Edinburgh Expat Life Musings

When Your (Expat) Life Has an Expiry Date

Jan 05


It’s been quiet around this blog lately. Truth be told, I have been really busy over past few months: between starting a new job, working full-time, travelling semi-frequently, and doing a bit of freelance work, I’ve hardly had any time to write. But there’s another reason I let this blog momentarily fall by the wayside: I’m currently grappling with the fact that my temporary work visa expires at the end of April.

It wasn’t until recently that it really started to sink in, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The thought of having to leave in Edinburgh in three and a half months fills me with a strong sense of dread and panic.

I started a new job at the end of September – a job that, for the first time in my life, I really enjoy. I’m surrounded by amazing people. I have the ability to jet off to a new European destination every month. Without much intention, I managed to build a life here – a life that I love, and one that I’m not ready to give up just yet.

There is a silver lining: I’ve been lucky enough to discover two potential options that would allow me to stay in the UK for longer – one of which is currently in the works – but time isn’t on my side at the moment.

After living in Edinburgh for six months, I wrote this post and said, “I can’t help but feel as though I’ll once again end up leaving Edinburgh with a heavy heart and a longing to return.” More than a year after writing that, I have those exact sentiments – only on a stronger level.

I’m not sure what will transpire over the next three and a half months, or where I’ll end up in April. All I know is this: I’m not ready to say goodbye to Edinburgh.

Like this post? Read more:

Have you ever been forced to leave a place you love?


  • Reply LC Jan 06 at 4:00 am

    I have my fingers and toes crossed that it works out for you. Hope the next three months there are amazing, regardless.

    • Reply ashleywanders Jan 09 at 8:44 pm

      Thanks so much, LC – I really appreciate it!

  • Reply Clarissa Feb 17 at 2:37 pm

    I just stumbled upon your lovely blog through the tangled weavings of the web. As an American living in Edinburgh, I feel your pain on your visa! I hope you don’t mind a stranger wishing you the best from her end of things–good luck to you no matter what comes your way!

    • Reply ashleywanders Feb 19 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks so much, Clarissa! I appreciate that 🙂

  • Reply Alice Apr 04 at 2:43 am

    I THOUGHT YOU WERE DYING HOLY CRAP. Please don’t scare me like that x_x

    • Reply ashleywanders Apr 04 at 6:56 pm

      Oh no, sorry Alice! I didn’t even think someone might interpret the title like that, haha my bad!

  • Reply Jennifer Mar 24 at 3:34 am

    Stumbled on your blog…and love it!!! Thank you for sharing your experiences. We’ve decided recently to live in Scotland for the maximum stint of 6 months, I believe, but why do folks have to leave after 6 months, and how soon can you go back after you leave??

    • Reply ashleywanders Jun 09 at 12:53 pm

      Thanks so much Jennifer! Are you a Canadian or US citizen? I believe 6 months is the maximum amount of time you can stay on a visitor visa if you’re from either country. If you try to return soon after staying for 6 months on a visitor visa without a proof of onward flights or a more permanent visa, you may run into more intense questioning at immigration – just something to be mindful of.

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