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Thoughts about preparing to moving from the UK to America

Let me try and keep this staccato.. You have probably noticed that my editing skills are still somewhat underdeveloped!

What kind of life have I had until now? Well.. In brief: I moved to the UK before I turned 20 and let’s just say I arrived by international bus with 3 suitcases, a guitar case and a duvet (which I still have) and I think I would need 3 removal vans if I kept everything and tried to bring it with me.. Note, my move requires crossing the Atlantic Ocean.. So there can be no armada of removal vans, something will have to give way, and it looks like it has to be my attachment to my Art works, my art materials, my library of books, my clothes of which I have thrown none away in well over a decade, furniture can’t come at all, but maybe I can keep (in storage) a favourite item or two…. That’s just for starters.

So I felt quite settled here in the UK for a long time but then again, in retrospect despite the many similarities between Germans and British people, even if I looked the same as people here you will always remain not the same. A foreigner maybe will never stop being a foreigner.. For the longest time I thought this was my home. I spoke about people around myself and me as ‘us’, always. Until about 7-8 years ago when I noticed that I am not part of this country but just a friendly guest.. Around about then I ran into my partner while we both prepared breakfast meals in a kitchen in a hostel in Venice.. The rest is a 7.5 year meandering history of an intercontinental romance that continues to this day.

When last year the Brexit vote was announced I wasn’t really surprised and in our case, while it is really deeply uncomfortable to not know if in the future I could live here I think it is a help to consider that this really is a time to make decisions. So we are moving to America

It is complicated to leave the UK on a shoestring budget no less. And making it more tricky are the little glitches: I accidentally got talked into signing another year contract with the worst internet company that there is (I’ll be nice and not make this personal, but if you were to insist then I would tell you..) so well… well actually, I likely will sublet my apartment in England for one more year after I officially move countries.. It just makes sense in my mind (and attached to my home soul) but more about that another time I think.

SO! What do I do to get ready to leave!?! 

It is seriously really, really hard. It is a sort of grieving with a sometimes overwhelming amount of stress. I wake almost every morning, once before sunrise and once at waking time with the thought : “NOooooooo, I want to stay here, in my home, in my bed, in the nest I built for so long…. I don’t want to fly all the time, I don’t want to worry about immigration all the time I want a regular normal existence.. aaargh…..” By the time I fully wake up my panic usually ebbs away and I relax. I know this is the life I chose, the love I chose, the eccentricity that is my life…

It is REALLY hard to let go of things, the comforts that I have identified with for so long! 

Selling as many things as I can on Ebay and then also noticing how many things that I spent so much time listing others simply don’t care about, and these things remain unsold.. But while they lay here waiting for an Ebay bidder to buy them I get restless. I see things that I love and want to keep but that also I must say goodbye to. I am super attached to my life’s possessions, big and small! It is super hard for me to let them go. The last thing I want to deal with is the stagnation that occurs when items have to be listed multiple times before they finally find their new ‘forever-home’… (I know, I am a little weird..)

Thank heavens for Ebay though! The income, from these sales, is a saving grace, clearing my home is taking spectacularly much energy and time and is causing all manner of stress. Having at least a few pennies along the way is a big help.

What upsets me a little is how I can’t seem to sell my nice drawings. It is a worry. Do I need to throw them away? That feels so, so wrong! And then I had hoped that by getting good feedback on the drawings I could then move upwards and sell my high end photographic prints for a good sum of money. But without art related feedback I won’t be able to sell these photographs..

Do you mind if I keep rambling a little longer?

The last years of moving between America and England (I have had the green card for a while already) has caused a lot of disconnect without really bringing much new that could offer stability. I have felt very disorientated living between 2 places and I lost a lot of social networking connections. You would think life was exciting but in my experience it can be really hard when you are grieving for leaving your life behind to begin a new one. Some people are able to do it with so much enthusiasm while I was just really scared all the time and really isolated, too.

Nonetheless it still makes sense to brace myself and dive in! I had hoped to empty my apartment much more by now than I have managed to, I did want to reach a certain target by May 1st and it just isn’t looking like I’ll make it in time! May 1st because my partners visa for the UK expires on the 14th and I would like quality time with him here that isn’t this constant stressful: “argh! How to let go of things!?!?!” However do YOU do it, in case you a re here by chance and in a similar moving situation?

I am sad for the friendships and memories that I will have to leave behind. But I need a regular routine again, less of this constant not knowing… (Ironically I do plan on a lot of travel in the next years but I will tell you about that another time)..


Are you any wiser? Me neither. I am apparently creating a giant mess in these blog posts.

Could you help me by sending me questions?

Questions related to moving continents, letting go of things, relationships with friends and how it feels to be a stranger in a new place? Or questions about life in California / America ? I think questions would help me find a better direction for these blog posts! And maybe I should impose a word count and pre write the content before posting it here! 

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