Step by step

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.

image

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!

3. RESEARCH
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:

http://thedancegrad.com/4-things-must-know-moving-london/

http://www.jessinbelgium.com/the-thing-no-one-tells-you-about-moving-to-london/#comments

http://www.coffee-and-heels.com/2013/06/moving-to-london-dos-and-donts.html?m=1

http://www.londonlotta.com/how-to-move-to-london/

http://www.theaussienomad.com/travel-tips/moving-to-london/

http://www.london-on-the-cheap-guide.com

Next steps:
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).

………………..

Cheers!
Lisa

make a change

Take a chance. Make a change.

We are young.
Living moment to moment.
We are free.
With no promises, no regrets.
Life is a battlefield.

Ok, so I know these aren’t the actual words to Pat Benatar’s “Love is a battlefield”. But I love the sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs tune and these wordswork much better for my situation. I am not desparately in love. I am desparately trying to find my way in life.  (I have a case of the twenty-something-itis)

I went to school, got a job, and live in the big city with my dog. It’s all good. But not great. (Except for my dog – he’s great!) I feel lost. As though each new year has flown by faster than the last, but I’m stuck, getting older, but not better.

I can’t help but compare where I am in life to where my peers are. What I notice is that my peers are at that stage where they are progressing in their careers, buying houses, getting married and even having children. I am no where near that stage. I am not earning nearly enough to even consider a mortgage and my relationship status is desparately single with a good chance of spinsterhood (I’m far too picky, insecure, and overly independent). This was all very depressing.

Note to self: refrain from comparing your life to others. It will only end in tears and cookies.

So, I have spent the last year feeling aimless, uninspired, and ashamed of my lack of progress…essential I am sucking at my game of life. But then I had a light bulb moment.

No, my job isn’t great, I don’t have a husband, a mortgage, or baby in the oven…and that is the perfect position to be in to make a big move! I DON’T HAVE ANY COMMITMENTS! (Except for my furbaby, but I’ll figure that out later).

I can do what many others now wish they could do. I’m going to move to LONDON!
image

Immediately after that light bulb lit up (my guiding light you might say), I began to feel like I had a purpose again. I have something to look forward to. A new challenge to take on!

And so, here begins my journey from my home in Canada to my new adventure across the pond in England. I am both extremely excited and petrified, but what is life without challenges and change?
image

Next steps:

  1. Make a plan (research, research, and more research)
  2. Break the news to my family (always have the plan ready first!)

………………..

Cheers!
Lisa