It has been 2 years since I packed up my life in the UK and moved to America. The blogger in me was hoping that by this time I’d be writing posts like ‘how to cope with homesickness’, ‘5 ways to make new friends when living overseas’ etc etc. But the truth is, I suck at being an expat. In real life, I’m struggling and far from being able to offer anyone advice on how to live overseas because I don’t know how to fix it myself. I guess the most I can offer, is that if you are feeling homesick, you’re not alone.
This is part 2 of my mini series of worldwide visa journey experiences shared by travel bloggers! This post focuses on work visas which are employment based, rather than permanent resident visas which the majority of the time are granted to those married to a foreign national. When it comes to work visas, there are typically 2 categories. Work visas for those that are looking to emigrate for a more long term basis and temporary working holiday visas (such as the USA J-1 visa which allowed me to work for 3 months on an American summer camp and then travel for a little while afterward).
For those that are regulars to my site, will know that I share a lot of tips and advice on the US visa journey. It’s a long process that has often stressed me out due to paperwork not making sense, long waiting games, slow processing speeds and horrendous medical experiences! I’m just about to start another process to remove the conditions of my Green Card and I’ve only been here two years, it’s far too soon after the first part of the process, I’m still recovering! It then got me interested into what the process is like for other nationalities and other countries and if they are stressful regardless of where in the world you are wanting to relocate to! I reached out to other travel bloggers to find out their visa journey experiences!
Yes that’s right, not only is Between England & Iowa my travel and lifestyle blog, it is now a book! “Between England and Iowa: A Year In The Life Of An Emigrating Wife” is my story all about the realities of expat life. For a whole year I kept a journal. I wrote down my expat milestones, ALL my thoughts and feelings and documented each time I came across something that sent me into culture shock!
When it comes to emigrating overseas, one thing to consider is how do you plan on getting your belongings from A to B. There are 2 choices. Do you ship your items or just move with what you can carry? I was in a position where I was able to keep a lot of my things in storage at my parents house in the UK, so when I moved I maxed out my luggage allowance with the airline I flew with (3 suitcases and 2 cabin bags!). Here are my 7 packing tips you’ll be thanking me for! Organisation will definitely make life easier when you arrive in your new country!
I hold my hands up, I’m an immigrant. I’m living in America on an immigrant visa. I know especially in the blogging community, the word ‘Expat’ is thrown around a lot and I admit this is what I tend to refer to myself as, but in fact, I am an immigrant. But can you really blame me for not really using this term at the moment? Just look at the news, it has so much bad press and I debated as to whether or not I should pipe up and say my view. But as an immigrant, and especially one that blogs about the visa process, I thought surely I should show what it’s like through my eyes?
I wasn’t too concerned about the differences of travelling on a green card, all I knew was that I HAD to make sure that little bit of plastic came with me, along with my passport, otherwise getting back into America would have been a right pain! This is my first experience travelling with one, please be aware that countries/airlines/airports may be slightly different!
Emigrating is a selfish decision. Yep I’m allowed to say it, I’m the one who emigrated after all. I made my decision knowing that leaving would upset a lot of people and it made me feel like a horrible, awful person. So I done a Q&A with my Mum, to find out the true effect on the family that’s left behind. Hopefully this will be a useful insight for other parents/’grown up’ children who are in the same situation!