Finding a place to live is a pretty big job, finding a place to live in a country/city you have never been to before feels impossible. Looking around other peoples homes is fun though right, or is that just me?
Once we arrived in Philly we had three days to find and secure rental accommodation before driving 40 miles to Delaware where we were staying temporarily. Luckily we had the help of CORT who assisted us with the whole process.
As we did not know the Philadelphia area at all deciding on a neighbourhood would have been nearly impossible if we did not have anyone to help us, luckily Ian’s colleagues in America were very generous in offering their guidance and recommendations. I also found Visit Philly extremely helpful with getting a feel for each neighbourhood as well as finding information on public transport links and popular attractions close by.
We had narrowed down the list of available accommodation provided by CORT to those we were interested in and Kimberley, our Relocations Advisor arranged viewings for each apartment to take place all on the same day. On Friday morning Kimberley collected us from outside the hotel, drove us to each property and accompanied us to each viewing.
The pressure of having to choose somewhere you are going to live and commit to for at least twelve months is pretty extreme. We basically spent our whole weekend walking around the neighbourhoods we had chosen, discovering what was around and trying to decide if it was ‘us’. I found it really hard to judge the neighbourhoods because the look and feel of the city was so different to what I was used to and I couldn’t tell what was a nice area and what wasn’t; the streets seemed to have the ability change drastically from block to block. We did discover an amazing looking street and emailed Kimberley straight away to see if there were any available properties, turns out they were million dollar homes…we may have high expectations but at least we have good taste!
That Friday we viewed eight apartments – I get excited about looking at properties but this was a bit of an overload even for me. Unfortunately some of the apartments didn’t exactly match up to their photos – one was on a very loud main street above a Chinese takeaway and we could hear the lady taking orders from downstairs, one had no windows in the kitchen/living room and another seemed to be built on angle with wonky windows and crooked woodwork against bright yellow wallpaper… thankfully we did find one we both really liked and managed to secure the apartment, wahoo – one job down, 3678 to go!
That night we decided it was time to relax and try out a local restaurant and a few bars. We enjoyed happy hour at Amada sampling tapas and white sangria (now one of our fave restaurants – review coming soon). This was my first experience of American alcohol measures, drinking cocktails in Hotel Monaco’s rooftop lounge I was unaware of how strong each drink was, by the end of the night I was pretty much unaware of most things. After trying out a few other local bars we apparently went for some more food and Ian carried me back to the hotel. The end.