Yesterday we received confirmation that our visa application and documents had arrived at the UK embassy in New York. The current processing time is estimated to be between 4-7 days. After that, the approval packet will be sent directly to Jonathan’s company for processing and then finally returned to us. The absolute best case scenario is that we will have our passports back in hand by next Wednesday.
This wasn’t the news we wanted to hear. The weeks before our move are running out and it’s doubtful the company will sponsor a house hunting trip within 2 weeks of our move date. My fear is of packing up and shipping out without any idea of what our housing situation will be. On the other hand, it could be a positive thing.
For our past two moves we have purchased houses without knowing much about the city we were moving to. It might be a better plan to have a week or two to become oriented with Aberdeen before we decide where to settle down.
Already we feel torn between two scenarios: living close to town so that Jonathan could walk/bike/bus to work or living a few miles out of the city so that we can enjoy the Scottish countryside as our backyard. It would be so convenient to live close to town, only have one car and to be able to walk to restaurants, shopping, or even the train station if we wanted to head out of town.
However, country life is tempting too, especially after living in Houston for the past year and a half. When my parents lived in Aberdeen, they rented a house 6 miles from my dad’s office and had 3 acres of land. From the kitchen window you could often spot deer, rabbits, pheasant and an occasional fox. I loved going for runs around their house because there were several country roads that took me past rolling hills and scenic sheep farms. All of that space and yet only a 15 minute commute for my dad.
|Wildlife in my parents' yard in Aberdeen|
On the one hand, where else could we affordably live in a safe, clean, pedestrian friendly city with reliable public transportation?
On the other hand, where else could we live with this as our backyard?
Deciding between the two scenarios is likely to be our most important decision when settling in Aberdeen, but it feels abstract discussing it from Houston, Texas. The good thing is, there is no wrong answer to this question. Both would be an extraordinary and unique experience giving us two different perspectives of life in Scotland.
I’m leaning slightly towards a house in the country, mainly because I can’t wait to see this one’s excitement when she spots a pheasant in the yard.
Jonathan is slightly leaning towards a house closer to town, mainly because I told him he could get a motorbike. Boys will be boys.