Back in Phuket, Thailand! I can sum up my sentiments right now with three words: I HATE visas. I do, I hate them. They are never fun. Whether it was when we went to the Chinese consulate in LA to get our visa for China, or when we had to do visa runs in Thailand. Sure, some visas look lovely in one’s passport and I am proud by the amount of stamps and what not in both of mine. Nonetheless, after dealing with the spousal visa here….my frustration has grown.
Let me start at the beginning: for about two years I have been in touch with Talent Scotland, which had a free service to advise people looking to move to Scotland. Initially it was just to find out a few things, aka fact finding. But when we finally decided to make the move, I had specific questions about Billy’s ability to get a visa. Repeatedly I was told no big deal, he can get the spousal visa when he arrives OR in Bangkok. I think great, makes sense. I mean I’m British and we’ve been married nearly 7 years. He has no criminal record or whatnot. His ancestors are even Scottish.
Then we arrive at Inverness Airport after a long few days of traveling from Thailand and get this: immigration says nope. Sorry, he had to do it BEFORE you came. 40 minutes later, we were let through but I tell you, I was irate. Absolutely irate. She told us I can stay, I’m British, but no, my daughter and husband would have to leave after their visitor visa is up. We went back and forth about it and she was helpful more than difficult, giving us info on what had changed and how there is a point system and that he is still non EU so….
I’m not going to get into it, but yeah, it wasn’t what we had been told and indeed there is a point system and no, it can’t be applied for within the UK. So we had to come up with a back up plan fast, while on a budget. We decided that near the time his visa would run out we would go back to Thailand, as we had to get our things anyway and had a few things to do there. Hence we are getting ready to yes, go back for who knows how long.
Thankfully, I am not mad anymore about the spousal visa or the stupid point system that could potentially break families apart ( imagine he missed too many points and was told he and my 5 year old had to leave….). No. I am over it because we found all of this out right upon arrival, literally. Instead of dwell, we talked with a solicitor who gave us some great advice and decided to just stick with building up his business because at the end of the day, that’s what really matters right now as it gives us the location independance we want. It gives Billy time to be at home with his family more.
We have been working practically 24/7 to learn everything it takes at becoming a successful entrepreneur, from marketing ( which is a weak point for many businesses) to product creation and everything in between. I am eternally grateful for friends near and far who have motivated us and kept us going, despite all the drawbacks.
Have we enjoyed our time here? Yes and no. It was the perfect place to be for a few months and then we grew bored of the isolation, rarely leaving town and only going to Inverness on occasion, since we are sans vehicle. It is a magical town steeped in history. It isn’t however very welcoming towards homeschoolers, as most of the sentiment has been that the school in town is good, so Kaya should just go there, end of story. But apart from that ( and the cold) Cromarty has been breathtaking and beyond welcoming, in many respects. Our daily trip to the bakery is always met by smiles and discussion about life and the joy of traveling ( the owner is a dual citizen).
My Mom on the other hand didn’t fair well here during her stay; going from LA to a town of 1000 was challenging, to say the least. Our entire family has missed Thai food rather badly!
If we come back to the UK, where will we live? Most probably a little closer to our friends and family in England ( maybe Oxfordshire??) or perhaps Edinburgh will lure us into its grasp.
I am not focused on where we will be in 6 months. I am content to just have my family together and have my husband doing what he loves to do: help people become healthier. I am overjoyed by the people I have met here in Cromarty as well as through the Digital Nomad Academy, Fizzle, and the Amazing Life and Biz Academy. Thank you Corbett Barr for your support and advice!
I will update you more on life and our visa adventures ( GRRRRRR) once we arrive in Phuket and I have a mango smoothie in my hand.