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.
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