We Have a New Address!

Today marks the 5th day of living in the new house. We officially moved to our new place right at the start of November. Since we are renting from family, they are generous enough to give us the key to the house prior to our move, so we had gone back and forth in October to slowly move our stuff and also clean and prepare the house before we officially move in.

We are still living in California, still in greater Los Angeles, although different cities and zip codes now. While I was going back and forth last month, and during the last couple of days, I began to notice the differences between the two areas. It looks like my old house has a more suburbia feel compared to this new one. I thought they would be the same, since both are in suburban Los Angeles.

My old place was located in a very quiet neighborhood with big roads, has a big neighborhood park but it’s almost impossible to travel by foot or public transportation to get around. I did it when I just moved to the US and before I was able to drive, but trust me it was not ideal.

To my surprise, my new neighborhood is very walkable! the house is located in the “downtown” neighborhood of the city, and although the road is more narrow (downside: it’s harder to find street parking should we want to host a big group… but who wants to host anyway, with covid? hehe), it’s within walking distance to the city hall, restaurants, main street, supermarket, and a weekly farmers market! AAAH I’m so happy! Since I left Bournemouth, I never lived in a place where I could walk to get essentials. This gives me so much joy already. Should I get a job in downtown Los Angeles, there’s also a Metro station nearby which I can take comfortably. The city also provides a free shuttle to get around downtown and I believe public transportation should be more accessible… but we’ll see. I can’t wait to explore more!

Another downside besides the lack of street parking is also the lack of Asian food in this neighborhood.. HAHAHA. I used to be able to get boba so easily and there’s a lot of good Asian food in my old neighborhood. Here I had to drive 15-25 minutes away, or just go back to my old neighborhood if I crave for good Asian food (the old neighborhood is 25 – 30 minutes away).

But so far I’ve been loving the experience of moving out – moving in and settling in. Although we are not yet homeowners but for the first time ever we now have our own space and I have the liberty to decorate… and I now have my own little reading nook! ❤ I hope this means that I would still be able to keep up with my Goodreads challenge til the rest of the year hehehe.

Anyway, back to unpacking! I still have to figure out how to organize my closet and there’s still a couple of boxes that haven’t been opened (mostly R’s stuff.. I moved from Indonesia 3 years ago so I don’t have a lot of stuff with me). It has been a fun and it definitely takes my mind off the stress of being unemployed… but I trust that everything will fall into place at the right time, just like our move. More house update to come and wish us luck as we transform this space to a home! 🙂

What They Don’t Tell You About Moving Abroad For Love

I remember my initial reaction when I was introduced to my husband. “it’s not going to work”, was what came to mind when I learned that he lives in America. At that time, I had no slightest desire of moving to the US. The American dream was not part of my dream, if anything, deep down, what I wanted was to be able to live in the UK again, one day.

Long story short, today I’m approaching my 3 years moving-to-the-US anniversary, yet sometimes I still find myself in disbelief… wow I have really moved abroad for love. It has been quite a ride, full of ups and downs. I’ve shared bits and pieces about my immigrant story in the blog, but one thing I realized that I haven’t shared is the things that nobody told me before my big move.

There will always be that void in your heart

…from missing your family and friends in your home country. Of course you will build a new family together with your significant other, you’ll also make new friends, and you/they can always visit! But things will be different. I’m thankful that I moved in the era of the internet, where connecting with distanced loved ones is no longer a hardship. But still, there will be moments missed, connections lost, which, sooner or later you just gotta accept.

Starting over is hard…

…and it takes a lot of patience. For a planner like myself, my move abroad means having to deal with uncertainty, and many times it almost killed me. Over and over I had to face that plans do change, especially when you are starting over in a new country. Latest example? COVID-19, which of course caught everyone by surprise. Personally, it affected my job hunting after I finished my certificate program. Not going to dwell on it here, but you get the point, starting over is hard and it takes a lot of patience.

Your significant other might not get it…

…but it’s essential that they do! In the earlier days of our marriage, after my move, I realized that my husband did not really get the struggles that I was facing. Whenever I had a difficult moment, he could only say, “be patient”, without actually understanding why I felt whatever I was feeling. He would think that he “understood”, and started to think I was exaggerating, while in fact he did not. It took us a while to work on this issue – now he finally gets it, and even if he still does not, he now knows how to ask the right questions/ how to deal with the issue. It gives me so much peace and comfort knowing that I have someone who truly understands and it calms me during my difficult moments.

Slowly, you’ll find yourself letting go of what you used to know…

…and embracing what you don’t know. My long-time blog readers should know that this move is not the first for me. Back in 2009 I also moved abroad, for education, albeit only for 1 year. At that time, I had to rely on the things I know to survive. I used the way I do things to navigate through the move, adapting to the changes, surviving grad school… and everything that happened in that one year. But now, I realized that I can’t solely rely on myself. I have my husband and like it or not, he does have more experience here in this country. It took me a while to embrace it, letting myself receiving help in navigating my new life here, without thinking that it’s a sign of weakness.

You’ll find that the opportunities are endless…

…it’s just a matter of how you want to make use of it. I like to think that being a “love immigrant” puts me in a unique position. I’m married, in my 30s, with no children, living in the a new country, which means that I get the chance to reinvent myself, a thing that might not be the case had I stayed in my home country. Should I switch careers? should I open my own business? Should I be a full-time housewife? I feel that I now have the liberty to choose what I want to do next, considering that I now have a “backup”, that being the full support of my husband.

Did you also move abroad for love? Have other things to share? Would love to read them! 🙂

The One Where I’m Job Hunting During a Pandemic

It’s no news but I have been actively looking for a job. You see I moved here 3 years ago, leaving behind a career in Indonesia. I knew I wanted to keep working after I got married, but I wasn’t able to work immediately after I moved here. So while I waited, I did some remote freelancing work, and once I was able to work, I took on casual work here and there while I settle down and trying to figure out my next move. I then decided to go back to school, enrolled myself in a one-year long Digital Marketing certificate program.

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No English!

Halo, selamat hari Selasa! Ini ada cerita singkat aja tapi sampe sekarang masih bikin saya cekikikan kalo inget.

Minggu lalu saya lagi nganterin mertua ke dokter gigi. Lokasi dokter nya ada di sebuah plaza, di sebelahnya ada supermarket. Sambil nunggu, saya memutuskan untuk jalan – jalan ke supermarket. Sebelum masuk supermarket saya di cegat sama seorang sales person yang keliatannya sih mau nawarin sesuatu. Karena saya lagi nggak pengen di ganggu, saya senyum sambil bilang, “sorry, no English!” hahahaha. Si mbak bilang, OK, have a nice day! dan saya masuk ke dalam supermarket.

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2020… so far

Surely 2020 is not going to be easily forgotten. Funny enough, I started the year being in a middle of a crowd, celebrating NYE in LA’s Grand park downtown. There were fireworks, food trucks, live music.. ah, it was fun and lively.

Fast forward 7 months later, the thought of being in the middle of such crowd makes me shudder. Ain’t life funny.

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