Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Yo-yo Around the World

I wonder who else saw this coming. I've decided to head back to Korea, at least until the summer. Sometimes when you need to make a spur of the moment decision, you don't have the luxury of having a contingency plan. Or two or three. As many of you know, I'm going back to grad school this fall, and in order to make sure my visa process goes through smoothly, I need to request for my student visa within my home country--to wit, I must be here and not Korea. But, being ever the pragmatist, I thought it made monetary sense (at the time, of course) for me to stay in America when we came home for the Christmas holiday. Each dollar matters when you're putting someone through school. We had less than six days to decide all of this, and make necessary living arrangements for that length of time.

Enter my reasoning: 1) I would need to stay here and do paperwork to make sure I secured government aid, private loans, and scholarships; and 2) so I could attend two fiber festivals. Once we landed, we visited with friends and family every single weekend for 2 months, and some of the visits were extended (and during the week, even). So, by the time Mr. IT Guy was ready to head back to Korea, I hadn't worked on any of my original reasons for staying here. I found out rather tragically that one of the fiber shows I planned to attend, the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Festival, isn't operating this year. The center it was held at annually was large, cool, and wired, and it brought artisans from all over the world. I'm not privy to all of the details, but I was told succinctly that due to management issues on the convention center's part, the event organizer, and president of the organization, had no time to prepare herself for the event for this year, let alone do the proper marketing for vendors. So, she canceled it this year. Further, she gave me advice about the other show I was planning to attend, and convinced me it wasn't worth my time and effort. So, two big reasons why I wanted to stay dwindled to zero reasons.

But, there was still the possibility that I needed to be here to make sure I had funding available for school, well in advance of my visa application. In order to request for my student visa, I can apply no earlier than 90 days from my start date for school. I also need to show that I can pay for my living expenses (<----read that as loans) before I can request for my visa. So, working backwards, I must have an approved loan application before I can request the visa. I had a bazillion problems with my loans during my first grad school experience (when the economy collapsed in 2008 and lenders all seemed to go bankrupt), so I learned that I must start early so they can be processed in time. But with that, I can only apply to loans no earlier than 180 days before my school start date. Confused yet? :)

  1. I was scheduled to head back to Korea with Mr. IT Guy on Feb 12
  2. The earliest I could begin a loan application was April 1-ish
  3. The earliest I could apply for the student visa was June 28
  4. School starts September 28
At the time, going back to Korea for 6 weeks seemed ridiculous, especially since it takes about 1 week to recover from jetlag. Every day leading up to when Mr. IT Guy needed to leave felt more and more precious. The result? I had no motivation to do much 'extra' stuff while he was here. But on the day he left, I absolutely fell into a million pieces. I didn't sleep, and obsessively watched him fly across the world with an airplane tracker app. Then I was completely motivated to get things together: did I really need to stay in America? And the phone calls began. After a feverish pace of calling and talking, asking and figuring, it turns out: I don't need to be here until the end of June. I can do everything online, with no extra paperwork which requires my physical presence.

Even after considering my new round trip flight, the money now works out to be better with me in Korea, rather than with me in America. Strange, but then there's the math. What does this mean for Expertly Dyed? Nothing at all. :) The best part is, there won't be any interrupted service. I'll still be doing everything I'm doing, but I'll be doing it in Korea (again) for a few months. I still left a bunch of fiber behind, and my Babe is still there, so I'll still be doing tutorial videos and the like. I also have my blending board and blending hackle there...which makes for a great opportunity to really acquainted  with using them! And on that note, I think I'm ready to start doing some tutorial videos with my blending board. 

There you have it, a yo-yo journey across the globe. All in the name of love. What about you, have you ever lived abroad from your sweetie? What did you do to cope?