali.
But dude, Cali is SO much better than Indiana, so don’t let your girl keep you there for long. I know what they are like. “Oh I want to be near my mom, oh I want to be near my sisters” blah blah blah. Just tell her “Hey, I am not going to live in this shithole.” Just don’t let yourself live a limp suburban life man, that is a fate worse than death. Keep an eye on it. There’s not many men move from London to Indiana, and there’s a damn good reason for that.
Also, you are getting married, right? Congratulations. Here’s a tip from your Uncle Jim: Hide some money overseas. Not a lot, just enough so that you could make a break for it if things turned sour and start a new life elsewhere. I love my wife more than anything in the world, but I have $30k in the Bahamas she has no idea about and I would start adding to it at the first sign of trouble. Call it an insurance policy. Things are sweet right now but people can change. There’s nothing as plastic as the human brain.
A buddy of mine, he found out his wife was fucking another dude after 7 years of marriage. Messy fucking divorce, his nerves would have been shot to shit and his life would have been ruined if he didn’t have his cash stash. After it was all done with he looked at the little scraps he’d been left with after the divorce and thought “Man, thank god I have the stash!” He could have been a broken man but the stash saved him.
Now I am not saying that will happen to you, and I certainly fucking hope it doesn’t happen to me, but a wise man hopes for the best but prepares for the worst, you know what I’m saying?
Quick Political rant (you suckered me in):
Chances are Obama’s victory will cost you much more in taxes than you would’ve paid for individual healthcare. On a side note, every lazy person in America strongly agrees with the Obama presidency. They are also very angry about a blog about working hard and making ones life better without the government paying for it.
Love your blog, but you’re making two huge fucking mistakes: moving to the imploding U.S. and getting MARRIED there. Check out the website Zero Hedge…the U.S. economy is tanking and it’s not going to get better. The country is not free anymore and it’s getting less free by the day.
I’m an American and my feelings about my home are complex, but I can say this: it’s a terrible place for a single, wealthy young man with options. No, it’s probably not the worst place you could go, but you’d be better off in many, many other places.
Marriage in the U.S. puts all the power and control in the hands of the woman. It gives her every benefit and you nothing but liabilities. For any reason (or no reason at all) she can takes the kids, half your money, probably the house, and then the real fun begins with alimony and child support for the better part of the next two decades. There may never be a problem, but you have to know that the sword of Damocles is forever hanging right above your head and all she has to do is give it a little nudge.
Seriously, before you “tie the knot (noose)” ask yourself this question: what are you gaining by getting married that you don’t already have? In modern day America, the answer is absolutely nothing. Quite the opposite is true for her, though. Your fiance is an American, right? Then, on some level, she absolutely knows this.
You are in an incredible situation right now: you are young, rich, and free. The world is your oyster.
Maybe your whole plan will go well. I hope it does. One thing is for sure, though: you will, in very significant part, no longer be in control of your own life. Whether you are rich or poor, miserable or happy, will mostly be in the hands of your wife and the U.S. government. Nobody can really appreciate freedom until they don’t have it. You have a whole lot right now but, if you go through with your plans, you will soon have a HELL OF A LOT less.
I vote for San Francisco, it can be cold here but if you live away from ocean it is not that cold, like in SOMA. That’s what Angry Russian should have done and move to my hood and maybe he would have stayed in SF. Lots of affiliates and startups here too, you can’t find a better city business wise either.
OhEmGee could it be Dear Finchy is becoming a Yankee? Woop woop! Don’t let biz setup scare you from living in Cali. I’m going to agree to disagree with my beloved Russky, but Florida is humid balls and parts can be quite redneck. Let’s chat Cali and/or Chitownia!
@Jim That cash stash idea is genius. Im not getting married but will be working out the best way/place for doing that when I do.
@The people saying shove socialised healthcare up your you know what. You’re weird… You like being sick and getting no healthcare? You like the prospect of bankruptcy for health costs?
NHS is inefficient in parts but overall a lot better than handing massive profits to insurance corporations who want to fuck you over. The US military is inefficient in parts and funded by tax – you don’t moan about “Socialised Military wasting mah dang tax dollahs!”
Finch, long time reader, don’t think I’ve commented here before. Thought I’d jump in as an American here…
First, Jim gives you some absolutely horrible advice. Maybe he is too young or too immature to know better, but I hope you think twice about giving it much credence. Stashing any amount of money w/o your spouse’s knowledge is no way to start a marriage. Do you really want to start your marriage living a lie? If you feel the need to hide money that then you should take it as a sign that you shouldn’t be getting married because either; 1) you aren’t ready, or 2) she is the wrong girl. If you are concerned about your assets than you should have enough of a nut sack to get a prenup done in proper fashion.
As far as becoming and American… as some have mentioned it’s not what it used to be and if I were you I would consider all my options at this point in time. I think there will always be space for those who hustle here to build their own American Dream, but the culture here doesn’t reward self sufficiency and risk taking like it once did. In short, many think we are on track to become France-lite. Any objective observer should be scared of the debt levels in the US right now. What actions the US government might take to put a band aid on the situation and how that could affect you? It will probably take years to play out, but I guarantee whatever actions the US government takes WILL NOT involve more freedom for you as an individual. The masses will go along with anything especially if they are being subsidized in some form or fashion, especially if they don’t have the personal resources to sustain their lifestyle on their own accord (98% can’t or won’t). You should look into Simon Black’s Sovereign Man stuff. He’s a smart dude that has some interesting ideas on how to limit your exposure and maximize the freedom and flexibility in how you and where you live your life.
