Q: I want to live in England. What do I need to do?
A: I do! And I recommend you try living overseas sometime in your life. It's amazing.
BUT... you have to get a visa to move to a new country and those are tricky. I've blogged about it before here if you are looking for more on the subject.
It may not be the funnest answer but the ways people actually get over here are: full-time study with a UK university that can provide student visas, by marrying a Brit, or by being in a position within a US company that can sponsor and transfer the employee to work within the UK. If you know the right ways in, it'll save you heartache and money from trying- and failing- to do it any other way.
I've learned the hard way: there are no easy ways in. You can't au pair as an American in Britain. You can't try to come over first and then look for a job after you've arrived. Seriously, they won't even let you through the border if you say you're doing that... and beyond that, you can't get hired locally without having a visa prior to arriving. There are no short-cuts or easy ways in, so my advice for young professionals who aren't at a point where they could get internally transferred through their job: come in for a masters degree and work your hardest to get hired as soon as you graduate by a company that can sponsor your visa. This typically means working for a large, established company that can easily have one issued before your student visa expires.
Q: I can read your daughter's name, Viola... but I don't know how to pronounce it.
A: It's pronounced like the name "Violet," but with an "ah" at the end (VI-oh-la). It's not like the instrument (VEE-oh-la) or your great-aunt's name (vi-OH-la).
Viola is named after my grandmother and, also, the heroine of Shakespeare's Twelfth Knight- a separated twin... though we had chosen the name years ago.
Don't worry- you won't offend me if you say it completely wrong in person. I know it's a tricky one!
Q: How are you guys doing with the loss of Baby B?
A: Thanks for asking. You don't know how much it means that people care about us and value the little life of our daughter. It makes this whole thing a bit more bearable.
We, overall, are okay. Somedays we hardly remember it happened. Other days, it follows us around like a big, dark cloud.
Knowing Viola and watching her grow makes it easier and harder all at the same time. It's easy to imagine what we lost since we have her identical twin.
It's a crappy situation to find yourself in, but we thank God for his kindness to us through it all. We really are thankful and looking on to a bigger picture. (What other hope is there?)
Q: What is your job?
A: I work as the Director of UK + France study abroad programs for an American university. I oversee students + faculty during their time overseas, take them on group trips, and coordinate their housing, classes, food, etc.
I know, I know, it sounds like the perfect job. And for me, it is! But don't be fooled: it's a hard job and there is a high burn-out rate because of the intense hours and burdensome responsibility. It's not for everyone. I talk about here on this vlog.
Q: How did you get it? How can I get a job like that, too?
A: I immigrated myself legally via my husband's student visa- I got a dependent visa allowing me to work in the UK. From there, I emailed the dean of this school's program and got lucky with timing.
My advice is: find a way to move here first and THEN look for a job like this. Your resume ("cv") won't even get looked at otherwise, since you wouldn't be allowed to be legally hired otherwise.
Q: What type of camera do you use?
I take everything on my iPhone 7 Plus.
Sometimes, I have some fancy pictures taken professionally on a camera that is super nice and way above my pay grade. I have no idea what those are shot on, as they are owned by photographer friends. You'll see these in a post like this.
Q: What does Tyler do?
Tyler has been doing start-ups here in London for several years, but last year, we decided to try life with us both working together. We loved it and he now spends (most of) his working time in the office co-directing with me. He also does consulting jobs and is a professor for other universities; he has a much larger capacity for doing many things well than I do.