If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I recently (two months ago) had to move back home to the states. Before you jump to conclusions, I want to add, that this was NOT a permanent move.
My “move to London” was a temporary one,
as I was adjusting to a new country and seeing whether I could truly see myself living there. Sonny and I explored several different visa options including attempting to get an employer to sponsor my visa and all of our attempts failed. After we finally went to see a lawyer after months of this impending doom following us around, we were told that I had to leave the country or face deportation. 🙁
So I had to uproot my life that I had gotten so comfortable with, and come back home.
North Beach, San Francisco. View of the Financial District
And home did not feel the same upon my arrival.
Not only was it sooooo hard to leave. I cried for days. But I actually tried to look for loopholes on how I could somehow remain. Sad but true.
Sonny and I had thought we were doing everything correctly in order to get my visa. The UK immigration site was very confusing. Basically, they have a section of their immigration page where it says “extend your visa in the UK”, which makes it sound like you can come into the UK and extend your visa if you feel the need to remain with your family and partner. Since Sonny is from the UK I thought that I could apply from the UK and remain.
We found out a month before my visa expired that I had to apply from the US and that it could take three months to get approved. In addition, your partner has to be earning a certain amount of income and be with his employer with a certain amount of time, in addition to numerous stipulations. Sonny recently switched employers in April.
Painted Ladies, Alamo Square
Long story short I left the UK on the most depressing day ever, June 9th and headed back home to San Francisco on my 11-hour flight. It sucked. Both Sonny and I tried so hard not to cry.
But this is something quite common in the UK. As a result of their immigration laws, many partners and families are kept separate from their mothers and fathers due to the strict immigrations laws the country has in place. (More on that here).
Sonny and I had an idea that we would have to deal with this situation eventually but when it came it was awful.
When I arrived home, it didn’t feel right. I had been away for nearly two years in two different countries, I almost didn’t feel American anymore. I didn’t feel like I could fit in with San Francisco anymore. I walked too fast, didn’t smile to people on the street, didn’t make eye contact, wasn’t as chilled out anymore, maybe I was becoming a Londoner after all?
Washington Square Park, North Beach
In addition, I had to find a job and felt like I was starting from scratch and it was very discouraging.
Lots of assumptions were made and I got tired of people inquring on every little detail.
You can set a timeline all you want with visa applications but they are unpredictable.
My ideal goal was to leave by the end of the summer. I quickly learned upon my arrival that, that was not going to happen.
Foggy July 4th morning from Alamo Square
When I arrived here I learned that I may possibly have a heart condition and my doctor prescribed the usage of a Xio Patch (heart monitor) for two weeks.
Moreover, I have been blessed with multiple job projects (Pinterest Management, Social Media Management for Fitness Studios, and I reopened my personal training business, oh and I have a full-time Job ha).
So by now, you may be curious. Is she ever going to go back?
Now more than ever I have realized that living abroad is what I want to do. Living abroad and with Sonny was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
I will be returning to the UK hopefully by the end of this year, once I’ve been cleared medically and have finished out my work projects. So look out for a post on my visa process.
I know on Instagram, living abroad can seem like a happily ever after. It’s not. Because sometimes you have to go home. Sometimes you have to leave the person you love and your family to be somewhere you don’t want to be. I didn’t want to come home. But I made it work. I’m also not the only one. There are thousands of men/women/children who as a result of the immigration process have to be separated from their families for months and even years at a time. But I’m so looking forward to being back in the UK with my family again, but for now, enjoy my SF posts on Instagram and look forward to some SF blog posts.
Me and My Better Half
Want to Know What It’s Like to Live Abroad? Check out the following posts:
- What It’s Like to Quit Your Job and Move Abroad
- Reflections on My Year In the Bahamas
- What It’s Like for An American Living In London
- 47 Things to Expect When Moving to London
- Ten Tips For Moving Abroad with Your Significant Other