Big Risks for Big Rewards


So it turns out, when we asked you for moving posts last week, there was more this community had to say on the topic than we could possibly imagine. Which makes sense. At this point in most of our lives, we’re in a state of transition, of moving forward. Possibly literally and certainly metaphysically, we’re all in a state of moving. Which isn’t to say this week is about packing boxes. It’s not. It’s about going the distance in a whole variety of ways. So today is in two parts. First, we have a Reclaiming Wife post from Lauren McGlynn (with her adorable Texas courthouse wedding photos) about uprooting her life and her business and moving to Scotland to be with her husband. Then, this afternoon we have Lauren’s amazing Scottish wedding. So let’s dive in. This one has huge lessons for all of us.Big Risks for Big Rewards | A Practical Wedding

The year that Aidan & I got married was one of the craziest years of my life. A timeline of that year goes something like this:

Me: B&B cook and aspiring wedding photographer. Him: Philosophy PhD candidate.

January: Aidan and I are engaged!

February: I photograph my first wedding and I love it.

March: People start booking me to photograph their weddings in the fall. I am thrilled.

April: Aidan and I get married in Texas.

May: Aidan and I get married in Scotland.

June: Aidan stays in Scotland while I move to North Carolina to live on my friend’s blueberry farm in the hopes of picking up some weddings so that we can have some money. I can’t legally work in Scotland and he can’t legally work in the States during the summers.

July: Aidan and I talk on the computer a lot. I photograph more weddings in North Carolina.

August: After two months, neither of us can stand being apart anymore, so Aidan flies to the farm, decides that he can not stand the heat, nor the insects, nor the lack of air conditioning (he is a delicate Scottish flower after all), so we drive back to Texas where it is hotter but there is AC.

September-October: I photograph lots of weddings.

November: I am laid off from my job. My new husband, still living on mere grad student salary, tells me not to look for another job, that I better make this photography thing work. Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last, I marvel over my good fortune at marrying such a person. I dump more money than I have ever spent on anything into advertising.

December: I start booking weddings like a crazy person.

January: Aidan is offered a Philosophy post doc… in Scotland.

Did you hear that? That record scratch? Is your neck tingling in sympathetic whiplash? Because what’s happening here is that both of our dreams are coming true—ON SEPARATE CONTINENTS.

Big Risks for Big Rewards | A Practical Wedding

When I met Aidan he was still a PhD student, and I had recently dropped out of grad school to work at a grocery store. I usually like to dress that up a little to make it sound more respectable by adding that it was a small neighborhood grocery store and that they sold lots of organic cereal and stuff. But whatever: When I met Aidan I was making seven dollars and hour working a mindless job at a lame grocery store. When Aidan finally came through my line, the first thing I did was add “Scottish accent” to the top of my list of sexy man things. After a few months of getting to know each other over brief one-to-three minute checkout line interactions we went out on a date.

A few months later we had a conversation where I asked him how serious he was feeling about our relationship. He made some very serious noises, but then he told me that the future of our relationship depended on me being willing to move wherever he got a job. That might be Canada, that might be the UK, that might be the middle of nowhere Alabama. At the time my career had progressed from grocery store clerk to chopping down trees with a chainsaw then dragging them through a chigger infested desert field as an Americorps volunteer, so I was like: Yeah sure, sounds good to me.

So it was harder than I had initially expected when just as I had finally started down a successful career path, Aidan was offered a job that involved us moving to another country. Of course it wasn’t just that I was successful, though that—really—was awesome. It’s also that I was good at it, and I liked it, and I liked the weddings that I was shooting. Let us also remember that I had just thrown a mountain of money into advertising for Austin, TX weddings and that it was paying off big time.

Big Risks for Big Rewards | A Practical Wedding

At the same time I knew that I would never have my career if it weren’t for Aidan. Say what you like about this, but I am the kind of person who functions much better when I’m in a stable relationship. Not to mention that the period of time when Aidan was a PhD student, while I was a grocery store clerk, or I was chopping down trees, or I was scrubbing toilets at a B&B, made me feel even more strongly that I needed a some discernable career goals. Aidan’s success motivated me to finally embark on a career that I could be proud of, and the fact that he loved me no matter what my job title was gave me the foundation that I needed to really go for it.

