Why I am moving to London

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Canadian Saver made an interesting comment on my blog entry yesterday:

Canadian Saver said...
I dunno if you've mentioned this on your blog before, but why do you want to move to London? Have you gone over there a lot in the past? How long can you legally work there for?I'm curious because I'd love to do something similar, except for me it would be France... but not permanently (maybe 3 months to 6 months tops).

I never realized that I didn't mention why I am moving to London! Doi!

Hmmm, now, how far back do I go?

I was in my 2nd year at the Criminal Justice program when I heard of the opportunity to take a 'class' that involved travelling through Europe for 3 weeks. I hadn't really considered travelling before, and I don't really know what prompted me to sign up for this class, but sign up I did.

The cost was $4,000 for three weeks. We were set to visit Germany, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, and, of course, England. During our trip we were going to have lectures, discussions and presentations from 'famous' Criminal Justice people all over Europe, as well as some tours of some prisons overseas as well. I got credits for the class as well, and I haven't ever had an easier class! During the preparation of the class, the option of extending the airplane ticket was offered. We could extend the ticket up to one week extra with no cost. I thought about staying in London (our last stop) for an extra week.

The more I planned and researched London, the more excited I got. Originally several friends wanted to come over and visit me for the week, but all of them fell through. I decided to just go it alone.

Well, needless to say that I had a great time on the trip. However, I had an even better time alone in London. I visited all sorts of stuff, and loved the freedom of doing what I wanted, when I wanted it. I had so much fun, took so many pictures, and felt like I really had a connection with the city.

I returned to Canada with every intention of returning as soon as possible. 'Soon as possible' turned out to be the following spring (spring 2007) when I decided to drag my sister to both London and Paris. She had spent the same summer I had over in Wales with a friend, but had never been to Paris. We stopped in Paris for a day while we were on the tour, but I felt like there was so much more of the city that I hadn't seen.

We had made plans to fly into London and 4 hours later, hop on the Eurostar to Paris. It was much cheaper than flying directly to Paris and I was trying to save money. Of course, I didn't count on the fact that Air Canada would lose my luggage in Toronto, there would be major delays on the Piccadilly Line, and we would get to the Eurostar terminal with 10 minutes to spare.

I've never cut anything so close before. But, luckilly we made it on the train, and we arrived in Paris just fine. My luggage arrived 3 days later courtesy of Air Canada, but since then, I have a deep paranoia of airlines losing my luggage. (BTW, The Air Canada british guy said that Toronto airport is notoriously bad at making connections: Note to self, don't fly through Toronto...)

Paris was nice, but it was when I went back to London that I really felt at home. When I am in London, I feel like I belong. I love the culture, language, even the money!

And, ever since I got home, I have considered moving there to work. Now, at least, I'm making it into a plan. I feel like now would be the best time; I have no sig. other, no children, no car, no mortgage, and few possessions. I have recently graduated and once this contract at office-job is up, i'm a free gal again.

For those interessted in the specifics. I'm going to the UK on a Working Holiday Maker VISA. It's a VISA that lets you enter the UK for up to two years, but only work a maximum of 12-months. You don't have to work that 1 year all together, it could be a month here and a month there, whatever. The VISA, according to what I've found, costs a whopping $470 bucks.

There are other VISA types, such as the Highly-Skilled Migrant VISA (which, alas, I do not quality - I don't have enough experience), or a work permit (I don't have a company to sponsor me, although if I find a job I love, I could apply for one later).

As I find out more and more about the VISA thing, I'll let you know. There's a lot of information out there, all you need to do is google "UK VISA" or "France VISA" for any information you'd need.

I'm planning on keeping this blog as long as I'm in the UK as well, so look forward to many more travel entries! And hey, maybe i'll see you in London!


Canadian Saver said...

Thank you for explaining all this :-) I figured you had gone before yep... that sounded like an awesome opportunity you had in school!

I will continue reading for sure once you are in the UK... it'll be like being on the adventure with you!!