To The Big Smoke

It started when I was about eight or nine and would dream of the day that I could go back to famed London where I was proudly born. Where my parents so happily met, married and had me.

Nearly four years ago now I met the love of my life and after he finished college and we moved out of his dorm room into a small apartment downtown, we started talking about where we were going to go one day. Since we’d met I’d been telling him about my “itch”… the feeling that where I was… wasn’t necessarily it. The sappy and cliche “your life begins when you want it to” motto was getting to me and I felt like I was existed but not living. We’d had adventures together but where was our big city living? Originally I thought it was going to be LA but after visiting a few months ago and seeing the devastation that the virus has left in it’s wake and speaking with actor friends and industry professionals I’ve grown up with, I established the town would never be the same again. The dream couldn’t be LA.

We transitioned to Vegas a year ago and I was still left wondering where to go next. The itch hasn’t left me a single day since we’ve been here. Moving states wasn’t enough.

Eight year old me has been popping her head in more frequently these days, reminding me that I owe it to her to stop making excuses and go on that adventure. The real one. So I sat my fiancé down and we started sketching out plans, spitballing and throwing ideas out to see if anything would stick. We’d stayed in the heart of London for a five total days last December and loved every second we were there. When we landed I felt like I was home, and despite spraining my knee, strep throat and a body that barely limped into bed at the end of each day long day I had never been happier.

My fiancé has been tossing around going back for his Master’s since he graduated. Foreign affairs and counter-terrorism has been a focal point for him and with tuition abroad so much less expensive but more expansive than the states, eight year old me was singing. A way in! a reason to go! more than just the Itch.

So the new plan became this; pack up and leave everything behind for University and a new somewhat known future by December 1st, 2020. I booked our one way tickets a few weeks ago and my fiancé has already flown out to the LA consulate to renew his Romanian passport.

Getting into the country is difficult with Brexit and tightening restrictions on anyone who has lived in the US because of the virus. I’m no issue because I have a British passport but my fiancé doesn’t want to be restricted (or potentially denied) on a student or work Visa so he is aiming for pre-settlement. Something that is achievable because of his Romanian citizenship and the fact that Romania is part of the EU until the end of December.

Moving in 34 days. Across the country. We won’t know a single soul.

I have electricity in my veins and so much hope in this little heart. I’m going home.

In all my searching and hours of research on where to move to in London, the night-life and social norms, how the grocery shops work and transportation, and despite over 10 million people living in London… I’ve found little help online. Most of everyone identifies as an expat but that word doesn’t really apply to us. There are YouTube videos from a few years ago from individuals moving to the UK but they are outdated in light of Covid and only touch on broad topics such as expense and how difficult making friends can be. They don’t break down different areas of London or places that young couples should consider moving to – they don’t discuss social queues and etiquette you should maybe know. Where are the dryers in the UK! oh you mean there aren’t any? Oh wait, the washing machine doubles as a dryer??

The nuances of London are hush hush. I’ve already gone through about eight leasing agents, rejecting them because they flatly ignored me, were downright rude and terrible or accusatory (in some fashion). How does one even go about renting a flat in England? There are no YouTube videos to help with this, other than the ones complaining about expense.

We’re navigating so much of this blind. I keep getting so much wrong and every day a new road block is presented, either something financially or in regards to entering the country, or family or friends being unsupportive. So many of my friends don’t understand the desire to leave the amazing country of the USA. I’ve been privileged enough to spend most of my life here but it’s time to move onto something else; and while everyone snubs their noses at me, they don’t want to explain why the US is so much “better” than the UK. Other than to tell me I’m making a mistake. But I just want to go home.

We’re getting so close now. I want to remember this journey so I’m going to record as much of it as possible. I haven’t published a YouTube video in a long 3 months because moving has shouldered everything else out of the way. But when we’re there I want to film and edit again, vlog the move and the new city, and I’m even dragging my enormous iMac with me all the way to the UK because that’s what I edit on.

Stay tuned I suppose. xx

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