True, it doesn’t matter what state you live in vs. what state you form your company in. But… at some point your income flows to where you live and you’ll have to pay state taxes on that. It is what it is, but if that’s an issue for you make sure you look into it. CA has some scenery and weather. We lived in San Francisco for 2 years and loved it. Just know going in that you’ll be taxed more there and of course you know the cost of living issues having lived in London. Take your cost of living in SF for a run of the mill place and spend that much somewhere like Indianapolis and you can get some pretty swanky digs.
I also traveled to Indianapolis 2x per month for 5 years solid for a prior job. It’s really a GREAT place to live, so if that’s on your list of potential I would give it serious consideration. Especially if you are settling down and becoming a family man. Zionsville, Carmel, and Fishers on the north side are all great places to raise a family and you will get a lot for your money when it comes to housing. Taxes are low there (real estate) and the public schools in that part of town are some of the best in the country.
As far as city vs. suburb… It depends on your stage of life. Don’t listen to suburb bashers. It can be a great life. It all depends on the people in the area. Look, living in the city is a lot of fun, and if it’s just you and the Mrs. by all means give it a go. But with a family, I the combination of increased costs and conveniences of shopping, parking, transportation flexibility, and schooling… UGH. Since you mentioned Chicago… now that’s a fun town. Lot’s of good places downtown or you should check out the Lincoln Park neighborhood ($$$) on the north side of the city (Go Cubs!). My one issue with Chicago is many locals have a “Chicago is the greatest place in the world and I’m better than you because I’m from Chicago” attitude that I find quite annoying. Winter can be harsh there so if that’s an issue consider that.
As for people… I’m going to stereotype here, but this is based on my experience living on both coasts, throughout the midwest, and the south. Take it for what it’s worth, which is probably squat. But I’ve LIVED in a lot of spots in the country, not just visited.
– West Coast. Some of the best geography available if you are into that. People seem to be more concerned about their own lives there, less of a “community” type of feel. Socially more organized around “causes” as opposed to where you live if that makes sense.
– East Coast. Faster paced, expensive. People are friendly enough but certainly more of a hard edge. It’s a dog eat dog world and you should be prepared to get yours or get left behind.
– Midwest. I prefer the people in the Midwest. Funny how those on both coasts consider those in the midwest rubes, but in my experience it’s the midwesterner that ends up being more tolerant. I worked for a large French company out of college that has a large presence in the states and the HR department told me they like to hire out of the midwest because they are the most flexible and can live anywhere an make it work. The odds are less so when taking someone from say the Northeast and putting them in Texas for a job. I found those in the midwest friendly enough and also direct but without the hard edge of easterners.
The big drawback to the midwest is the geography. A lot of it is pretty flat and boring and frankly not much to look at.
– South. Very friendly people, but sometimes just a surface level of fake friendliness. Can be difficult to break into social circles some places in south if you are not from there. Overall work ethic seems to be lower than what you might see in East or Midwest – try to find a reliable contractor sometime. Depending on your make up you may not want to sweat your nutz off for 9 months a year in some parts of the south. I find myself in this category and would never live in Florida for that reason. I know some people enjoy that though! Personally, I’m a 4 seasons type of guy. Texas… well, it’s in the south but it kind of stands alone. People are friendly and confident there, but you have to stomach a lot of Texas pride from those born and bred there. Geography in most parts of the state leaves something to be desired. No state taxes though!
I live in North Carolina now. Really like it. Weather-wise it’s tough to beat depending on where in the state you are. Four season – long fall, long spring and short winters are nice. Mountains and ocean.
If I were in your shoes and and free choice of where to live here are some places I’d consider in no particular order. Any of these would offer a great quality of life.
– Asheville, NC – I don’t live here, but wish I did. Mid size city, eclectic, vibrant economy, great weather, beautiful mountains, drive to ocean. Brewery capital of east coast!
– Austin, TX
– Boulder,CO / Denver – Winters here are actually less harsh than say Chicago. More snow, but milder.
– Madison, WI – Wisconsonites are a blast. University towns are great for quality of life here in the states in my opinion (Austin & Boulder are as well)
– North side Suburbs of Indianapolis
– Seattle, WA & Portland, OR – both nice cities, outdoor lifestyle. rain sucks.
– Charleston, SC – hot summers though
– Nashville, TN – helps if you are into country music.
If you are truly city at heart, these are the only ways to go.
– New York City – go big or go home
– Chicago – fun times
– San Francisco – a feast for the eyes. If I could go back in time and live the 3 years we did there without kids I would. I wouldn’t raise a family there though.
I didn’t include LA on the list because anyone that’s been to downtown LA knows it’s not really a city. It’s more of a sprawling megaplex of self absorption. Fun to visit for a while. Maybe if I could had the cash to live in a place on the beach in Malibu I might think differently.
That’s my $.02
Nice post… The city of Miami is really one of the best destinations in the United States… Miami, FL has a lot to offer when it comes to entertainment. Another thing to mention is the great nightlife this city has to offer… I would no doubt recommend Miami Florida to any tourist that wants to have fun in a interesting city.