Moving to the USA: Final Preparations
Change of Plans: I’m Moving to America

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 fiancĂ© 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 fiancĂ©e 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…

Moving to America from London

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.

Change of Plans: I’m Moving to America

By now, you are surely familiar with Finch’s twice-a-year, “I’m Moving to…” post.

I change plans faster than a badger in a honey maze. The latest twist should therefore come as no surprise.

Only a few months ago, I revealed that I was trading London for Bangkok (where I lived in 2010/11). Much has changed since then. For a start, I got engaged to an American girl.

Engagement raises a lot of ‘life questions’.

Questions such as:

  • Should I houseban Pinterest until the vows are exchanged?

  • Does she really think a herd of pink unicorns with chandeliers hanging from their bollocks are going to be available for catering?

  • Will I escape this wedding alive?

  • Holy shit, where are we going to live?

After much consultation, we were able to answer one of those questions.

Unfortunately, it did not bode well for a unicorn payday…

Our conclusion: Living in America sounds pretty cosy.

New York City skyline

New York City: The daddy of the concrete jungles.

My Fascination with America

I fell in love with New York City when I visited in May. There’s something about Manhattan that captures your imagination.

If you are Felix Baumgartner, standing on the precipice, about to dive balls-deep in to the abyss, you would not be surprised – no, you would expect – gravity to tug you straight in to the heart of The Big Apple. It is a city that feels like the center of the universe.

And to many New Yorkers, that’s exactly what it is.

Even the dude selling hot dogs out of a broken cart gets to experience that rare sensation of the world revolving around him; tumbling skyscrapers in every direction, the buzz of something happening.

You come away from NYC feeling small, humble and a trifle shagged in the wallet. Victim of the tipping shakedown, aka “I’ve just wiped my arse using some of your toilet paper. Here’s ten bucks. Please — Don’t hustle me! I appreciate the service!

While I won’t be moving to New York City straight away (We’ll be crash landing in the Midwest to build a house, if all goes to plan), I do want to make myself familiar with the bits of America that I haven’t already visited.

And that’s a good thing.

Besides New York, I have seen an abundance of corn and some Amish settlements. There has to be a middle ground, and I intend to find it.

Where should I visit?

Places on my To Visit list, in no particular order:

  1. San Francisco
  2. Chicago
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Jersey Shore (I’m interested to see if we’re the same species)
  5. Hollywood
  6. Miami
  7. Yellowstone Park
  8. Hawaii

Yep, you could say my list resembles the tourist’s guide to ‘playing it safe like an unadventurous motherfucker‘. I’ve seen one too many motel slasherfest B-movies to chance my arm.

If you have any suggestions of awesome places to visit in America, hit me with them.

I’ll be taking a trip to Thailand next month. I’m hoping it suppresses my appetite for beach cocktails and chilis over breakfast. Christ knows, if I don’t get my hands on some Mango Sticky Rice soon, there’s no telling how many kittens will perish.

See you in another six months for news on my immigration to China.

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