I have been anticipating this move pretty much all year, ever since the man and I had a talk about where we’re heading, and I said I didn’t want to mark two years long distance. We wanted to be in the same place of course, the question was where we both wanted that ‘place’ to be, and what was feasible.
Much discussion ensued and now, two months shy of our two-year anniversary I’m relocating to France.
Who would have thought when I joined my girlfriends on a long weekend away to a city I’d never heard of, that I would end up returning so many times, let alone calling it home?
I have just under one week left in London, one more box to pack, only a handful more BJJ classes to attend and tube trips to take. I’ve been anticipating this move pretty much all year, but it still doesn’t feel like it’s actually happening. Surely it will soon?
I am thinking about all the parts of this city I haven’t seen yet, the markets I haven’t visited, the ‘London bucket list’ I never got around to writing. But then, if I never got around to seeing and writing and doing all of these things, are they really that important to me?
Not right now, no.
What’s important is the guy waiting for me to join him in a town in eastern France, and for us to find out what happens next.
To be honest, who the heck knows.
I’ve had family and friends contacting me, asking whether I’ll be impacted (as I’m here on my EU passport) and if I’ll now need a visa.
As my Maltese citizenship is what allows me to live and work in the UK indefinitely, it clearly influenced my vote to remain in the European Union (I got to vote because I’m a Commonwealth citizen). I considered other arguments for and against, and I felt that it was far better in than out for Britain. The result, in case you’ve been living under a rock, ended up being 51.9% for Leave.
It was a sucky feeling the morning after. A “what on earth have you done, Britain?!” feeling. At work we expressed our disgruntlement, 59.9% of London voters wanted to remain. I am very aware though that as much as I can have my opinion on the Referendum and be disappointed, my ‘working knowledge’ of this country only goes back three years. And it’s London-centric. I don’t for a second claim to fully understand the wages, property and health services pressures being particularly felt by those in working class areas, how being part of the EU contributed and ultimately influenced their decision to want out.
What I DO know
- The fact that I’m already in the UK means I’m unlikely to be affected by any changes to freedom of movement, which wouldn’t happen for at least two years anyway.
- Australia appears eager to negotiate new trade and immigration deals with the UK – so ironically if the unlikely DOES happen and my Maltese passport suddenly limits me, my Australian passport may suddenly open doors (borders?).
- There are a hell of a lot of unknowns. Formal Leave negotiations won’t begin until Britain activates Article 50 (IF it does?), and since it’s never been invoked before it’s going to be a new experience for everyone.
In the meantime, it’s life as usual for me in the UK.