Expat Life

On Being Homeless While Still Owning A Home

The number one thing I didn’t think about when I agreed to move overseas – living arrangements are going to get awkward…for a long, long time.

First, we had to live in our practically empty house for two weeks sleeping on couch cushions on the floor. This was okay because I knew it was just for a couple of weeks and then our house would close and the movers would pack up our stuff to be sent to London. We would then spend the next two weeks staying in a cheap hotel before taking ourselves to London.

But then the house didn’t sell. And it was too late to cancel the movers. So I found myself paying for a hotel room even though I still owned a perfectly good house. The icing on the cake was that our hotel turned out to be dreadful.

On Being Homeless While Still Owning A Home

On Being Homeless While Still Owning A Home

Looks like any other cheap hotel room, right? What you can’t see in the picture is the smell of body odor, wet cigarettes, and stale Chinese food that when combined smells a whole lot like death. Lexie and I would take our showers at night and wrap our hair around our noses so we could get to sleep. Not to mention, I was paranoid every time I left the hotel that the smell would follow me wherever I went.

I maybe, maybe could have gotten past the smell if it weren’t for the noise. The people above us only slept from midnight until 4am and every other minute of the day it sounded like they were dropping bowling balls on the floor above our beds. After four days, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I did what I positively hate doing, and asked someone for help.

My good friend, Andrea, so very generously offered us her home to stay in until we leave on May 23rd. Anything would be an upgrade from the hotel we were at, but living in Andrea’s house is like living in a model home in a fancy neighborhood.

On Being Homeless While Still Owning A Home

On Being Homeless While Still Owning A Home

And it comes with a bonus – our very own puppy to play with! A few days after we moved in, Andrea and her husband left on vacation, so we got the good fortune of dog sitting while they’re gone. Lexie’s in heaven – she comes home from school and spends the next hour playing fetch with Foster. They even sleep together at night. I think London may have lost a little appeal since our flat won’t come outfitted with a puppy.

On Being Homeless While Still Owning A Home On Being Homeless While Still Owning A Home

In other news, my parents had to, once again, come bail me out of a tough spot. Cory has been traveling back and forth from London to Tennessee since March. Thankfully he will be coming back tomorrow and not leaving until we all go, but his last stint in London was three weeks long. Long enough for our yard to get completely out of control, so my parents came in to help.

While dad mowed the yard, I pulled weeds, and my mom and Lexie planted our first flower beds at the house. This is our third house that has had flower beds planted just for curb appeal when it came time to sell. I am not a flower person. I hate anything that needs to be watered regularly, but hopefully this will appeal to prospective buyers because we need this house sold pronto!

On Being Homeless While Still Owning A Home On Being Homeless While Still Owning A Home

The other big thing we took care of was rehoming the hens. They’ve moved about a half mile down the street and seem to be adjusting okay to their new home. It’s not too much different than their previous digs, just a little smaller. I visit every week, but I’m afraid they’ve already forgotten who I am. The coop is awfully empty without them in it.

On Being Homeless While Still Owning A Home

This time next week we will already be in London. I’m excited, of course, but also a little reluctant to leave without a plan for our house situation. It would be the biggest blessing to have a new contract on it before we left, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up. If it doesn’t sell, we may just turn into international landlords.

Anyway, with lots to do still before we go, I likely won’t be around much until we are at least semi-settled into our temporary flat. Our first thirty days in London will be spent researching areas to live, choosing a school, and then finding a flat. It’ll be busy! I just cannot wait to set foot in Heathrow airport next week and start exploring our new home for the next three years!

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Stacie Stamper
    May 18, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    Deep breaths, my friend. It will all work out. And thank heavens for friends and parents that you can count on!

  • Reply
    Emmymom
    May 18, 2013 at 8:54 AM

    Oh girl praying that your house sells quickly. Glad you had a friend who was able to help you out as yes that hotel sounds awful.

    So crazy that it is all coming up next week! Excited for you

  • Reply
    Jenn Bowers
    May 18, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Oh wow! And I was thinking I had a tough week. Hang in there girl!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    May 18, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Sounds and looks perfectly dreadful! Thank goodness for good friends! As bad as things seem sometimes, they seem to have a way of working out! You’ll be gone next week, hard to believe! New adventures on the horizen!

  • Reply
    Alyx
    May 18, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    You guys are still in my prayers. I really hope you are able to find a buyer soon, because I’m sure that will take soo much stress away!

  • Reply
    Impulsive Addict
    May 19, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    I’m so glad you have good friends! That roach motel sounded horrible! And I would have been too scared to stay somewhere like that without my husband. You are brave! I can’t believe he was gone for 3 weeks! That’s a long time. I’m sad that you’re moving so far away but I’m excited to live vicariously through your new adventure! Don’t stay away too long! You know I love reading your blog! (The best thing I ever did was signing up to have your new posts delivered to my inbox!)

    Ps. The chicks will always remember their first human momma! ;)

  • Reply
    Connie Weiss
    May 19, 2013 at 5:45 AM

    Oh my gosh! That hotel is terrible!!

    Glad you found another temporary solution and that there is a puppy involved.

    Praying for a great buyer for your house and that you find the perfect school and flat. I”ll be stalking instagram…..

  • Reply
    Jo
    May 20, 2013 at 7:04 AM

    O dear, sounds stressful to say the least. I really hope you find a new buyer soon. And that you are able to find a flat and a school in London. Good luck with everything!

  • Reply
    Stephanie Jewell
    May 20, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    1. That dog is beautiful.

    2. I miss you already. <3

  • Reply
    Ashley | Domestic Fashionista
    May 21, 2013 at 4:03 AM

    Oh what a blessing for amazing friends! Stinky hotels are the worst! Wondering who and what was there before you! Glad you have a nice to place to stay! 3 days and counting! Sending well wishes for safe and nicely smelling travels!

  • Reply
    Marie
    May 21, 2013 at 6:17 AM

    I like to think I am pretty flexible but I can just imagine the smell of that place, it didn’t look too inviting. Oh man my head is spinning at all you have to do, good luck and keep us posted. Thank goodness for caring friends and loving parents.

  • Reply
    Ashlee - I'll Love You Forever
    May 23, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    Dang girl! You guys are going through a lot right now. Hope things have gone smoother than they did with the hotel. That is so very sweet of your friend to help you guys out, their dog is adorable. Lexie is so cute!! Your parents are darling!

  • Reply
    Diana Bockus
    May 25, 2013 at 3:29 AM

    Have a safe flight! It’ll all work out!

  • Reply
    Janette Johanson
    May 25, 2013 at 6:10 AM

    I don’t know how you stood it for that long in that hell hole. I would have complained and banged back on the ceiling and maybe even let out shrieks of blood curdling screams to freak them out. Asshats. So sweet of your friend and lucky to have had the last few days to be with you and Lex!! Wish I lived closer so I could have had you come stay with me. Next time! :)

  • Reply
    Kerry
    July 30, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    OK you had me laughing with your comment of the hotel smelling like death hehehe

    As you can tell,, I am backtracking through your posts, but one can only assume that you have sold the house already (I’ll find out in a minute lol)

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