This blog is quite dramatic these days, isn’t it?
First, there was my blow-up at the Boston marathon, then my mom’s passing, and now this one…
Today’s post is kind of a BIG one…But this one is positive!
It’s been in the works for several months, but I didn’t want to share anything until it was absolutely certain.
We are moving to London!
Dustin was offered a really great opportunity through the same firm, but in their London office. After we decided it was something we wanted to do as a family unit (a unit of 2 people, 2 dogs!), I then talked to my manager to ask for approval to transfer to our London office (fortunately we have an office there too!) She was very supportive and excited, and the transfer was approved pretty quickly.
We’ve been keeping this a ‘secret’ as there was a lot of uncertainty around the timing. The U.K. Immigrations office has been behind due to Covid, staffing shortages, and then the Ukrainian war refugee crisis. Some visa applicants have to wait up to 6 months to get their visas! The standard pre-pandemic wait time was 15 working days; ours took close to 50 working days (from the date of our biometrics appointment.)
Now that we have the visas, things are moving quickly. We are scheduled to move on July 7th. Yep, less than 3 weeks away!
The delay with the visa was challenging to manage at the time; (we couldn’t plan anything more than 3-4 weeks out), but honestly, I think it was meant to be, as I was able to be here in my mom’s last days and then for her funeral, which was very important. It all worked out for the best.
What about Ruth and Matilda?
They are coming with us! We would not go if they couldn’t come, they are our children. This is going to be their big adventure; Ruth and Matilda move to London!
Dustin’s relocation package includes the expense of relocating the dogs, which means we are working with the great people at WorldCare Pet Transport. The pups will not travel as checked luggage (that isn’t even allowed for international travel), but will be in a special dog-specific part of a plane under the pilots. This area is temperature and pressure controlled. They will fly on a KLM flight from Chicago to Amsterdam. The people at WorldCare Pet Transport will accompany them through customs in Amsterdam and drive them to London to be reunited with us.
Of course this part of the move is the part that stresses me out the MOST, but people move internationally all the time with pets; I will have to try to control my anxiety around this part…
Where are you living?
We will be in furnished corporate housing for the first month while we work with a realtor to find a 2-3 bedroom flat to rent. We have some ideas on the neighborhoods we want to consider; Dustin’s office is on the east side of London near the Liverpool station, my office is close to Piccadilly Circus on the west side, so we are hoping to be somewhere in the middle so neither of us has a long commute on the tube. We also would like to be close to a park for the dogs and some running trails.
What about the 50 states goal?
Running a marathon in every state is still a lifelong ong goal. I’m not too worried about taking a little break from that pursuit, or maybe we’ll be able to check off some states when we come back to visit throughout the years.
Instead, we plan to switch gears and focus on European marathons for awhile instead as we take advantage of cheap travel within Europe. This fall, we are looking at Amsterdam, Cologne, Frankfurt, Graz, or Dublin, which are all in October. Any recommendations?
Have you spent much time in London?
Not a ton, no. Most recently, we were there for the London Marathon. Read a recap HERE and a bit more on that trip HERE.
I’ve also been there a handful of times for work and one other time for pleasure and never for more than a week at a time. But that’s okay! We are excited for this new adventure. I’m sure there will be challenges, but we will have each other for support.
I am open to advice, tips, and connections- definitely connections! I have a few friends and acquaintances who live in London, and of course we will both have coworkers, but I would love to be randomly set up with friends if you have them, especially runner friends!
Step 1– find a run club! I hope to meet a new running community and will definitely look to join a run club. And try out some parkruns.
I plan to continue blogging about my running and life, albeit from across the pond. I hope to stay connected with all of you, and if you ever find yourself in London, please reach out!
Congrats to the Bensons. What an amazing opportunity and life adventure. I look forward to visiting you!!
Looking forward to having you visit!
WOW, how exciting! London is the next international place I want to visit. What an amazing opportunity. Good luck and can’t wait to read all about it!! We’ll miss you in the Twin Cities!
Thank you Sara! Well, let me know if you end up visiting London!!
Yay! So glad to read this exciting and amazing news. I wish pups could talk since their trip sounds fun too.
London is one of my favorite cities. You’ll get in a lot of walking miles too exploring. If you haven’t been, plan to do Iceland. Easy flight and I think Liz loved the Reykjavik marathon.