So obviously Aidan had to take the job. That was never a question. He told me that I had a say, but how could I say no? He moved back to Scotland in May and we decided that I would wait to move until the following November after I had finished photographing all of the weddings that I had booked in Austin. Thus ensued the one of the hardest periods of our marriage to date. We were separated by six hours and 4,600 miles. We tried to talk on the computer every day, but we often found that we had nothing new to say. We’d exchange greetings, inquiries, and avowals of love—then get pulled back into our separate worlds.

The settlement visa process wound up taking much longer and being much more intimidating than either of us ever could have anticipated. November turned into December. I was finished with all of my Austin weddings and couch crashing in North Carolina. I waited for my visa while sitting on an ever-growing mountain of angst. My computer conversations with Aidan went from us exchanging pleasantries to him saying “Hi” and me crying dramatically over the hopelessness of our situation into my keyboard.

Big Risks for Big Rewards | A Practical Wedding

In the meantime I’d put every spare dollar I had into advertising in the UK, and while I wasn’t expecting my business to be quite as booming as it had been back in Austin, considering my success had happened fairly early on, I was optimistic. It turns out that moving your business to a whole new country is harder than you might think. Or perhaps you saw this coming, but I was blindsided. When my visa did finally come through, and at long last Aidan and I were reunited two days before my thirtieth birthday in the Glasgow airport, I believe I let myself be happy for about a week before I descended into full blown panic mode over only having four weddings booked for the following year.

At the end of January of my first year as a full time wedding photographer in Austin, I had at over twenty-five weddings booked. At the end of January of my first year in the UK I had six weddings booked. My feelings of panic started turning into resentment. Being successful had given rise to a certain amount of positive feelings about my self, and moving to Scotland had replaced my newfound confidence with a whole lot of doubt. I felt guilty because I wasn’t pulling my weight financially, I was worried that I would have to go back to working jobs that I didn’t like, and I felt rejected by my new home. The situation was made worse by the fact that I was cut off from all of my friends and everyone I knew, and the cultural differences between the UK and the States made me feel like a clumsy adolescent again. I was ill at ease, unsure of myself, and floundering.

Big Risks for Big Rewards | A Practical Wedding

Finally Aidan and I had a conversation. He told me that since I had given up so much to move across the world to be with him, and now that he was earning a bit more—that it was okay if I wasn’t able to contribute as much money to our household right away, that in fact I shouldn’t expect to. I needed to let go of my expectations that weddings would come to me as easily as they did back in Texas. I stopped panicking all of the time, and I focused instead on thinking up ways to build my business anew. I got in touch with Meg, and she put me in touch with Cara (of Lillian & Leonard) and she saved me. She gave me advice, she referred clients to me, and she expressed her general approval of me on the internet, which made other UK wedding industry people begin to take me seriously. As January turned into February and then March I booked more and more weddings, a lot of them APW weddings, and I began to breathe easier.

Now a little over a year and a half after moving to Scotland, both my business and my marriage are doing really well. We have weathered some hard times, but we have never wavered in our commitment to our relationship, or in doing our best to make sure that we are both happy with the direction that our shared life is taking. Aidan recently accepted a tenure track position at the University of Edinburgh, which is a great move both of us personally and career-wise. I still have moments of panic about the business, but I have also learned a few things about being patient and putting the energy that I have during down times into being productive instead of freaking out. My calendar is already completely full for 2012 and I’m steadily booking weddings for 2013. Aidan makes me laugh every day, and we both try to be good to each other. Really, I couldn’t ask for a better life.Big Risks for Big Rewards | A Practical Wedding

Texas Courthouse Polaroids by: Lauren & Aidan’s friend Amelia

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  • http://smittenimmigrant.wordpress.com Pluis

    Thank you!!

    I’ll probably be facing something closely resembling this scenario too, a year from now. It’s incredibly scary, but I really appreciate you making me feel less alone.

