In high school, I understood in my psyche that I wanted to live in England. I forget exactly when, but over the years I have tried to analyze why. Am I just a stupid sheep, like so many other people who unknowingly got hooked on this fad or trend (if you can call it that)? I used to think this fascination was unique to me (arrogant, I know) until I got to college and discovered the word anglophile. What then caused so many people to simultaneously become fascinated by this particular land? And what made me want to live there?
One of the most obvious reasons is that England epitomized the chance to enter the world, so many of my favorite books had been set in or inspired by (and no, I hadn’t read Harry Potter at that time- the). But I grew up reading Noel Streatfield and CS Lewis, and E. Nesbit and well you all know those old authors.
I think England was also appealing because it’s different enough from my home to be intriguing, but still shares enough common characteristics like language and weather to be somewhat familiar (yet another banal answer I saw in mirror on many blogs).
I may have been intrigued by the way different the culture has been compared to the Pacific Northwest. Growing up near Seattle, I have always lived in a culture that truly embraces the “grunge spirit”. Everything about my home truly embraces novelty, pioneering spirit, and nature. You build your own cabin in the woods, make your own kombucha, bake your own bread, start your own tech company, and more. (I exaggerate but not much!). These are things I take for granted, but didn’t necessarily appreciate. England, on the other hand, has years of history and traditions that it has accumulated and developed. That in itself is extremely fantastic to me. It certainly has a thriving tech industry, but underlying everything in its culture is this association with tradition. And tradition, if you’ve ever visited Seattle, is definitely a foreign concept here.
If you don’t have the particular fascination with England like me, you might consider studying abroad in another country. It is both cheaper and easier in many other countries. For a while I considered moving to Spain (also lovely and I might still at some point, we’ll see).
If however, you also have an insatiable desire to live in the UK for more than 3 months, your options are limited if you are from the US. You can basically get a visa by studying the UK. Once you graduate, you can stay there for several years afterwards on a graduate itinerary visa, but it must be right after you finish your studies.
Your other options are to have a company sponsor you for a work visa (rather difficult from what I’ve heard), start a business there, or to marryD (rather difficult too, not to mention a rather questionable motive huh?).
Anyway, for these reasons, I realized that I couldn’t just move to England as a digital nomad if I wanted to experience life there longer than three months. The only way for me to do that was to become a student! Which coincided well with my desire to go back to school and deepen my knowledge of digital design.
Finally, I opted for England because there were a lot of very good programs at a fairly reasonable price. I also looked in Ireland but the courses in Dublin were more expensive. I did quite a bit of research on programs in the UK and Ireland. In my next post, I’ll share the delicious spreadsheet I created (I bet you weren’t expecting to see that adjective associated with the word “spreadsheet”).