Moving is always stressful, but moving to another country is a whole other ballgame. Unless you're prepared to spend an outrageous amount of money, the first thing you have to do is Marie Kondo the hell out of all of your possessions. As someone who previously traveled for months out of a backpack, I thought it would be easy to pack a carry-on, backpack, and checked bag but oh my gosh, it is not. In my 36 years I've acquired a ridiculous amount of possessions and as a sentimental person every single one of them bring me joy. I won't bore you with the details, but with a lot of effort and some tears, I managed to whittle it all down to 2 checked bags weighing EXACTLY 50 pounds plus a carry on and a backpack that may have destroyed my shoulders a little.
A couple days after the packing extravaganza, I was off to the airport. Of course, Covid-19 made everything more complicated than it would normally be. I had to get a PCR test 72 hours before I arrived in the UK and I was praying for the 24 hours it took to get my results that I would test negative! I had to fill out a passenger locator form and bring my record of vaccination. Unvaccinated Americans can still come over, but they have to quarantine for ten days after arrival. Even with my vaccination, I had to take a $94 test (ouch) on my third day here. Other than that, my flight was great. I was upgraded to the fancy section of my delta flight by sheer luck which was really nice especially for a long-haul flight. When I got to Amsterdam, I had to wait in a really long line to have all of my documents checked again and almost missed my flight to Edinburgh! That was a bit stressful, but ultimately I just had to be pushy and ask them to send me to the front of the line since my flight was leaving in 20 minutes and I got on just in time :) I was so happy when I finally landed in Edinburgh and lucky for me the check-in process was super easy! I had my visa stamped in about 5 minutes and was on my way to the taxi. It was super easy to get a taxi, they are all lined up and you just walk up to the front of the line and jump in! Luckily they are big enough to fit all of your luggage.
The rough part is having to then carry these suitcases one-by-one up 4 flights of stairs. Note to future international movers, maybe, if you have three suitcases, and two weigh 50 pounds, find a place to stay that is on the ground floor unless it's your permanent residence! I'm dreading having to carry these babies back down in the next two days when I move into my new place.
How's It Going So Far?
I've been here a little less than 2 weeks (12 days) and I'm here to tell you that Atlanta to Edinburgh really isn't a scary move. They speak English (kind of) and it's one of the safest places in the UK! The scariest thing about moving here is the toll that it takes on your wallet. You lose roughly $30 for every $100, so $100 is roughly £70. Most things are priced relatively the same as they are in the United States, so coming over here, you just get less for your money. The up side is that groceries and beer are cheaper (woohoo). Being new in any city can make shopping a challenge, you have to find your local stores. Being here is a bit more challenging as there aren't many brands that carry over, so having to figure out what toothpaste and laundry detergent and such are going to be your favorite is a fun or frustrating if you're a really bad guesser. What brand of cereal do you like? No idea! It's all trial and error again which is mostly fun. I do love novelty, so it's nice to have a grocery store full of new foods that I can try out. I'm also loving that when you order something with berries at a restaurant sometimes those berries are currants which I never really saw in the states. Clothes shopping is the same, where do I go for a basic black sweater? Primark? TK Maxx (yes this is TJ Maxx)? Do my favorite stores ship to the UK? I enjoy figuring it all out, and the searching has helped me walk around A LOT. Last Saturday I hit 20,000 steps ya'll! Of course when you are tired and just want to quickly grab those hair and nail vitamin gummies (hey OLLY!) you love, it can sometimes be a little frustrating. Small price to pay for the adventure of living in a new city...country!
So What's The Verdict?
What I LOVE