British Expat Moving to USA - Future Expat Interview With Molly
|Published:||3 Oct at 11 AM|
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Here's the interview with Molly...
Where are you originally from?
I am originally from the UK and have lived in a few places: Hertfordshire, Cornwall, London, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire then Cornwall again.
In which country and city are you relocating to?
I will be making my big expat move on October 4th 2013 and will be living in Ohio, USA so, as I write my answers, I am currently still in Cornwall, UK.
How long are you planning to stay?
I have yet to make my big move, but I am going to be living in the US for the rest of my life - that is the plan anyway! I will never say 'never' to returning to the UK, but my life plan is to stay in the US.
I am moving to the US to be with my husband who is a citizen. We have been in an LDR (long distance relationship) for over 4 years and have encountered many delays along our visa journey, so when I get there, it will be the most wonderful reunion.
I am a teacher (primary) by trade with over ten years experience and gave up my job in an academy in Swindon as I finished my visa process. I love being a teacher, and may continue / look into it in the US, but was rather disillusioned with the education system here in the UK, so may try something new (probably using my teaching degree in some way).
Will you bring family with you?
No,my husband and I do not have any children yet, so it is just me making the move.
How do you think you will cope with the transition of living in a foreign country?
As I am yet to move, I can only give an impression of what I think it will be like, but having made contact with many fellow expat bloggers, I think it will have a 'honeymoon' period where everything is new and exciting, and then normal life catches up. I think I will find it a little easier than some, as one of the biggest hurdles to get over is language, and as English is spoken in the US, it makes it less daunting. I will write more on this transition on my blog and I am sure I will encounter difficulties, some of which will be unexpected, I am sure.
Will it be easy making friends and meeting people; will you mainly socialise with other expats?
My main starting point will be my husband, and meeting more of his friends (I have met some great people when I was last in the US). I will probably seek out other expats if I can, but I am aware that the area I am moving to does not have a large or overly noticeable expat community.
I will join various groups that interest me and hopefully make some friends along the way. I have also made plans with some other bloggers (not just expat blogs) who live in Ohio, so have some contacts already.
There are some great parks and a wonderful place called Lake Eerie to visit, plus a drive-in movie theatre, which I have yet to go to but is on my list of things to do.
There are also quite a number of fun festivals held in various parts of Ohio, and I will be keen to get to a few of them - I would recommend this for other expats too.
What will you enjoy most about living in the US?
To be honest, it is simply being with my husband and having a life together.
How do you think the cost of living in the US will compare to UK?
This was a major factor in deciding where to live (my husband could have come to the UK). We looked at it very carefully, and even though I would earn a decent wage in the UK (and the US if I continue teaching) my husband's earning potential would be considerably less in the UK. Also, generally, the day-to-day costs are less expensive in the US, but with one major issue/expense being healthcare - here in the UK it is free.
Having looked at it all, we decided we would have a better chance at a decent standard of living in the US.
What negatives, if any, are there to living in USA?
As mentioned above, it is the issue/expense of healthcare - I am so used to having access whenever I like to medical assistance without having to worry of I am covered by insurance or can afford the help. That will be quite a culture shock when I get there.
Get out and about and learn what is in your area and how to find your way around, and be open to getting to know the traditions/cultures around you.
What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
So far (without having made the big move yet) it has been the visa process. The separation from my husband and the difficulties and delays we experienced with our paperwork were, at times, crushing. I do not think the delays we experienced are the norm when applying for a visa, but it made our time apart much longer than it should have been.
What are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
- Look at the living costs carefully and make a decision based on if you have a chance at a decent/better standard of living. It would be awful to move somewhere and constantly struggle.
- Make sure you know what to expect from the visa process involved in your case and the fees that go with it. Always have enough money and a little extra for unforseen problems/delays.
- Learn about where you are going, especially if there are major cultural differences between where you live and where you are moving to.
- If it is the US you are moving to, make sure you know about the healthcare system and how you can access it.
- Be open to the new experiences and people you will meet, get out in your local area and get to know where you live.
I started my blog as a place to update my friends and family with how my visa prcoess was progressing and to put my thoughts about it all in one place. It has grown since then and I blog regulary on how the visa process works, and how I have kept my marriage going at a distance. I give advice and support to anyone going through the visa journey or who are in an LDR and will continue to blog about my experiences of reconnecting with my husband after so many years apart and the observations I have on life in America.
How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
I am happy to help anyone out and can be contacted through my blog - there ia a contact form and various other links to connect with me.
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Comments » There are 5 comments
I'm excited to read about your first experiences after the move. Great interview!
Hi Molly, Whereabouts in Ohio are you moving to? I'm from Liverpool and live in Lima, Ohio. If you need any help , or just a chat please e mail. Take care, Wendy
Hi Molly, great interview! It seems that you have moved to Ohio yet. Just wanted to tell you that there is actually a huge community of British Expats in Columbus /I don't know what area are you moving to/ and you may find some on web "British Expats in Columbus on meetup.com/. Good luck!
Thanks for all the comments! I have been busy settling in over the past few months and am just about getting things organised. It certainly has been a real change - one I am really enjoying - and there is a lot to get used to!