    Also, you people are mighty adorable and can I just add that I love Edinburgh? That place is soooo gorgeous.

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      You know what’s crazy? I really wasn’t scared. I just sort of felt pulled along by the gravity of the situation. The scariest part was the whole Visa process (so I recommend jumping on that as soon as you possibly can), and then getting there and realizing that things in Scotland were actually quite different than in the States. The differences aren’t that huge, which I guess is why I thought it would be easier than it was, but they are bigger than they first appeared.

      Best of luck to you!

      • http://smittenimmigrant.wordpress.com Pluis

        Thank you, Lauren!

        We’re currently handling my husband’s final immigration business (or rather: naturalization). After that, we get on the green card for me (we cannot risk the two processes crossing because of residency requirements). Then, we move.

        It’s really inspiring to read how you worked on re-starting your succesful bussiness, since I hope to become self employed once we go to the States and the terrifying part is thinking I may have to give up on financial self-sufficiency for a while.

        Still, I now have a good example, so thank, thanks and thanks again :)

        • MDBethann

          I don’t know if it helps with the terrifying at all, but in terms of financial self-sufficiency, I think the most important part is knowing that you know HOW to be self-sufficient if you need to be but be willing and able to accept that there are times when for various reasons you may not be. As independent women, it can be hard to rely on someone else, but marriage is about interdependence – you lean on each other for different things – sometimes it is financial, sometimes it is emotional or housework or one of a gazillion other things that you share when living with and sharing your life with someone else. Good luck!

  • http://www.asafemooring.blogspot.com Kirsty {a safe mooring}

    Oh, Lauren. I <3 you. That is all. So happy you're here and that everything is beginning to settle into place for you xx

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      You my dear have obviously been a huge part of easing the transition, for certain. xx

  • http://boredzilla.blogspot.com Linsey

    Brilliant story of how it’s all falling into place, and I love those photos of you two!

  • Megan (from Nova Scotia)

    I just wanted to say that I am so incredibly happy that things are working out so well for the two of you. Also, the moments where you freak out about the future-I’m with you 100% on trying to to turn those moments into something more productive. It’s hard!

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      It is really hard. I’m much better at knowing that it’s what I should be doing than actually doing it, if I’m honest. That’s when having a husband who makes me laugh at myself comes in way handy. I’ll freak out about something to Aidan, then he’ll say “but you were just freaking out about that two weeks ago and it was fine, you’re just a freak out machine, get over it” and when he puts it like that I usually feel much better.

      • Megan (from Nova Scotia)

        Trying to rein in the freakouts will be a work in progress for a while :) That is exactly the sort of comment that helps me stop freaking out! haha Erik gives me this look and says ‘Seriously, didn’t we just go over this a few days ago? Trust me, we’ll deal with it and it will be fine’. And then I go drink wine and bake something…

        • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.com/ Amanda

          It’s amazing how baking can be therapeutic. It just makes me happy.

      • Katharine

        Having the freakouts over Skype is the worst. In person it’s fine because you get a hug and a laugh and someone making a joke about snot, but on the computer you feel like the anxiety will never end. Waugh!

      • youlovelucy

        “You’re just a freak out machine, get over it.”

        Yes, this is me too. Bryan calls it having the crazy eyes, so when he points it out I’m better at pulling myself out of whatever current anxiety tailspin I happen to be in.

  • http://aubergineink.com aubergine

    Moving is hard, really. Especially when you’re the one ‘following’. It’s lovely to see you making it work. Also, your courthouse wedding photos are seriously gorgeous.

  • http://elissarphotography.com Elissa

    I’ve been waiting for this post for FOREVER!!! And you delivered!!! Aaahh happiness, it is mine!
    Thank you so much for sharing, and I’m so glad you’re both doing well over there :)

  • http://www.thefamiliarwilderness.com Erin

    Even though I’m sure it was hard to go through, this story is full of everything good about marriage. Both of you inspiring and encouraging each other to make good things happen. <3

  • Katharine

    Oh man, I love this! We are living parallel lives… down to the northern European fiancé flabbergasted by the North Carolina heat. I can’t wait to meet you and I’m so glad things have started to settle!

