Yeah, did I speak too soon or what…
So the bigger thing you should apparently worry about when moving your life to another country, even if it’s to a country that your own country is on benevolent terms with, is making sure your travel paperwork is in order. And not last minute. And if it’s not, don’t go to the country until it is.
I didn’t do those things. I was so worried about leaving the US, that I really didn’t pay enough attention to the details of getting into the UK. As such, I didn’t really know that you have to have everything all buckled up before you get there. Oops! 8 hours of detainment and a prompt flight home taught me a lesson I will never forget. Do not underestimate paperwork.
SO, since I am a “teach a man to fish” sort of thing, I thought I would share more tips, just in case you ever have to make the move yourself.
- READ EVERYTHING. 4 or 5 times. Really – skimming over a paragraph that details some random original document you need from your university that you haven’t talked to in 15 years can cause all kinds of trouble. Seriously.
- GIVE YOURSELF TIME. I am a master at planning and scheduling. What I am not a master at is giving myself more than enough wiggle room. This usually is fine for me, but in total black box situations like this, the more time the better.
- ALLOW TIME TO BE EMOTIONAL. I hate this bullet point. I am not an emotional person, well, not the sad, weepy kind, at least. I didn’t factor in my family acting like I was moving to the moon or going to war, which took a bunch of time to sort out.
- DON’T DOUBLE BOOK/PAINT YOURSELF INTO A CORNER. This could take the form of scheduling a big meeting for the day or week you arrive or say, inviting many family members to vacation as soon as you arrive. The latter was the case with me and I had to ask my wonderful family to cancel their vacation due to my planning missteps. Not fun. (They are going to come out later in the fall/autumn, no worries)
I am still not done with the process, but thankfully my gracious hosts are letting me work remotely until I get it all sorted out. I am gonna work really hard at not making a “Part 3” to this blog post. 😉