Back in June I wrote a post announcing I had submitted my residency application to live in Spain – https://isobelblackthorn.com/2022/06/10/moving-to-canary-islands-when-a-dream-comes-true/
Since then, I’ve been waiting two months to write this post. Two months anxiously waiting for my residency visa, and a month of that in limbo after I moved out of my former home and went visiting family and saying my farewells. It’s been a very emotional time as I’m relocating halfway around the world. The hardest part has been saying goodbye to my beautiful cat of ten years. I well up every time I think of her. But taking her was not an option and I know she now has a lovely new mum and she’s really happy in her new home. Separation from loved ones is always hard and that includes our pets. Many times I thought I would never go through with fulfilling my dream because of her.
Anyone who has dealt with immigration knows how edgy the process can be. There’s so much doubt and uncertainty, and simply not knowing what’s happening and where things are up to. Having sold my home, I came up with a Plan B (and a Plan C, too), options I could implement that I would be reasonably happy with if my visa application was rejected.
When your life depends on the outcome, as is so often the case, the stress of waiting is truly oppressive and psychologically crippling. Thirty years ago, the Australian government issued me with a deportation order over a failed residency application so I do know a little of what that’s like. This time, as the weeks dragged by, I began to think I wouldn’t get the visa – that I had somehow mucked up my application, thought I met the criteria and didn’t. I even began to implement Plan B (the UK option). I had got as far as choosing a location in the UK and even a possible house to buy. I was all set to call the Spanish consulate and ask for my passport back because the whole process felt doomed. Then, just as I was poised, phone in hand to dial the consulate, the phone rang. It was the consulate, informing me of my success! I was so happy, I cried.
Right now the news is still sinking in. I’m about to become a resident of Spain. I hope to make that permanent. I can’t know what the future will hold, but I’ve known for a long time that I need to be where I feel I belong. That said, I know that just around the corner is a bit of a culture shock. Still, I’m resilient. I’ve lived in so many different places and managed to find my way. And I do have a lovely set of friends on the island already. My Spanish has come a long way, too, thanks to Duolingo.
I left Lanzarote in 1990 with a single blue travelling bag and a heart full of sadness. This time, thirty-two years later, I’m arriving in Fuerteventura with just two suitcases and a heart bursting with joy.
Wish me luck! I’ll let you know how I get on…