Expat Life

On Being Homeless, Yet 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 our stuff to get sent to London. We’d then spend the next two weeks staying in a cheap hotel, before we took 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, Yet Still Owning A Home

On Being Homeless, Yet 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 smell 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 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, Yet Still Owning A Home

On Being Homeless, Yet 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 now since our flat won’t come outfitted with a puppy.

On Being Homeless, Yet Still Owning A Home On Being Homeless, Yet 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 and while dad mowed the yard, and I pulled weeds, 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, Yet Still Owning A Home On Being Homeless, Yet 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, Yet 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.

Anyways, 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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