My biggest LOA accomplishment in terms of impact on my life and its trajectory was no doubt my move from Germany to the US... specifically Sedona, AZ.
For years, my life as a copywriter in advertising agencies hadn't fulfilled me anymore. I found it shallow and emotionally unsatisfying. I had a huge interest in New Age spirituality and longed for a community of kindred people with a more profound view of life.
I had a German friend who had moved to Sedona a year earlier, and after visiting her, I was hooked. The huge New Age community in town was incredibly exciting to me, and I met amazing people through my friend who were so warm and welcoming, I felt right at home.
From that moment on, all I wanted was to move to Sedona. But there were some obstacles to overcome. Unlike what you may hear, it’s extremely hard to get a long-term visa for the United States if you’re not the spouse of an American. Seeing how restricted my friend's life was, who had overstayed her tourist visa and was now illegally in the country, that was not an option for me.
So for months on end, I visualized the same scene over and over: How I would round the bend on the I-10 from Phoenix and get the first glimpse of the beautiful Red Rocks and would stop at a scenic spot, get out of the car, and yell, “I’m here!”
I would visualize this scene so vividly and with such overwhelming gratitude that I’d burst into tears.
At that point, one of my German coworkers and I had left the big agency we were working for and had opened up a small copywriting business together. One of her old clients, a well-known magazine publisher, gave us a new editorial project: a soap opera magazine for German teens.
We had to interview German teen soap stars on a regular basis, so both of us acquired journalist status, including press IDs.
Since some US soaps like Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place were also very popular in Germany, we wrote about those too and interviewed some of the stars. Which gave me the opportunity to apply for a journalist visa for the United States.
An important aspect of this was that I took a leap of faith. German bureaucracy is famously slow and complex. If you think you've seen a tangle of red tape in the US, you haven't seen anything, I assure you.
I was still waiting for my journalist visa, but nonetheless, I proceeded to cancel my apartment lease and my insurance (car, health, etc.), and sell everything I had.
The visa came through just in time for me to make my one-way flight to Phoenix (which I had already booked).
And the day I made Sedona my new home for the next two and a half years, I reenacted exactly the scene I had visualized all those months.
I drove around the bend on the I-10, got out of the car at a scenic point, threw my arms up in the air and shouted, "I'M HERE!!!"