The trailer above is oddly appropriate. Two weeks after my medical examination and my entire life is being re-evaluated and reconsidered. Over twenty years of my life being stuffed into little more than a suitcase and a 20 inch cube. Not quite a backpack, but close enough.
The last time I wrote, I was sat aboard a train to London, and shortly after I hit the post button on my touchpad, I was greeted with a lukewarm microwaved bacon roll. I seem to recall saying I hadn’t been on that train for a very long time, I think I remember why.
The medical examination was, of course, perfectly fine. Save for one booster shot my medical exam was over in less than 30 minutes and I was free to do what I wanted with the miserable weather and a day pass for the London Underground. Luckily I was able to join a fellow visa applicant for a coffee, discussing our soon to be changing circumstances as well as our excitement and worry for the weeks ahead and as we parted company I think we both gave a collective sigh of relief that we were in fact one step closer.
I trekked on down to the riverside only briefly stopping by Taylors of Old Bond Street to pick up a few goodies, before meeting an old friend for a catch up. You might know him as the Scribbler-at-law. If there’s one person who always manages to inspire me more than my fiancée, it’s him. Chris is the kind of guy who can knock at deaths door only to look at the grim reaper in the eye socket and laugh, turn around and moon him. A kind of humour and reassurance I needed while looking at the daunting task that lay ahead.
It didn’t really sink in for a few days, weeks even just what I was doing. The train journey home was uneventful. I felt no different, and nor did I really realise just what was ahead. Even when I received my appointment letter a few days later, it still didn’t quite sink in that I was moving to another country. It was only when the empty boxes arrived that everything hit home.
It hasn’t been too bad. I recovered soon afterwards and promptly filled an entire box full of ‘stuff’ that I wanted to keep, and putting a large oversized rucksack in the next practically filled that as well.
I’m anxious, as anyone would be. August 15th is the day of my interview. No, I don’t mind publicising the day that decides my fate. At the end of the day there’s no reason why I would be denied a visa, yet I still find myself in a state of utter terror of what is about to happen, and terror does not even begin to describe the feeling I have knowing that one little 15 minute chat with someone at a counter will decide if I can go to the USA or not. Even typing this is making my heart race.
There’s always more to pack, but I’ve had to make some hard decisions on what to keep and what not to keep. Even though I’ve reduced everything down by half, I still look at the little nick-nacks on my shelf and wonder how on earth I’ll package them in a box, knowing full well it’ll get tossed around on an aircraft, or worse, what I would list it as on my customs declaration.
Small thing I found while walking around Cardiff, Don’t know what it is or what it does, but I liked it so I kept it
Still, another day is coming to a close, and that means another day closer to interview.
If all goes well, I will be leaving the UK in just over a month. Jetting off for Texas on a one way ticket.
I’ve always been a perfect flyer. I’ve travelled to most of the world, taken some 200 flights and have enough experience with travel to know that the business class kits in British Airways have gone downhill, and that China Airline serves noodles with soy sauce on short haul flights (with turbulence, and chopsticks). I’ve travelled. I have zero fear of aircraft or flights or even pushy attendants. I am completely comfortable with every flight I take, except with this one, I’m scared. Maybe it’s because it’s the defining point in over 8 months of waiting. Maybe I’m just afraid some pushy airline attendant will try and open my sealed envelope from the embassy.
All I know, is that I have to fit my entire life into a few boxes, and say goodbye to a lot of people in the next month. Some of whom I may not see again for years. Some I may never see again.
On the 15th, I’ll either be happy, or sad. And If I’m sad, I don’t know what I’ll do…
Let’s see how this goes