Moving and Changes and Visas, Oh My! An update on living abroad in Scotland and life with Joe

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When you meet someone that you love, nothing seems to be as easy as simply being with them. At least in mine and Joe’s circumstances this is the case anyway, we really do love to be in one another’s company. Just like any relationship though, we do have our ups and downs and our own issues to deal with, some of them mundane and some more unique than others.

Joe and I might have met on Instagram, which makes for a great story but it’s not what keeps us on our toes. What is most challenging at times is that we are a couple from opposite ends of the world, with different citizenships, trying to make a home in a country that neither of us are citizens of. Part of us being together is working to find a mutual place we get to work and call home.

Sometimes my life seems a little wild. 

I hear from a lot of you via Facebook, Instagram and email checking in to see how I am, how I’m enjoying Scotland and just what the plan is next! Considering most of you know that I am an Australian and on a two year visa, you know that my allotted time in the UK is coming to a close. What does this means for Joe and myself? Well, to be honest, I’ve been hesitant to share what this means for us, because there is quite a lot going on, a lot of which we don’t have full control over.

Personally, I like to consider myself as a fairly calm person, I am not overly bothered by much and don’t believe in the word ‘stress’ as a general rule. However, I would say that in the last few months, the stable ground that I normally rest upon has started to shift a little. 2019 is going to be an interesting year for us and I am writing this post to share our current situation in the best and most appropriate way possible. 

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Now, there are some big changes and challenges that Joe and I have been aware of from the word go in our relationship. However, a few more that have come along the way to surprise us.

As a whole these are:

  • My Visa ending in April 2019

  • Brexit March 2019 (depending on who you ask)

  • My current job being up for funding in April 2019

  • Joe moving to London in January 2019

That’s right folks, my Joe is moving to London for a career experience for five months at the beginning of 2019. So for those of you that have asked me in the last few months just what our plan is, if you have received a rather vague, ‘I don’t know’ kind of answer, well that’s why! We really haven’t known!

So one thing at a time I guess, the first being that Joe will be moving to London in January. I know. I know. It’s hard for me to even imagine it. What am I going to do without him? Who is going to make me breakfast?! But all silliness aside, Joe has been offered an amazing opportunity with his employer to go and get some career furthering experience down in London. I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be a big deal for us to be apart for this long, we’ve done long distance before but not since we’ve been living together. It’s very much bittersweet as for all intents and purposes, I’ll be staying here in Edinburgh until I know more about what’s happening with my own job.

My job! Well, this isn’t the biggest part the update, not by a mile but as some of you will know I work for a third party organisation, a Scottish charity to be exact. The project that I work for is up for re-funding in March/April 2019 and I have all my fingers crossed that it goes through. However, not having this job/income security as so many of you will know is not a fun thing. Considering my situation with having so much unknown it would make sense for me to apply for other jobs with longevity, except, who wants to hire an immigrant when their visa is about to run out? There is the option that I could move to London with Joe considering he will be there for five months, but is five months there worth losing our beautiful flat in Edinburgh? Also, more importantly than all that, I do some amazingly meaningful work and if I can continue with it, I will. Playing this conundrum out to see how and where the chips fall is important but I have considered my options, don’t worry about that.

The last two little hurdles that we will need to overcome are the ones that we have the least control over and that is visa applications and Brexit. I guess this is a little scary to talk and write about because there is still so much in the air, so forgive me for not sharing as many details as I would like…

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Joe and I have been together for over two years now and we have decided that instead of moving somewhere else in Europe we’ll try to stay in the UK. We had considered moving to somewhere in Scandinavia and Joe nearly had me convinced during our recent trip to India that Copenhagen was a great idea! But then he was offered and accepted his career experience in London. However, I’m sure that if Joe can get me to move to Denmark in 2020 that’s where we’ll be! But for now, especially with Joe in London next year we are going to try and apply for a visa based on our relationship. Now, this is where I won’t be going into any detail at all because it is too important for me to do so. Me being able to stay with Joe and he being able to stay with me is our main priority and we don’t want to jeopardise that in any way. We are however in the process of never ending paperwork - wish us luck!

The last little thing that we haven’t let escape our notice is that Brexit is going to happen at some point early next year, (aka Britain Exits Europe). Joe is European but has been living in the UK for quite a long time so he shouldn’t be negatively impacted in any way, however we do have to be aware that paperwork processes for applications could change in the fallout.  Once our visa paperwork leaves out hands, the whole thing will quite literally be out of our hands. A large part of me thinks, ‘there’s nothing to worry about’ and the other part of me says, ‘it’s still something to keep in mind.’ I’m currently trying to find the in-between ground here and do know that whatever happens, we’ll figure it out. 

Oh and did I mention that Joe and I will be filing and completing all of this paperwork before he leaves for London? Because if not we’ll have to commute back and forwards between Edinburgh and London to get it done together! I am honestly rolling my eyes as I write this, paperwork is the worst.

A lot is up in the air around the March/ April time of 2019 and I have to say that the unsettled feeling that it gives me is not entirely negative. Yes, it’s always nice to know what your plans are, where you’ll be calling home and where you’re next pay cheque will be coming from. However, having some uncertainty around these things has opened my eyes a little. I am in a very privileged position here and it doesn’t escape my notice. What it has done is make me take more ownership of my life and the parts of it that I do have complete control over and I urge you to do the same. 

I hope this has answered some of your questions about what Joe and mine’s plan is for the foreseeable future and when we do have news about where life is taking us next, I’ll be sure to let you know!

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In the meantime drop me a note in the comments below, I’d love to know what’s new in your life :)