Can’t wait to follow your journey
I will share as much as I can about the pups adventures! People seem very interested in that part, ha! My sister Emily is in Iceland now with her family and it looks incredible!
What a fun announcement! This will be such a great new adventure for all of you, and I already know you will find all the great running spots in London 🙂
This is really exciting. Can’t wait to read all about it.
Good luck. Hope things go smoothly.
Thank you Darlene!
Whoa. So cool! You said on Instagram that Dustin will be an expat and that you will be a local. What does that mean? So excited for you and it is so great that the dogs will be taken care of. I’ve heard before that the dogs go through Amsterdam. So fascinating.
Essentially I signed a contract as an employee of our UK office and will be paid in GBP and pay into a UK pension, etc but Dustin is still a US employee.
This is so cool! What an exciting adventure. I look forward to living vicariously through your European exploits. Wishing you every success and happiness.
Thank you Eric! I’m excited!
Have been following your posts for years. We’re in Glasgow, Scotland. Some fabulous runs , trails for the dogs and pubs in Scotland. Highly recommended the Loch Ness marathon in October. Start up a mountain, get bag piped over the start line, run down to the Loch then the whole way along to Inverness past the castle. Amazingly friendly, well organised marathon. Best marathon ever!
Alison, of course I remember you! We did the post together about the differences between UK running and US! We will definitely add the Loch Ness to our list, it sounds amazing!
This is going to be such a fun chapter for you and your family! I’m so glad the dogs are able to move with you. As I mentioned on Insta, we lived in Birmingham for two years. one year out in Staffordshire where we lived in a 14th century renovated schoolhouse across from a Blacksmith, and one year in the city center. We spent a 3rd year in Brussels before repatriating. The travel is amazing! Have so much fun!
Thanks Marcia! I’m glad you had a good experience.
This is really exciting news, Jessie! I look forward to hearing more about your big relocate 🙂
I’m so excited for you to take on this new chapter in your life! One of my clinic families lived in England for a couple of years–it was a great adventure for all of them. I would be nervous about the pups traveling on the plane too. Best of luck to all of you and I am so looking forward to reading about your live ‘across the pond’!
Thank you Wendy, I am excited for what is to come.
what an exciting new chapter for you all! Can’t wait to read more on your move and acclimation. I hope you will continue to blog and keep us posted on your adventures. Sound like you have the dog situation well planned. Maybe you can put one of those apple tags on their collar to monitor their whereabouts the whole time.
We have those tags for their collars! And the agency keeps us updated along the way.
I definitely plan to blog as much as I can!
WOW! That is big news. I hope this move is a great fit for you both. So exciting! So many places to explore — in Europe everything is so much closer! We moved our cats from VT to TX (via plane) and then 2 cats AND 2 dogs from TX to NY. Both moves were paid for by my husband’s company. The first time (this was 30 years ago!) we used a service, and the cats were in cargo. I didn’t know then what I know now, but obviously they survived. The second time I put my foot down and… Read more »
Thanks for sharing your experience! I’ll be relieved once we are all settled in.
Congratulations on this incredible move – the UK is one of my favourite places. I lived there for four years as a student in university and will always treasure those memories. No advise but just some words of comfort/reassurance about your dogs – as a vet my husband organises several trips for pets leaving Botswana to other parts of Africa, Europe and the US, and all go so smoothly. He says it’s always more nerve-wracking for the humans than for the pets. Best of luck and can’t wait to see all your posts in this new environment.
Very cool Shathiso, that you lived in the UK! And I’m glad your husband has reassuring words/experience. That is helpful!
Wow!!!! Most exciting news ever! I was very relieved when you said you plan to keep blogging, because I can’t wait to hear ALL ABOUT IT. That’s fascinating about moving the dogs- it sounds like they’ll be well cared for but I can see why you’d be anxious about it.
I’m looking forward to hearing about your European marathons. Yes, you have the rest of your life to complete your 50 state goal- you’ll get it done.
Thank you Jenny! I hope to blog more when there to share and document my experiences!
Wishing you nothing but the best, Jessie! I look forward to reading all about your adventures in London and beyond!
Thank you Debbie!
[…] in April, took a little break from blogging, went through the devastating loss of my mom, and then announced our upcoming move London (in 3 […]