My Experience of Moving to a Different Country During A Pandemic

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Wow, I am ready to move to a new country, even though the world is pretty much shut down due to a world pandemic!?”. If so, you have come to the right place, and keep on reading. 2020 was going to be my year. Our plan was to leave for the United Kingdom in July 2020, where we were going to fly to London and start a month-long journey of touring the United Kingdom and end with us in Scotland, where my husband would start his master’s degree, and I was going to look for work. Of course, we know though what had happened in March, the world came to a grinding halt. With the world coming to a standstill, so did our plans.

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I think the worst part of it all was just the anxiety of the unknown. We had so many questions; will we be able to leave in July? If not, when do we go? Will we even be able to get on a plane this year? My husband and I decided to keep with our plan of quitting our jobs and giving up our apartment by the end of July, but we decided to move home with our parents for a little bit until we could go. Our flights that were booked for July quickly got canceled, but we decided to try to book for the end of August, where we would fly into Glasgow instead as flights were still reasonably priced at that time.

Since we are staying in Scotland for at least 12 months, my husband and I had to get visas. This was another huge stress because we did not know when a good time to apply for them was. You have six months once you get your decision to enter the country with that visa, but we were not sure if we were going to be delayed again. Luckily, the visa process is relatively easy, but one of the requirements is that you have to get a biometrics report done. There are only five centers in all of Canada that you can go to for this appointment, and the closest center to us was a 10-hour drive, and in the city we had just moved from a month prior. It took a couple of weeks to get in for an appointment, but we packed our bags and made the drive back. All for a five-minute appointment.

I should also mention that during this time, our flights got canceled again. When we rebooked, no flights were going into Scotland, and we could only fly to London. Thankfully it was still relatively cheap, and we pushed our date to September as we wanted to make sure that we got our visas in time.  A few weeks go by, and our flights were canceled again, and at this point, I was so stressed out and just wanted to call it quits on the whole thing. Luckily, I had my partner and family supporting me to continue. So, flights were rebooked again for the middle of September. We finally received the decision that our visas were approved; that means they got to let us into the country, right? But what if they denied me at the border? My anxiety was at an all-time high for most of August, as it seemed to be one thing after another. About a week out, our flights were moved from the Thursday to the Saturday, and up until the night before, I was worried that our flights would be canceled again. Thankfully, 3:30 am rolled around, and no cancelation of flights! We got to the airport, and everything was starting to look up. It was an incredibly long day, but after 36 hours, four flights, and one custom stop, we finally made it to our destination. My luggage was left in London, but it eventually made it’s way back to me, and we are finally settled in Scotland! I am so happy that we decided to make this move, even after all of the stress of it.

4 thoughts on “My Experience of Moving to a Different Country During A Pandemic

  1. Wow, sounds like a tough time, and a ten-hour drive just to get your biometrics done? That’s crazy. Glad that you actually made it, and am looking forward to your adventures in Scotland!

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