So, I appear to have moved to America.

No one, you’ll understand, is more surprised at the suddenness of that news than me. Truth be told, I was expecting a long drawn out visa application process, marred by rejection and appeal and soul-crushing queuing and endless forms and phone calls and trips to the American embassy.

Instead, two weeks ago today I called up the embassy to ask when their next available appointment was. Turns out, it was Wednesday. The entire process, including the interview, took less than two hours. The visa arrived this time last week. And here I am.

(I’m skipping over a few steps – mostly involving paperwork and background checks and letters – but not many.)

I flew in to San Francisco yesterday, hungover to crap after a leaving dinner with somegreat folks, but it’s far too early to say whether I’ll stay here or decide on somewhere else. Right now my priority is to figure out urgent needs like bank accounts and mobile phones, before dealing with bigger picture things like a place to live. I am Maslow’s upside-down hierarchy of needs.

In the unlikely event that you’re wondering, there are a whole load of reasons for the decision. If you read this installment of my column you’ll know some of them, but from a purely practical point of view, I need to be based in one place for a while to write the next book – constant travelling and serious, prolonged writing really don’t mix – and I didn’t feel like that place being London.

So here I am. Hello America.

More soon. First I have to update my Dopplr ‘home’ city. Priorities…