First of all…If you’ve been reading my past The Journey articles, you’ll know that I’ve been working towards getting a British passport. I’m American, but sailing around the world with a British passport would make life easier – especially in Europe. And since I’m married to a Brit and live in England currently, it makes sense. Anyway, the first step in the process is to become a citizen, and to do that I needed to take a test…
I PASSED the ‘Life in the UK Test’ – Yippie!
The lead up to the exam took about an hour and that’s not including the 1-hour travel journey. To relieve my nerves a bit, hubby drove me to the testing venue. He’s so supportive and I’m so grateful to have him in my life.
On the computer-generated exam, there were 24 questions and I was unsure of 5 of them. I did all the questions I knew, went back, and used my gut decision to answer the 5 others. Within 4 minutes I was done with the test. Answers to questions like, ‘Where is Big Ben Located – A. Houses of Parliament, B. 10 Downing Street, C. The London Eye or D. Trafalgar Square” didn’t take longer than a few seconds to answer. Not all questions were that easy!
Now it’s time to fill out my British Citizenship paperwork, get a photo ID, and submit it for approval.
Passing a test, eBay, Neighbours, and Chili!
The test was only one part of my new ‘normal’ day. Thereafter, Simon and I went to lunch to celebrate. I strongly believe that we need to take time out and celebrate our achievements – otherwise, you just keep moving on and there’s no room for appreciation. Of course, I couldn’t resist a glass of wine.
We then put my father-in-law’s big stuff on eBay – a 3 piece dining room set, living room cabinet, and an entertainment console.
While loading the furniture on eBay (something I’ve never done before), I saw my neighbors parking up. Simon yelled out and we managed to give them our outdoor deck table and chairs in addition to our 2 bar stools and glass round table. We have about 5 weeks left before we need a home for all our stuff.
Our things are flowing out of the house – one by one. All this and I was making some lovely chili for dinner.
How’s it feel to get rid of your belongings?
So how do I feel as I see our things go out the door? For the most part, I keep telling myself that our things are going to good homes. Furthermore, nothing we own is that expensive.
It’s rather strange when you think of it. Simon and I haven’t spent much money on our house possessions. Our things are nice but they’re not high priced. Most furniture came from Ikea so if we have to throw things out it’s not like we’re throwing out some sort of antique.
And since I’m not from England, my family hasn’t been able to pass family furniture/heirloom items down to me. I often felt sad that I couldn’t have my great grannies Chester drawers or her lovely rocking chair, but now I’m happy my brother is their guardian!
Overall, giving away my stuff hasn’t been too hard (yet). I still have doubts and think, ‘Oh-my-God, what are we doing?’ I wonder if I’m going to miss all the rooms in my house. I wonder if I’m going to miss my big closet and comfy blue sofa? Not sure?
I look around what use to be my ‘normal’ life and I wonder what will be missed and what will be forgotten. Only time will tell – I’m sure my new normal will change soon!
Keep reading – the next chapter has an interesting story about selling our current boat.
Or…if you’d like to carry on reading all about our journey from selling up and sailing away, you can purchase my book, ‘Changing Lifestyles – Trading the Rat Race in For A Sail Around The World,’