It's Wednesday morning here in Portland, Maine. I woke up in slightly better spirits today than I did yesterday, mainly because I've decided that worrying about how I'm going to move to Iceland isn't going to help me move to Iceland. It will only add worry and anxiety to the entire process, which must be figured out, regardless of how I feel about it.
I also woke up with a significantly better perspective because I woke up early, and started writing right away. This is hugely important for my overall sanity. It allows some of those blue devils of worry to fly about and burn off steam before I carry them along with me throughout the day.
Anyone who has decided to move out of their home country, to a tiny Nordic one, where the language (right now) sounds nearly incomprehensible, with only a suitcase, a very modest savings, and a handful of cocked eyebrows from friends and family members, will undoubtedly be a bit nervous. But I also know that this is where I am usually the most creative. When I can't find a way towards or through something, I make one. I learned this from my Mother.
There is, however, a serious limiter to my creativity and optimism, which I am aware of, and know will make the process of moving to Iceland rather challenging. That is, if you are an American, there are only a few ways you can move to Iceland, and the application process for each is very strict. Luckily, it isn't confusing. It's quite straightforward, actually. The problem is that if you don't fall into a distinct category, you essentially disqualify yourself. For example, let's say you're moving to Iceland to be an au pair, or you've decided to finish your graduate degree at the University of Iceland, or you want to live in the West Fjords to learn the language while also working as a medical professional in an under-served community. Sounds like you're a pretty hardy candidate. If you don't have a good reason like one of the ones just mentioned, there aren't many reasons for the Directorate of Immigration to allow you to move to their tiny nation with limited resources. They have a duty to protect and provide for their own, first and foremost. After that, any foreign national entering the country is scrutinized with a very hairy eyeball indeed.
I understand this. I also understand that unfortunately, I'm not moving to Iceland to pursue my graduate degree, or to be a dentist or doctor in a small fishing village, or to study puffins, or even to take care of someone's kids. I'm moving to Iceland because I've fallen in love with a very lovely man there.
For me personally, what I know right now is that there are only three ways I can pull this off. I either work in Iceland (meaning I have a job that no other Icelander can or wants to work, which will require me qualifying for a work permit), I am a student at a university (student visa situation), or I am married to an Icelandic citizen. Obviously, the big dream here is to marry my Viking at some point, but probably not tomorrow, and hopefully not for the sake of citizenship.
So that leaves me with only two roads, actually. I either have to work in Iceland or go to school there. While I'm writing this post, I'm reminded of an email my Grandmother sent me the other day. She was warning me of the complexity of this process and asking me, basically, do you have any idea what you're about to do? It will suck entirely and I sure hope you're ready for it.
Grimmy, I think I'm ready, but I'm probably not. I'm going to do it anyway. Wish me luck.