Moving to London – step by step.

So now that I’ve decided to make a big move to London (eeeee!), I have to get the ball rolling and make this dream happen. Sure, my idea to move to London was somewhat spontaneous, but I can’t just up and move there on a whim. I need to do research, make plans, and create some lists…actually, lots of lists.

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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. According to the website it is best to submit your application 3 – 3.5 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.
1. I want to finish off the year with my current employer. It will be a cleaner break that way and will give me time to train my replacement. Also, if I stay the full year, l (hopefully) will be able to get the performance bonus.
2. I would like to spend Christmas with my family and friends since I won’t be seeing them for many holidays after that.
3. I’m using these few months to save as much money as possible and hopefully provide a little financial cushion during my first couple month abroad.
4. Flights are cheaper in the winter months.
5. I don’t think I could wait any longer!

With all this considered, I decided that February 1, 2015 eill be a good day to move… that’s only 5 months away!

Step 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://randomlylondon.com/moving/

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

http://journey-to-london.com

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

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4 thoughts on “Moving to London – step by step.

  1. londiniumproject says:

    Lisa, good luck with your impending move. Hope you’re having fun making plans. One thing you might want to look at before the actual move is to see if you can open a UK bank account before you move. You’ll need it to rent an apartment or even get a local phone. In our experience, opening a local bank account can be tricky and might take some time, so getting a head start would be beneficial.

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks Ian! I’m both excited and nervous for the move, especially since I don’t have a job lined up (gulp). Your guide is very helpful and has given me some great tips! I may have some questions for you soon though….

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