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Why leave the UK? The moment we decided it HAD to happen!

If we had to sum up the moment we decided we had to leave the UK… it would be Weather and Traffic.

Prior to the pandemic I (Sel) was always travelling and realise now it was because I was personally never fully content with the UK. Travel gave me escape but also better weather.

Ant has NEVER liked the cold and grey of the UK. At the age of 14, Ant went on a family holiday (vacation) to Florida, and this where he first discovered there were places where the sun shines most days and he could live life in shorts and a t-shirt.

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Ant pondering on a Florida beach how he can make the move to the USA happen – May 2014

Do not get us wrong, there is a lot to appreciate about the UK, it is where we grew up and our family and friends are all there. We were both born in London and we still agree there is something very special about London. But just because you were born somewhere does that mean that is the right place for you?

As soon as I started to travel, from places like the USA, France, Germany, India, Mexico, Italy, to Saudi Arabia I truly appreciated the world is full of countless options and ways to live.

The more I travelled, the more I knew I wanted to try living in other places. That added to the fact that Ant was fed up with the UK weather and traffic (those who have suffered the M25 will know what I mean!).

We had both discussed wanting to move to the USA for many years. With me working for a US company, getting a job in the US was not impossible. However, things were going really well for me work wise and the right role had not come up yet. I actually enjoy my work, so I would not want to change without it being worthwhile.

So here comes the moment…

One day, Ant was going on a short trip to Bike Park Wales with his brother.  I was on my way to visit a customer site in Reading.

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Anton’s mountain bike finally making it to bike park wales after a mini- meltdown and decision that we had to leave the UK!

This particular year (2019) had not been great weather wise and then there was the traffic, oh the traffic. We were now at a point where you pretty much assumed in the South East of England that there is constant traffic. Predicting how long to get anywhere was impossible. Two miles could literally take hours. I had left for my meeting before Ant, I had given myself two extra hours but this was not going to help. The doom of the M25 was upon us in addition to pouring rain.

This is the M25 (motorway that surrounds London) on a good day. Before the pandemic this whole area would be red.

Ant attempted to wait out the traffic, but this was one of those days where every road ended up congested in the South East, with a cloud of rain, as people were trapped in their cars beholden to the traffic gods. Ant and his brothers left for their trip a few hours after me. About three hours into the drive to Wales, Ants calls me. He is DONE. He can not even enjoy what is supposed to be a fun getaway with his brother. He is done with the traffic, the weather, nothing can be worth this and he is OUT. Sell everything, he does not care, he leaving the UK NOW.

At this point, me still in traffic in my car, goes into panic mode and attempts to calm Ant down and reason with him. We cannot just sell out house and fly to another country. This is where me and Ant are very different. I am far more structured (and risk averse) where Ant will just go for things. This does mean, I am slower to do things, whereas Ant will find a quicker way albeit with more chaos.

I truly believe, had it not been for me calming him down, he would have left.

We then agreed, to have a plan by the end of the year 2019, to be out of the UK. It was clear to me, that the UK was doing no good for Ant’s mental well-being. I could not argue. One of the reasons I loved my job so much was that it literally allowed me to escape every week to another country. Little did I know then, of the upcoming pandemic and how that would all be over!

From that point, we started looking into anywhere we could go, not just the USA, to escape the UK’s terrible weather and state of traffic. Not mention, that we had also been stung by crazy tax bills. I will save this for another post but this added to the reasons for us wanting to leave. Let’s just say, I was not prepared for a £10,000 ($14,000) tax bill! Yep, apparently you lose your tax-free allowance when earning “too” much. 45% tax…

There you have it, the moment we decided we would make a dream a reality. That year I secured a job in the USA to move to California (at that time). The point of this first post, if you want to make something happen, just got for it! Do not just sit back, and think “oh well things can’t or won’t change”.  Things can change but you have to make an effort. The move to the USA for us, has been far from easy, but we finally made it to Las Vegas! And so our adventures starts.

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Are you considering moving to the USA and do not know where to start? Read our post on how to relocate to the USA.

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