People say moving home is one of the most stressful things you will do in your life. I agree, but I don’t really understand why it is so stressful. Nothing particularly bad is happening usually, there are far worse situations to find yourself in, and well, it’s just moving right? I understand that moving into a home you are buying rather than renting comes with a whole host of different challenges, however moving into a rental can also be stressful. I think it is mainly the length of time that it takes to plan, organise and physically carry out the move that causes this. A few days of disruption, living out of boxes and eating greasy takeaway food each night is tolerable, but weeks/months down the line and you’re still in the midst of a somewhat organised chaos, trying to get through the list of never ending jobs (written by your girlfriend/wife/mother/a woman) so you can get back to actually living, bah. Just so we’re clear, by living I mean binge watching Breaking Bad. Again.
Moving your life to another country is typically more complicated than a ‘normal’ house move, however the basic process is pretty much the same except you arrange to ship your belongings overseas rather than hire a van for a couple of hours. The most difficult task when moving is usually finding a new home you will be happy in, once you have conquered this and are ready to move in I always find the most frustrating, mind numbing and time consuming task to be setting up the utilities, and most importantly, the internet. Err hello, it’s 2015, how else am I going to relax if I can’t scroll through my news feed, find out what my friends had for lunch and compare myself to other girls bikini pics from their holidays.
Setting up these things in a different country was especially frustrating as we were not familiar with any American organisations, their reputations and whether the rates they were charging were a good deal. Thankfully we were able to get some advice from Ian’s colleagues and our Landlord. As we were not American Citizens we could only arrange for certain utilities to be set up by visiting the store/office in person rather than over the phone for identification purposes. This meant taking a few trips into Philadelphia from Delaware to sort Ian’s Social Security, banking, mobile phones, and gas and electric. This mainly consisted of several afternoons off work (for Ian), numerous traffic jams, a wild hunt for parking that wasn’t going to leave us bankrupt, jumping into a moving taxi to get between offices before closing time (which made me feel like a real city gal) and ended with a high five and celebratory pizza once all was finally complete. The pizza we ordered had no cheese on it. I was furious.
Before our official move in date we arranged for our new bed to be delivered to the apartment along with our belongings that had been shipped over from the UK. Around this time we were thinking about introducing ourselves to our new neighbours – it turns out there was no need. That morning we were running two minutes late for our 9am delivery slot, as the delivery men were not getting an answer from us they decided to ring the doorbell for our neighbours who live above us. Seeing the delivery men at the door we ran up the street, quickly opened the front door into the hallway to be greeted by our pyjama wearing neighbour who had obviously been woken up on his Saturday morning off work. We mumbled an awkward sorry and ran past him letting the delivery men into our apartment. We never spoke again. Just kidding.
Finally we were living in our home, our own space, taking turns sitting on our one lazy boy armchair and complaining to each other about American TV – it was bliss. No longer did I have to avoid eye contact with strangers as they eyed up my bed hair over the table at breakfast. Most importantly we were no longer in the middle of nowhere and ready to explore Phillyyyyy!!
Hopefully it will redeem itself after the pizza incident…