Expatriate

Well, I made it.

It’s been just under a month since I arrived into the ‘Land of the Free’, ‘Home of the brave’ and the state that despite being ranked the “Third worst in the nation for healthcare”, is home to two cities which according to Money Magazine are the best places to live in the USA, home to the safest city in America (forbes) and The best city in the USA to get rich (Dallas Business Journal) and coincidentally, where I now live.

Yup, I’ve made it to the 28th State that was once French, Spanish and Mexican in that order. Texas. Home to some 25.5 million people and me and yet despite the French ancestry I still cannot find a decent croissant. (Well, ‘Crescent Roll’. Apparently croissant was too complicated)

Despite the tearful goodbyes that were had at 2am when I left the journey itself was relatively smooth sailing. Security at Heathrow paid no attention to my envelope, and security at the gate thankfully left me alone. Despite horror stories of long wait times, I was in and out of Dallas Fort-Worth airport in a little over two hours (trust me, that’s quick for DFW).

So far, things have been smooth if rather busy. Everyone is friendly and BBQ really is everywhere. Fortunately I have a lot to carry on with in the run up to the wedding before an entirely new visa process and more moths of waiting begin. Hopefully though, this one will be a little easier to cope with since I won’t have to be alone for most of it.

For now I’m off to enjoy a little more of the weather. It might be cold for Texans, but it certainly isn’t for me!

24 hours to go…

Well, the boxes are packed, the two suitcases are full and predictably my last day in the UK is turning into a very cold and grey one. There are now 24 hours until my flight takes off and I leave the UK for the foreseeable future.

Nervous? Yes of course. For all the reasons I’ve discussed before and then some. Actually, I’m not really nervous about the move itself. Anyone can do ‘a move’ and everyone does at some point, it’s nothing special even if it is to another continent.

My nerves stem from the fact that rather unusually I have almost zero control over anything, and that if either myself or my better half have made even the slightest mistake it could make this entire move redundant and leave me facing deportation and a three year ban from the USA.

There’s also the fact that in my hand luggage is an envelope containing a folder that the US Embassy gave me. It’s sealed. If one overzealous security guard in Heathrow airport decides to break that seal, my journey will be over before it even begins and the US Embassy will have to re-seal the envelope at considerable cost to myself and there is no guarantee they actually will.

I’m sure things will be fine. There are some two thousand individuals and couples who immigrate to the USA on the K and CR visas every year from the UK and soon I’ll be one of them. Both myself and my better half have been planning and arranging for 8 months. We have huge folders full of information, bookings, contingency plans and more.

We’re ready and prepared right down to the last cent and second. We both know exactly what’s going on and where we need to be with a level of precision akin to most military operations. It is however still frightening that one little tear in an envelope could spell disaster.

Still, UPS will be here shortly to pick up my boxes and check-in for my flight has opened. Nothing left to do but walk the dog and wait.

Let us hope that military precision I was referring to more closely resembles the British or American military forces, and not the forces from Costa Rica or Pakistan.