Moving is one of the more stressful things we can go through as adults. It means uprooting yourself, your family, and your home physically and emotionally, and entering into a whole new place, without abandon.
I know. I’ve moved more times in the last few years than most people have in their lives. The most memorable of my moves was last year, when my husband and I relocated from London to the United States. My husband is South African and had been living in London when we met in New York, where I was living. We dated for three years in a long distance relationship – him in London, me in New York – just like an expensive, real-life romantic comedy.
Our time in London put all that to an end and firmly cemented our lives together, emotionally, logistically, and physically.
In our process of moving back to the States after a few years abroad, I discovered that moving as a couple (and securing a green card, no less) was more difficult than anticipated. My move to London in 2012 felt simple – it was me, my bags, a relatively easy visa process, a plane ride, and that was all. I flew in just in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, celebrating my arrival with drinks in the rain, like a true Brit. Ultimately, I treated the jump across the pond almost like a U.S. hiatus rather than a life changing move.
Fast forward to 2015, and my husband and I were now planning to move to the States – together. What had felt like an easy process during my first relocation was now much more complex, not only with the experiences, logistics, and personal belongings of another person, but with a more in-depth visa process, and figuring out our work and living situation from abroad.
I consider myself a pretty organized person, but dealing with an international move and immigration visa process while working as a freelancer was on another level. The stress was more serious, the stakes were higher, and highly organized, control-freak me started to feel, well, a little out of control.
Ultimately, I used every tool I had access to to try and gain some greater control and security over my life. There were the many Google Docs, the electronic copies of our paperwork, the hard copies of that same paperwork, the file folders, the synced calendars, and a new appreciation for apps that help with security and personal information – namely Apple Notes, Evernote, and, Sudo.
Evernote and Apple Notes helped me to keep track of our never-ending to-do list while away from my laptop, but Sudo gave me piece of mind. Because we were organizing many aspects of the move electronically – all while I worked remotely, no less – I had fears of what would happen if our information was somehow lost, hacked, or stolen. During those few weeks in our transition, we were living our lives online in a way that we hadn’t before, and our most sensitive information felt like it was on the line. Luckily, Sudo helped me to control that by protecting our privacy and personal data through the use of the apps ability to let you set up “pseudo” or masked contact information.
It allowed me to make international calls, send texts, and emails, all while keeping my personal details safe and eliminating the worry about out information being compromised during such a stressful time. A soon-to-be favorite feature of mine that launches this month is the ability to create single use credit card numbers that are tied to personal credit card number and information – meaning you never have to give out personal payment details again.
During a time when I felt I had the least control over my life, using an app that let me control my online identity and personal information made me feel like I was able to be in the driver's seat again (no pun intended) and helped me to rest a little easier. It might sound ridiculous but it really did help, and I’d recommend it for anyone who’s dealing with a move, or feels insecure about the amount of personal information they have on the internet.
Of course, our move worked out in the end, but going through such an uncertain stressful time has taught my to be more patient and intentional in my every day life. To trust that people, processes and apps are best left to doing the jobs they know best, I have even learned to ‘go with the flow’ a little more, and to relax.
So far, the lessons are still working. At least when it comes to the next big move or event, I’ll be prepared.