Hannah Drake

The Expat Diaries, Vol. 03

LifeHannah DrakeComment

This month was a rollercoaster! I did terribly at all of my goals and had some pretty rough weeks. But I also made a lot of progress toward settling here in the longterm and we had one major life event!

First of all, Luke and I got legally married this month. We had a small civil ceremony at the registry office on the 16th of September where two of our friends served as witnesses. Afterward, we drove to Wales for a minimoon, which was so lovely. We're not talking it up too much since we're still planning a wedding ceremony for 2018 and we did it this way because of my visa.

We were able to book an appointment for me to get my next visa. Our appointment isn't until the end of October, but I'll get the visa that day and finally be able to apply for work. I still try to avoid the question "what do you want to do?" at all costs, but my plan right now is to find a retail-type job while I look for a more long-term career.

I'm still on the hunt for a bank account, but things are looking up. Luke doesn't think I'll be able to get a job until I have a bank account, but after my last try, I'm not sure if a bank will let me open one before I get my visa. It will be so great to finally have a bank account, let me tell ya! Right now I don't have a checking account, but I do have both a US and a UK credit card. I also have a prepaid card, but the other day, I had one of the most frustratingly helpless moments of my life. Or certainly of my move. I went to a place that was cash only and I had no way to even use an ATM. I next went to a shop that didn't take AMEX, which is what my UK credit card is. The same thing happened just last week, but luckily a friend offered to buy my drink for the evening. It was infuriating to not be able to buy anything at even one place, so it will be a sweet relief to finally open a bank account--whenever that may be. 

There hasn't been too much else going on lately. I'm into my fourth month of not working and staying home for the majority of the day. Our house is as finished as it's likely to get, so I don't have those projects to keep me busy. I'm certainly looking forward to the month ahead.

Over the next month, there's a lot of exciting things going on. My mom is coming to visit, which I'm SO excited about! She's visiting for a week and I can't wait to show her around Birmingham and maybe a little more of England. (Bonus: She's bringing my wedding dress with her.) We have the appointment to get my visa the day after my mom goes back to the States, which means I'll be able to stay here for another 2 years and finally start working. And we're headed to Dublin the last weekend in October to see our new nephew's christening.

Maybe that means volume 4 will be a little bit more exciting!