Almost a year in the USA...
so this time last year, we were inappropriately dressed for the weather here in the USA, frantically looking for a place to live and schools for the kids. i remember when I first stepped out of the airport - I swear I watched my breath proceed from my mouth, turn to icicles and smack onto the ground. i thought i knew cold. i was schooled so fast. i had packed only my cute ballet pumps and high heeled knee high boots. nobody cares about your cute outfits when it’s cold outside. Nobody is looking at you - they are trying to stop their eyes from frosting over.
i actually started writing the below post a few days into our trip. i never finished & posted it:
One of the most exciting parts of moving to a new area is learning all the "personalities" of the various towns & surbubs there. Naturally everyone has their opinion about each area, with where they live ranking highest.
So there we were, day 4 of our visit here and dressed to impress as we went to find our home in Massachusetts! I was so pumped! This was it, we were going to find an amazing apartment or home and by evening we'd be clinking glasses in celebration.
So we went and viewed the first house in a location we weren't so keen on. You know when you arrive somewhere and hope someone's going to say "I just stopped here because we are lost." ? This was one of those. We weren't lost. This random house that had the dirtiest front door and bric a brac strewn all over the yard was what the realtor had brought us to see. And what do you know...it was bang on budget! I didn't even want to go inside. But out of respect for the realtor and the dude that stood proudly in front of the house we went in. I was ready to leave within 5 minutes. The next house and the one after that were equally horrendous and climbing over budget. By the end of that day it was clear we needed to go back to the drawing board! We had one more day of house hunting but not before we visited schools!
the post was going to go into how we re-evaluated our priorities and found our way swiftly to Rhode Island where we found a 3-bed rental in budget and in a good school district. i quickly found out that the sweeping statement of everything being cheaper in America was wildly off course. especially with brexit and the plummeting of the £. as stated in a previous post, i nearly passed out when i did my first food shop.but as time has passed we've found our feet and i'm a little wiser and learning a bit more about how to get great deals....and accepting that the cost of living here is just higher.
some other things i've learnt in the past year:
- there's always a sale - don't pay full price for anything. i remember wandering into a mall and seeing the kitchenaid mixer of my dreams on sale. my heart started beating so fast. i was not leaving that store without that mixer. they said the sale was ending in a couple of days. i wasn't risking it. i paid so quickly and was going straight home to bake a cake in my bargain kitchenaid! it was too heavy to carry so it had to be delivered...to our apartment across the road. 2 days later, ever before my mixer arrived, the sale sure did end. and it was replaced with a new sale under a new name. and when that one ended another one followed. how dumb did i feel?
- the price on the item is not the price you are going to pay: VAT is never included! i hate this one little fact. you get to the till so excited and they call out a whole different number. what if i had exactly what's on the label? argh! thankfully, the Lord knows me and made sure we came to a state where clothing isn't taxed. i belong here.
- zara is more expensive here. like way more. i need a moment to re-grieve this fact.
- Grocery delivery isn’t as commonplace as in the UK - there’s one supermarket in our area that delivers & they don’t deliver to our address. Go figure. i have to say this has been the biggest adjustment for me. I loved having a regular delivery slot with a recurring food shop already set in place. it was so much easier to stay on budget too. now I must go in weekly and generally never stick to my list - there’s always something else to be spotted and bought. even a quick stop for bread turns into $70 in the blink of an eye.
hmm...all my lessons seem to revolve around shopping.....even though i hardly ever shop 😬. moving swiftly on....let me find a deep and meaningful lesson......
i may be a while, because it’s really deep. so let’s stop here and i’ll pick up when i do our one year recap 👍🏾.
happy new week!
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