Saturday, August 28, 2010

Visa applications sent!

Boyfriend and I both mailed off our visa applications yesterday. Time to cross our fingers and wait. We then celebrated with Wawa hoagies. Mmmmmm.

In other news, there really isn't a better way to put your relationship under a microscope quite like making plans to move to another country with someone. I miss my cat. I miss my apartment and my space. I miss all of the things I threw away in a spastic moving-day meltdown. But they're all really just THINGS, and I'll get over it and be just fine.

Anyways, as I was saying, I've been so hypercritical of our relationship lately. I ask for reaffirmation over and over that he wants me to come, as if I'm going to crack a secret code and he will unwittingly admit that no, he doesn't want me there. After I get that out of my system, I move on to "what if we hate each other when we get there?" We won't have friends or family nearby and even though it's a new country, that sounds so lonely and somewhat stifling. I think I'm worrying too much.

For now, I should still be focusing my anxiety on getting my visa and NI number, securing a bank account, and finding a place to live. The other stuff will be okay. And if it's not, I'm in EUROPE. I'll take a $30 flight to Prague or something.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pretend Conversations

When I have fake conversations in my head with my new boss, my new coworker who I will be sharing a cubicle wall with (and know nothing about except for his name and that we share a boss and a job title...and I stalked his picture and he looks fun), rude people in the tube, or other miscellaneous fake new characters in the UK, I have a hard time not putting on a faux-accent. 

I feel confident that I won't actually do this when I speak out loud with these people. Just as I can't/don't dance like the little person that dances in my brain when I hear "Technologic" or "Love Lockdown." 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Typical Anxiety-Ridden Sunday

This is my second to last Sunday working as a Graduate Research Assistant at the library at Moore College of Art & Design. It has been an amazing opportunity to make some extra money and do any research on jobs and, lately, on moving to London.

Currently, the most anxiety-inducing things on my list are:
1. I need to be out of my current apartment by August 31st. I'm hoping to move everything out on Friday and clean whenever possible so I can hand the keys to the landlord on Monday. Since I'm (hopefully--visa pending) moving abroad, I'm getting rid of all of my furniture. And sadly, my little guinea pig. I don't want to drop him at an already-crowded shelter, but it's looking probable. Sad face.
2. Getting a bank account. I applied with Barclay's for an international account but am worried about the minimum salary requirements. If they go by the salary for my new job, I qualify. If they take into consideration my current salary, I do not. I think I'll call tomorrow and bug them again. Me and Chloe at Barclay's are BFF these days, and I need to change my address, either way.
3. Visa. I'm being sponsored for an intracompany transfer under Tier 2. I should be okay, but can't help fret about it, anyways.
4. Timing! I am begging all of the gods in the ether to make it so Boyfriend and I can travel and apartment-hunt together. If we can't... well, at least it will make for some interesting writing, no?
5. Getting out of my cell phone plan. Good thing I re-signed for a two year contract TWO DAYS before getting offered the job in London. Apparently it's nearly impossible to avoid the $350 @#@$%)$#%&#$*)#@&* early termination fee. Am considering telling them I've been deployed, since that appears to be the only get out of jail free card. But I can't really prove that. Maybe I can convince a customer service rep that Elsevier is a secret branch of the military? We used to deal arms, you know.

All of the expat blogs I've been reading have helped me tremendously. I know it's normal to freak out the way I've been freaking out. I just. GAH.

I just shrug sometimes and hope I'm doing everything correctly. I suppose the visa is the most important thing at this point. Once that is in my hands, everything else can hopefully be figured out.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

This Started as a Blog About Trying to Find Library Work, but Now Something Awesomer has Arrived

I started this blog as a way to stay in touch with the library community and to keep myself writing. But then, life got weird. So let's reevaluate.

In 3 to 6 weeks, depending on the visa processing skillz of the UK Border Agency, I will be moving to London to continue with my current career in publishing. In sticking with the original theme, I do hope to find part-time library work, or at least volunteer at one of London's amazing museums or libraries. But first I'm going to do everything I can to enjoy London and learn it all as much as possible. 

So far, things have been tricky. My employer is sponsoring my work visa, so I'm on their timeline. My last day at both jobs is in 2-3 weeks, and who knows whether I'll be leaving at that point or if I'll have two weeks to putz around Philadelphia as cheaply as possible. 

I am trying to secure a bank account before I get over there to make things easier, but that has also morphed into a WHO KNOWS! conundrum. For me, the best option was to open a Barclay's International account, but of course I've run into so many complications it's not even funny. Truly, I don't know what I'm going to do. I paid $40 to send the paperwork global priority to try to expedite the process since, again, I don't know when exactly I'll be leaving the US, and received an email on Friday saying my application had been cancelled per my request. Meanwhile, I had spoken to a representative previously explaining the situation, and she assured me that all was well and the application would not be cancelled. This is a misunderstanding that I hope can be straightened out on Monday.

I'm terrifed to have to find an apartment on my own. Boyfriend, who will be studying at Kings College of London, also does not know when his visa will allow him to head over yonder. So we're both waiting. I pray that we'll be able to travel together. Otherwise, this may be the last you hear from me, since I'll be huddled in a cold, damp ball somewhere on a London street corner.


One interesting phenomenon so far is that I can't be excited enough. People ask whether you're excited, and you say yes, and it always feels like I'm letting them down. There is no way to adequately express the excitement. No emphasis or amount of expletives seems good enough. The high is not what they'd expected or something. There is also no way to adequately explain how surreal and somewhat terrifying the whole thing is. I know I am being given an opportunity so incredibly precious and special, but there are so many unknowns. There is homesickness on the horizon. Inevitable tears. Adjusting to living with Boyfriend, who will be stressed about school in his own right. New job. New boss. Not a familiar face to be had except for Boyfriend. He is wonderful, but friends are nice, too.

In summation: this is huge. I will not love London the way tourists love London. I will be living there. It will hopefully come to feel like home, and I'll love it for all of its quirks the way I love Philly. We'll see!