17 days ago I landed in San Francisco. No job, no work visa – just a standard holiday ESTA and a return ticket on June 1st; I have three months to do whatever I want. From 100 mph to 0 mph is how it feels my life has changed over night.
Ever since I got back from Thailand at the beginning of January, every aspect of my life has felt hectic. At work, I was leading several live briefs, working on 2016 campaign wrap up’s and continuing with the day to day that comes with the job. Outside of work; I was applying for jobs in the US, helping my boyfriend buy furniture over FaceTime, finding a housemate to take over my lease in London, packing all my stuff up and trying to spend quality time with friends & family before leaving for a few months overseas; It was full on and I felt slightly like I was running on adrenalin to ensure I achieved as much as possible before March 7th arrived.
The rational me; I’d say I’m someone who hasn’t done anything crazily out of the ordinary in life. Like most others, I did my A-Levels, went to uni (although I did take my time over that), spent a few weeks backpacking in Asia and then got a job and moved to London. As soon as I had my first job, like we’re all guilty of, I was already thinking ‘so how long until I can expect my first promotion?!’ I’ve worked in media for five years for three reputable agencies. In my last role as Account Manager, I was really enjoying the challenge and the brands our team worked on. We were making great headway in getting our clients to buy into the idea of brand partnerships, meaning they’d started to create some cool content with us which led to two campaigns being shortlisted for industry awards.
So then there’s the other side and the very reason I’m now sat in a cafe in San Francisco with a Chai Latte and chocolate chip cookie writing this. My boyfriend is Catalan, we met in London a couple of years ago and he’s doing pretty well in his career which has taken him from Barcelona to London and now the US. When I first met him he was casually reeling off all these Blockbuster films he’s worked on in his thick Catalan accent; “you know The Martian? Avengers, Star Wars….” People who know us know exactly what I mean! 🙂 Anyway, 2016 he was back and forth from San Francisco, LA, Atlanta to London; until finally moving out here on a five year O-1 visa in August 16, meaning I know a thing or two about long distance relationships.
So this brings me to now. I guess the last paragraph shows that my main reason for temporarily leaving London was first and foremost to join someone else. I’m aware I’m now out of my comfort zone but am focused on seeing this as a new challenge and not fixating on what I’ve left behind. I’m also a realist in that I know that I haven’t made it easy for myself. Without coming on a work transfer visa (L1-A) and with the most common immigrant visa shutting in two weeks (the H1-B) I’m very much up against it in finding a sponsorship. Yet no matter the outcome, I must look at this as an experience; I mean people go travelling for longer than three months!
I’m enjoying taking each day as it comes whilst remembering that this is a great opportunity to experience living in one of America’s most recognised cities. San Francisco is the forefront of Silicon Valley; you can almost feel the entrepreneurial spirit in every coffee shop! It’s so interesting to hear about different personal projects in the desire to create the next big ‘app’ or the next new thing in the Bay area. So far, everyone has been incredibly friendly and so willing to help in any way they can. It’s definitely a time to enjoy meeting new people, trying new things and stop overthinking the future! What will be will be and in the meantime I intend to enjoy exploring California.