Everyday Adventuring

Changing Reality

Things change so rapidly throughout life, and I have always been quite open to it. I lived in five houses before I was 18, and then I went to uni and lived in eight different homes before moving in with my husband at 25. After a year and half of being married we moved to Canada, and now we find ourselves back in Southport, in our first marital home again. But that’s 15/16 homes in 31 years – a lot of change!

The most recent change, the one that brought us back to the UK, has been a hard one to transition. Not only have we moved from one country to another, we’ve had a baby in tow! Having a baby changes pretty much everything about your life anyway – you suddenly are having to take into consideration a small being who entirely depends on you for their survival. Marriage begins to prepare you for this – taking into account someone else in your decision making, but a kid really steps it up a gear! Trying to navigate setting up/settling back into an old life amidst all that change is really tricky.

When we went to Vancouver, we initially thought it would be for a year, but when we arrived we were given two year work permits. We really enjoyed living there, so stayed for the second year, and embarked on a journey to stay more long-term. We tried to apply for Permanent Residence but after 18 months there, we didn’t qualify, so we looked at alternates and long-story-short, I applied to study for a Masters degree and with it a study permit. Tom was granted a spouse visa along with my permit and we were able to stay to work and study for another year. That was the academic year 2020-2021, so in the spring of 2021 I applied for an extension for my study permit, and attached to that application was Tom’s spouse visa. My permit was granted with a three year extension (the length of study to complete my degree), but Tom’s was denied.

At this point in time I was about six months pregnant, and wanted to be able to take a year off from studying as a kind of “maternity leave”. We decided the best way forward would be to go back to the UK after Maisie was born and spend a year back in our old flat, living closer to our families so they could be around for Maisie’s first year, and then return to Vancouver the following September.

We consulted with an immigration lawyer who told us the best ways to apply, and put in the application at the end of last 2021. In December 2022 our application expired. We were applying on the basis of my work experience in Canada, and are no longer eligible because it has timed out.

This was an unexpected change, and one that we’re now having to process practically, and emotionally! In this blog, I’m going to focus on the practicalities of this change. The emotional side is too hard to write about just yet. So what next in the practical side?!

We’re starting to imagine what our lives will look like. Where will we live? What will we do for work? Where will Maisie grow up? Who will she grow up around? There’s so many things to take into account and consider, it almost becomes a little bit of an analysis paralysis situation, but we’ve kind of narrowed down a few of our options.

We’re starting to look at houses. We know we’ve outgrown our flat – that’s one of the big positives of the UK over Vancouver is that housing is a lot more affordable here, so we’re able to look at three or four bedroom houses. We’re looking at a couple different places around the UK, but taking into account proximity to family as another of the big positives of being in England, not wanting to move too far away is a factor in where we’ll end up.

Work-wise, I’m able to stay at home with Maisie for a little while which is amazing. I absolutely love it, and would never be able to do it living in Vancouver. Beyond that though, I’m unsure what I’ll do next. I’ve withdrawn from studying for my Masters and have moved my credits over to a Graduate Diploma, which I have four credits to complete in order to graduate, but no time restrictions on when to finish it.

I like things to move quickly which isn’t helpful in the position that we’re in now. We do need to take our time in finding the right place to move to knowing that it’s likely where we’ll be when Maisie starts school. I’ve been looking online at houses with no real clue what the places are like. So a next step is visiting a few areas we’re looking at and getting a better feel for the place. Then it’ll be mortgages and working out finances thoroughly which will be a lot less fun. But ultimately we’ll be buying our first house together, which is very exciting!

So there we go, a little life update on our current changing reality. Kind of feels fitting for a new year!

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