Although the idea to move to London was somewhat spontaneous, I can’t just up and move there on a whim. I need to do research, make plans, and create lists…lots of lists.
Step 1: VISA
This isn’t a holiday I’m planning for. The goal is to move to London and get a job. There are a few different types of UK work/travel Visas that are available. I am fortunate enough to have grandparents who were born in the UK (Scotland to be exact) which entitles me to an Ancestry Visa that allows me to live and work in the UK for 5 years. You should submit your application 3.5 – 4 months before you plan to leave.
Step 2: DECIDE THE MOVING DATE
Of course, this depends on your situation, but for me there were several factors to consider.
– I want to finish off the year with my current employer. I feel it is a cleaner break that way. Also, if I stay the full year, my 3% RRSP contribution is matched by my employer.
– I would like to spend Christmas with my family and friends since I won’t be seeing them for many holidays after that.
– Giving myself a few months to save as much money as possible will give me a little financial cushion during my first couple month abroad.
– Flights are cheaper in the winter months.
– I don’t think I could wait any longer!
With all this considered (and the approval of my Visa) I decided that my big adventure will begin on February 1, 2015. That’s just 5 months away!
So here’s the kicker…I’ve actually never been to London. Why make a big move there? First and foremost, it’s bloody LONDON! Also, I’ve been told by many that I will love it there and it’s a great homebase for travelling to other countries in Europe. And I am a great fan of British televison, tea, dry humor (and most kinds of humor), history, and british accents (aren’t we all?!).
Most of my research so far has been reading blogs and forum posts by expats (Canadian, American, Australian, New Zealand, etc.) It’s been great to get the perspective of someone who has made the big move already. The tips and suggestions have been great!
Here is a list of the blogs I’ve been reading:
1. Continue my research. Who do I know in London, near London, or who do I know who knows someone in London? (Another list – I really love making lists!)
2. Time to share the news with family and close friends (and prepare for nay sayers).