I have not a drop of a want to roam in my heart. I have family who moved from place to place – but I’ve always had firm goals.

Get the hell out of KC as soon as possible, and live my life there.

“There” was always up in the air. When I was a kid, it was Paris. As a teenager, I got my heart set on New York City (Even though I had never been there). Then, when Brad and I decided on the UK – it opened up a few more thoughts. We, as naive as it sounds, did not think about the idea that we might have to leave where ever we went.

So in the case of the UK – It’s starting to tilt the scales away from here. This is due to my role no longer being on Shortage list, and Brad’s career not paying enough to cover the government minimum (and none of his employers sponsor). As heartbreaking as that sounds, we’ve come to accept that we’ll probably have to move on. I might become shocked in January and someone appears with a visa – but we are going forward from this point assuming we are having to leave.

So then the next point is what the hell do we do now?

As I mentioned above, the idea of moving around to find “The Place,” sounds exhausting and going through multiple visa rounds again makes my body scream…but while we were writing our Pros and Cons, we realised – we may have to that again, regardless.

I know I come off super critical of home. I mean, I am; but I don’t hate KC. It will always be my home, but it’s one of those places that I don’t wake up and talk in my sleep about like an obsessed character from a film. KC will always be part of my story and growing up in Kansas City, Kansas, specifically; shaped me into who I am.

So with that, we are left with what to do. Here are our options and hopefully, my brainstorm will help not only others making these ideas, but also, maybe trigger one my readers to come back with a “I know a place…”

Ireland

Pros:

  • Next to the UK – Allowing us to travel back over to see friends, continue to travel around the UK
  • EU – Doesn’t stop our travelling around Europe plans.
  • Currency slightly lower than Pound – This will let us have a little bit extra when we move, to reduce expenses.
  • Easier Visa Process – It’s not the easiest, but a lot of jobs are on the shortage, they often want individuals with US Market experience, and with my general vicinity to Ireland for the next two months – I feel like I have a better chance than another American in New York, for example.
  • Universal Health Care – It’s not NHS great, but it’s still better than back home, with cost quite low and automatically available. Private healthcare is available from employers
  • Maternity Leave – 26 weeks paid, requiring 2 weeks before birth off.
  • PTO – Ireland offers 4 weeks of PTO minimum allotted by the government. This is around what the UK is, however the UK counts public holidays in, whereas for Ireland, it’s 4 weeks + 9 days of public holidays.

Cons:

  • Issues with Religion – It’s getting better. Most people do not align with any religion, however, it’s still taught due to cultural reasons, similar to the UK. There are also dangerous laws about abortions, which hopefully will go away with time, but the restrictions can cause deadly situations, like what happened to Savita Halappanavar in 2012.
  • Cost – Mother of god, it’s expensive to live in Ireland. If we stay out of Dublin, it’s better but it’s really expensive, so that needs to be noted.

Canada

Pros:

  • Easier to get visa – Similar to Ireland, there are a lot of American companies in Canada – On top of that, both Brad and I are qualified enough to pass the Canada work permit paperwork without jobs in hand; so it has opened that up as an option.
  • Universal Health Care – Similar to Ireland again, but still not NHS glory – at least it guarantees we won’t die due to poverty, so leg up.
  • Close to home – This will become a bigger deal as we have kids and our parents continue to age – Being within 1-2 hour timezone vs. 6 hours can be critical. We have to think about that regardless where we go, which is why – even with Archaeologist in demand in Australia; we can’t even consider it.
  • Relationship with America – Ireland has this too, but it’s a bit different. North America – Canada, Mexico and the United States have more in common than the States to anywhere in Europe. It’s the normalcy of most Americans already knowing some Canadian pop culture and references, without coming off as an -phile.
  • Public Benefits – There are other public benefits like Maternity Leave and Vacation time – like most, self-respecting countries would have.

Cons

  • Dollar to Dollar – The Canadian dollar is less than the US dollar. It’s been this way for a long time. We used to joke in school about how we sometimes wanted to get paid with the Canadian price, because ever book was $3-5 more. This means paying off our student debt will no longer be harder, but will take more time.
  • Winters and Summers – North America is still North America. Canada has a very similar climate to home. Which means I will be sick – constantly. I left the States partially due to being allergic to everything. I’ve spent a year and half without one sinus infection and barely getting sick – returning to that might kill me.
  • Wilderness Archaeology Jobs – Everyone thought Brad was roughing it in the States in a tent – That will be 100% his life, in far more remote regions in Canadian Archaeology. Commonly, they are used for oil rigs and other industry related surveying. Meaning Brad will be further away, constantly.
  • Away from British Friends/American Friends – We lose both support systems – again. It’s starting over, again in another country, too far away for both parties to be cool with catching up.

United States

Pros:

  • It’s Home – Regardless of how angry I get at the States over a lot of things, there is something to be said about living where you know. Even if we left the Midwest forever, there are certain things that are so American, they become the norm – Like Target’s and Wendy’s. Having the creature comforts would make moving anywhere feel less like a culture shock.
  • Hundreds of regions to chose from – If I don’t like a specific city, landscape, politics, etc – Each state is like a country in itself. We can pick somewhere and go, finding jobs and other economy related things.
  • Closer to family – Regardless of where we move, we could get home with ease or a long, painful drive – Either way, it’s a lot easier than doing any flight considered “International.”
  • Career Boost – I just spent a year abroad and got two jobs, without a network… If that doesn’t help me find the best job ever back home, we really need to stop selling people Gap years.
  • Diversity – No, not a name of wooden ship. Living in the UK has reminded me of just how white some places can be. Even growing up in KCK and being outside of public schools, I saw more people from different backgrounds. In the UK, that’s reserved to cities only, with some cities, a little less than (Looking at you, York). But, with that, moving back home and getting to embrace being an American – People from the world in one country, would be lovely.

Cons

  •  Well-documented bitching – Listen, I have told this tale countless times, between last week’s “When you don’t want to go home – A dismayed American” or the older “Why we want to immigrate” we are pretty clear the states has a lot of faults. We have a country that has been a shit hole of institutionalised racism, guns and terrible Capitalist principles, making the working class a collection of overworked, penniless individuals, hoping to get by. It’s dangerous and I’m not sure I can resettle back home without knowing I won’t be one ER trip away from bankruptcy.
  • It’s hot as balls – Everywhere it is. But at least the UK started out cooler, so it hitting 28c is reasonable… hitting 40c? Fuck that noise.
  • Archaeology jobs being a pain – Like Canada, I would never see Brad or we would need to move to places like Texas or Arizona. That noise you just heard was an audible gag from me thinking of my sinuses and the political climates.

 

Anything I missed? Do you have anywhere else you would recommend I look at to protect us from being rejected at the US border from all of my Anti-Trump tweets being classified as “Anti-American”? Let me know!

The featured image is of Harrogate, while I was catching the train to work one morning a few weeks back.

One thought on “Next Steps…

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