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      2013! I’m so excited. Katharine via APW takes me to the Netherlands to photograph a wedding at the most beautiful venue ever.

      What I would give for a little NC sunshine right now. Seriously.

      • One More Sara

        I’m in NL as well!! I’m going back to the States in a few weeks, and I am so excited to be back in the warm weather!

  • Kristy

    Awww I love this! The visa process is terrifying – I’m on a work visa now, but will need to move to a spousal visa next year, and even thinking about the re-processing makes me crazy. Good luck and congratulations- if you can make it this far, you guys can do anything!

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      Yeah. I have to apply for one of those indefinite leave to remain things in November, and like you even thinking about it makes me sick to my stomach – even though we have no reason to be worried. It’s incredible to me how utterly lacking in transparency the entire process is. I recommend paying the extra money to get it expedited and use one of those VISA assistance services to have someone make sure your application is air tight. It’s so worth it if you can possibly find the money for it. Best of luck to you!

  • Amy

    Lauren, your photos are gorgeous! When we look into booking a photographer for our wedding in two years I’ll definitely be looking you up!

    Plus, you’re pretty incredible for moving continents for your relationship, and to think I found moving two hours away hard! Puts it into perspective…

  • Jashshea

    Before I read all the comments and perhaps make a more useful contribution to the conversation – I would wrestle an ox to have your hair color. That is all.

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      Thank you. It is my one vanity.

  • http://weehermione.blogspot.com Hayley

    I don’t think I can ever say this enough — you are awesomely brave to do the immigration stuff ontop of starting your own business then moving it across the ocean. LADY. YOU ARE AMAZING.

  • Brefiks

    Your husband is a cutie, and congrats to both of you on doing so well in your careers!

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      He is very cute, not to mention: SCOTTISH ACCENT. Even after living here for a year and a half it still makes me swoon.

      • Megan (from Nova Scotia)

        ahhh, scottish accent. I should be so lucky! ;) hahaha I went to a gaelic event near my parents place last year, and the accent is not quite the same but oh my. I guess I’ll have to learn to find Latvian swoon worthy though, ’cause the boy speaks that!

  • Emily

    Thank you for this! You’re a bit ahead of me in your journey; we’re getting married in three weeks and moving (to NC) in six for his job. He followed me to here to TX, so it’s now my turn, but jobs in my field are far more competitive. It’s helpful to read about someone coming out on the other end of all of this.

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      Oh I’m from NC, where are you moving? Even though they recently had that whole dumb Amendment 1 fiasco, it really is the best state. I know that other states have mountains and oceans, but in North Carolina the mountains are so inhabitable, and the ocean is so swimmable, and the in autumn the trees turn the most beautiful colors. If you wren’t from Texas I’d claim that eastern NC also has the best BBQ, but you already know the truth which I will not say out loud here because I do not wish to betray my home. Still get you some pulled pork bbq in vinegar sauce from some place east of Charlotte, and you’ll have yourself a real treat for certain. Best of luck with your move!

      • Katharine

        Preach! Oh, the barbecue… even without all the other things you mention, the barbecue alone almost makes up for the social conservatism.

  • {secretly,}

    I already knew that Lauren was a genius after she photographed my wedding, but OMG, >Lauren is a genius Lauren is a genius Lauren is a genius!!!!!<

  • http://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/cristina.l.caruso Cris C

    Wow. Lauren what a great story, and great photos!

    My partner and I read intently last weeks posts, and we will do the same this week, I’m sure. We are, after 2 years long distance, putting a plan in place to live together in the same city. This has been a long and hard process for us. The end result is that she is moving 600 miles to be with me in DC. Moving is hard, but moving a person and a business that is finally coming into its own is even harder. Lauren, I admire the grace with which you’ve done both.

