Seattle, WA – This is a new feature that I’ll be running every Thursday, focusing on those pesky things that can scupper, or at least impact, your move abroad.  Although a couple of topics were hit on the old site, this is a fresh start.  I promise I’ll do my best not to repeat myself too much.

So this is a tough one.  Life is amazing in the States, but being 8 hours behind everything you’ve ever known isn’t fun.  In fact, it can be really tough.

Let me make this clear.  I in no way shape or form regret my move to Seattle, but when your friends and family are finishing their day when you’re beginning yours, it’s not great.

I’m lucky, in a way, not to be eligible to work for another month or so (“perks” of an L2 visa; that’ll get its own article) as it means I’m able to speak to people back home more frequently than my wife, who finishes work and everyone’s already asleep.  In another way, my employment situation can be a bit of a kicker, given that I have limited ways in which I can fill my time.

There are a few things that really can affect you when you move.  For example, you think things will go on as normal with your friends, that you’ll be able to speak to them whenever you want.  The truth is that, just as you are, they’re getting on with their lives and your free time might not cross as often as you’d like or want.  Such is life.  It’s the price you pay for the move and, believe me, you need to be prepared for it before you go.  I wasn’t.

There are other little things that you’ll feel because of the time difference.  Saturday football (or soccer if you want to give it its wrong name) is an early morning affair and that’s only for the late kick-off.  Forget a midday game.  Unless you’re getting up at 4am, you ain’t watching it and, to be honest, getting up at that time to watch Stoke play West Brom isn’t something I’m really willing to do.  You do get the Champion’s League, but really that only works if you work your own hours or aren’t working, cause every game kicks off at 11.45am on a weekday.  Sucks a bit when you want to watch Real playing Bayern or something like that.

You also have what I call “the Facebook limbo”, where, until you’ve amassed a decent-sized US friend base, you’ll be in no-mans-land from around 4pm until 11pm.  Your wall will cease to update and you’ll only really get posts coming through from contacts this side of the Atlantic.  Again, that kind of sucks, although it isn’t really a major issue.  It gets you off your phone at least.

The underlying point of this post is that it’s likely, at some point, you’ll feel isolated, maybe even lonely.  If you hit this point, don’t worry.  While the feeling is real, it’ll pass and you’ll come out the other side.  There are so many opportunities for you here, so many things for you to do.  You’ll.  Be.  Fine.

Anyway guys, I hope that this has been of some value to you.  I don’t want this to be a depressing series so I’m just getting this out the way at the start.  I’ll be getting into all the fun and games that are involved in moving over the next few weeks, so, while I obviously want you to check out the rest of the blog, if you’re only here for this then check in next Thursday.

Thanks for reading.

Gavin