This blog is quite dramatic these days, isn’t it?
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?
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!