    • http://somewhatbookish.wordpress.com Carrie

      Best of luck! My wife moved from Reno, NV to live with me in DC (in my tiny studio apartment) 3.5 years ago, and that worked out pretty well. :) It’s a big adjustment, but you do get the amazing benefit of getting to see the person you love every day, which is pretty great.

      • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

        I wish you luck too. Also I just want to add that Carrie & her wife have the most adorable family EVAR, so it really did work out well.

      • http://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/cristina.l.caruso Cris C

        Reno is a big adjustment! So is Portland, ME. My rural raised, suburban girl is worried most about adjusting to city life. I keep reminding her we can do anything together, and being together daily will make it easier to deal with whatever comes up.

        • http://somewhatbookish.wordpress.com Carrie

          Your partner is moving from Portland, ME? That’s where my wife is from (although she was working in Reno at the time of her move). We’ll be there this weekend to visit her family. What a small world!

          • http://www.ameripriseadvisors.com/cristina.l.caruso Cris C

            She is! And that is where I’m (sort of) from as well. I’m heading up there over Memorial day to work on move stuff and help paint the house. My world just shrank again! Enjoy your trip, maybe it will have stopped raining by the time you get there.

  • http://somewhatbookish.wordpress.com Carrie

    Gah! It’s Lauren day on APW! I’m so excited.

    Marriage is such a leap of faith – and yours was an especially long leap. I’m so glad that things are working out on the other side of the pond and I’m excited for your move to Edinburgh! Hooray!

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      I’m so excited for the wordless wedding post to go up, just so I can link back to your post and say WEDDING TWIN! and then wax poetic about how wearing the sames clothes on your wedding day may be an indication of having found a kindred sprit. <3

  • http://www.christytylerphotography.com Christy Tyler

    Oh I love you so, and love the two of you together. And I’m so happy things have moved along wonderfully for you over that big ocean. :)

    Also this: “At the same time I knew that I would never have my career if it weren’t for Aidan. Say what you like about this, but I am the kind of person who functions much better when I’m in a stable relationship.” This. This is exactly how I feel about James. My business/career/life took off and became so much more focused thanks to having his support and encouragement (and non-drama relationship) in my life. <3

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      Yes. That alone has been huge. I feel like there is this whole narrative out there that you HAVE to find your self and be functioning to the best of your ability before you find a partner because otherwise you’re co-dependent, and you’ll never really find yourself, and if it all comes crumbling down around your ears then what will you have? But it just didn’t work like that for me. Finding a relationship that nourished me was absolutly necessary for me to come into myself, and I think that’s okay. I don’t doubt for a second that I got very lucky when I found Aidan, every dude who I had been remotely romantically interested in prior to him is a giant testament to that. Nor do I think that people should HAVE to be in relationships to realize their goals, but for me it was imperative.

      Also obviously I love you too <3

      • Megan (from Nova Scotia)

        Yes, Lauren, thanks for putting that into writing. I’m 100% there with you on that one.

      • youlovelucy

        Also 100% with this. Extremely well said.

  • KateM

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. Sometimes we focus so much on trying to hold onto ourselves and our dreams in a relationship that we can’t see the forest for the trees. At times one person has to sacrifice more and it is great that you were willing to put your marriage first and then make your dreams continue to happen. Great post.

  • http://medeamaterial.com Jules

    Hugs for you Lauren and props for moving your business and starting a new life in Scotland. I also had to deal with immigration issues with my spouse, so I understand how stressful it is and how frustrating the process is, and how everyone’s case is different so what worked for one person may not work for another. At the end of the day, realizing that what is important is being together puts the rest into perspective: at least they are problems that can be faced together as a team.

  • http://thecelebrationgirl.com Marcela

    Oh I understand this post so much…my voice is broken from holding up some tears right now…

  • Laura

    Ugh I’m sure it’s just hormones but I am on the brink of tears right now. I’m the academic, he’s the hardworking self-employee trying to make a name for himself after already having moved 3000 miles to be with me. And now the prospect faces us of uprooting again for my career. It is a *lot* to ask to ask someone to drop their whole life and trail after you from grad school to postdoc to (hopefully) faculty (maybe with some stops along the way). But, the perspective you describe here is overwhelmingly true – in academics, there’s no question that, when you get an amazing job offer (or, in the current times, *any* job offer), *you go*. I feel a lot of responsibility for my partner’s future, for our relationship’s future. And it’s hard enough already trying to make it in science. Bahhh. The end.

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      Aww hugs to you lady, and lots of them. It was hard, but it has been worth it. This economy is not kind to academics right now, and the academic job market was never kind. But once you get serious I’m pretty sure that everyone has the conversation where they realize what they are signing up for, and sure the idea of it is quite different from the reality, but that’s true about everything in life.

      Once you finally get a tenure track position, and you can both can start putting down roots, it will be such a relief. You will both finally reap the rewards that you have worked so hard for, and I promise you that the nice bits are that much sweeter for having struggled so hard for it.

      • Hana

        I totally understand — we are in a similar situation. My husband and I are in academia too — only, I didn’t want to continue with research, so when my husband got a post-doc in Spain, I followed him. We like it here, but it’s hard because it’s neither of us’s home. He’s American and I’m from Asia. For me it was surprising that even though the US and Spain are both “Western” countries, they are very different in so many ways.

        Anyway, since post-docs are not for forever, he’s looking for a tenure-track positions and it’s been quite tough for us. We have our dream places to live, but we can’t be picky in academia when applying to jobs like you guys said. So we have to apply for everything even though it might mean we have to live in a not-so-appealing place… at least we hope to live in a country where one of us is from.

        And I totally agree with what you said about finally able to put down roots once you find a tenure-track position… currently we don’t feel like “grown-ups” yet. I wanna live in a house where I know we don’t have to move after 2-3 years! and to be able to start a family. Sorry for the long comment, but all this is to say I really liked your post!

        • http://extragrunty.wordpress.com extragrunty

          “Currently we don’t feel like “grown-ups” yet. I wanna live in a house where I know we don’t have to move after 2-3 years! and to be able to start a family.”

          Yep! Getting married next weekend and it’s kinda weird telling people ‘I love you but please don’t buy me lots of stuff for the wedding cause I’m going to have to move it eventually and I don’t have anywhere in my tiny cupboards for it’!
          Wish I could paint the walls and grow more plants. But I’d have to eventually move those plants. Le sigh. Someday…..

  • Michelle

    This was a wonderful article. I am currently in this situation between the US and Canada. I met my soon to be hubby online through a mutual love of music, we became friends then decided to meet in Phoenix. It was love at first sight for both of us and then the *fun* started! He lives in SW Florida and I live in Vancouver. We are on complete opposite (in every way) locations. We travel back and forth, though with my career he tends to come visit me more here. I have worked my way up from the bottom to create a dream life here. I have a high role in a hard industry (marketing), own my own home, drive a nice car and live in an amazing city with my fur babies. After going back and forth for a while (and a Florida beach proposal) he decided to relocate to me, but we had so much Visa trouble and his two small children live with their mother in Florida.

    SOOOO in 3 weeks I am packing up my life into my car and driving down there. It was such a hard decision, but I knew that he was willing to make it for me and I need to be willing to make it for him too, even if that means losing the life I have worked so hard to build for myself.

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      Oh girl. That sounds hard. But rewarding. Plus in Florida you can go swimming year round! I bet you can’t do that in Vancouver! Plus they have manatees, which are the cutest sea creatures ever. Also oranges grow on trees there AND just think of all of the sea food! Florida is also not quite as politically backward as most of the other southern states, so you’re very much in luck there. I’m sure that it will take a lot of getting used to, but there are way worse places that you could move to for love. So much good luck and my best wishes to you!

  • Snow Gray

    This post is very close to my heart – the visa application is one of the things that scare me the most in our plans. We are getting married in 5 months and then I’m (if all goes as planned) moving 5,500 miles and 8 time zones away to England.

    Any advice you have regarding the UK visa process would be amazing.

    Not sure if it’ll make you feel better, but maybe a little… but in 2009 the pass rate for the Life in the UK test was 97.7 percent for Americans. Good luck in November!

    • http://laurenmcglynnphotography.com Lauren

      Apply as early as you possibly can, pay for it to get expedited, and try to find a private agency to help you. They have them in both New York & LA where the British embassies are, so I’m not sure where you’re located, but a little digging should turn up something. It is a hundred precent wroth it, because the visa website is so hard to navigate. I was finding new, very pertinent informations after I had already submitted my application, which was really scary. And of course I spent hundreds of hours on that website long before I submitted anything. Having some professional help on this could save you a lot of time an possibly a lot of money if your application gets rejected for a stupid reason – because they of course keep the £1100 application fee no matter what, and you have to pay it again if you apply again.

      That is my advice. As you can see I’m still not over how traumatic that process was, but some people have an easier time. So much luck to you!

    • hailie

      Find an agency to help you! The extra money will be SO worth it, because the website is confusing and contradictory. Plus it’s nearly impossible to find people who will answer your questions…
      (I’m still traumatized too)
      I get this outrageous urge to help anyone dealing with this because I so desperately needed the help myself and couldn’t find it. So, seriously, if you want more advice just say!

  • http://breckwinokur.com Breck

    “Aidan’s success motivated me to finally embark on a career that I could be proud of, and the fact that he loved me no matter what my job title was gave me the foundation that I needed to really go for it.”

    THIS!! Thank you so much for this today. I’m a lowly undergrad and my boyfriend is already pretty well-established in his career, but has reached an impasse at his current office, so I, too, will be doing some following in the next year or so (which I’m happy to do). Just like you, seeing him have the ambition to chase his success (and his awesome support) has given me the motivation to pursue my writing (which I can luckily do pretty much anywhere). Without his encouragement and knowing he has my back, I’m not sure I’d have to gall to go for it. It feels good to know there are others out there who have had similar situations!

  • http://www.theloudandclear.com Kate

    Great post! I love your story and am so glad that things are going well for you and your husband. I did my study abroad semester at the University of Edinburgh and it’s easily my favorite city in the world so far. I’m hoping to get back there when my husband and I spend Christmas in Ireland with his family this year. Good luck!!

  • suzanna

    “Aidan’s success motivated me to finally embark on a career that I could be proud of, and the fact that he loved me no matter what my job title was gave me the foundation that I needed to really go for it.”

    YES! Yay for partner-rific accomplishments!

  • http://magpietrousseau.wordpress.com Magpie

    Oh Lauren! I heart you to little tiny pieces. Thanks for writing this post. We are in the throes of big changes here too (changes! not stagnation! this is progress!) and it’s so wonderful to hear stories of how good things come out the other side of those changes – hooray for moving to Edinburgh – we’re so excited for you!

    And huge kudos to both you and Aidan on your spectacular careers. You are an inspiration!

  • Cary

    So very happy that we get to have you as a photographer for our wedding in October.

    Also high five on the tenure track position. I’m delighted that Edinburgh Uni saw the light and hired Aiden.

  • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

    “It turns out that moving your business to a whole new country is harder than you might think.”

    Yes. Recently, I have been realizing that it’s going to be harder than I thought to re-start my career in my husband’s country. But thankfully, I enjoy my “day job” so that helps immeasurably. But I neglected to take into account cultural differences and how things just seem to happen slower here. Everything seems to take so much longer and is an extended process….

    Lauren, it is encouraging to hear how you made the transition from one country to another with your career. Congrats on that, your marriage, and living in the same country!

  • http://www.peoniesandpoladoids.com cara

    You’re sweet and this post made my heart all happy. I’m so glad you moved here, Scotland *needed* some Lauren.

  • http://iputonmywolfsuit.blogspot.com/ Hanna

    You are incredibly brave doing all of these things at the same time. The immigration shit has been my life for the last three years and we are still not out of the woods. Having bounced across the world and started again more times than I can count on my fingers, it never gets easier- it only makes you braver than you thought. Thank you for sharing this story, with all it’s ups and downs. It’s given me a good deal to think about over the least couple of days.