Sorry for the loooooong absence, friends! Managing EPF now falls under my ‘work’ time, and I had to cut way back on my work during July so that we could move from Durham to Seattle in time for Kyle to start work today.
SO MUCH has happened in the past few weeks for us and I have many interesting PF topics to discuss in upcoming posts that relate to our move. For today, I’ll just give you more of a personal update/overview of how the last few weeks have been for us.
Kyle’s last day of work at our graduate university was July 13. I did the bare bones work necessary on my business in the first couple weeks of July (no contract work), and then did almost no work while we were traveling. Kyle’s paycheck in July was painfully/hilariously small because of his half-month of work and normal amount of payroll deductions (insurance, 403(b)).
After a lot of research and price comparison, we decided to use a pod-based moving company. We ordered two (small) pods, which was the number recommended for our home size (actually, 2-3), but Kyle managed to pack everything into one pod! Everything went well on the pick-up end; the pod is being delivered to our new place in Seattle today, so I’ll write more about that when the process has concluded.
We took 11 days to drive from Durham to Seattle (July 15-26), so it was a combination move and vacation. (We drove only Kyle’s car.) The time off was fantastic and we had an amazing time together. It was a bit more stressful than we would prefer for a vacation because we were basically flying by the seat of our pants – we both would rather have things planned in advance. One complication was that Kyle’s phone died the day we left Durham and Sprint apparently has no coverage in the American West so my phone was next to useless for about a week. (This is honestly the first disappointment I’ve experienced with Republic Wireless in the three years I’ve been with them. I did have roaming service so we could make calls when absolutely necessary. Thankfully Washington has Sprint coverage.) I’ll go into all the details about the trip in another post (series?), but the highlights were visiting family and friends along the way, going to Six Flags, hiking in the Badlands, and touristing in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
Because Kyle negotiated for a relocation package, all of our pod moving expenses and much of our cross-country trip should be reimbursed. We actually didn’t spend that much money on the trip when you compare it to the cost of two one-way flights and hiring someone else to transport our car. If we asked for everything to be reimbursed, it would only slightly exceed the reimbursement allotment, and we won’t ask for reimbursement for the purely vacation elements.
We moved to Seattle without housing arranged, so we got right to searching when we arrived. Thankfully, we had some friends who let us stay with them and helped ease our transition. We had a very small target area and had done a lot of research online prior to our trip. (Seattle’s rental market apparently operates on an immediate basis. Almost everything within our search parameters was “available now,” so we couldn’t develop an interest in specific properties in advance, only get an idea of the market generally.) We jumped to apply for the third place we toured (last Monday) and thankfully everything went through (last Wednesday). On Friday, we picked up our keys and have been staying in our place since! We still won’t have our stuff moved into the house for a few more days, but it’s all going pretty well and we were glad we were able to get this settled quickly.
Things about our new apartment that we were looking for/are excited about:
- close to Kyle’s work
- older building (cheaper rent!)
- large living area
- two bedrooms
- not on a steep hill
- residential neighborhood (cheaper rent!)
- on a minor arterial road (easy to get out of the neighborhood)
Things about our new apartment that did not fulfill what we were looking for/we are not exited about:
- no in-unit washer/dryer (shared facility in our 6-unit building)
- small kitchen, no dishwasher
- lots of street noise
The main thing to highlight about the new place is that it is incredibly close to Kyle’s new job – only 0.2 miles away! Our search radius was 1.5 miles so that he could bike, but he can easily walk this distance in no time. I don’t think it’s quite sunk in for Kyle how amazing that is going to be, but I’m excited for him.
In the week or so we’ve been in Seattle, we’ve starting adjusting to our new city. First impressions:
- Seattle is small, but rather dense. Having grown up outside of Los Angeles and DC, we are used to sprawl, but here the only direction to sprawl is north-south, and we are living only a couple miles from the downtown area. Everything is very, very close as the crow flies, but might take a few minutes to get to because of crossing water or traffic. Still, everywhere we’ve wanted to go so far has been within about 25 minutes, usually less than 15 minutes. We have definitely had a learning curve on driving/parking here so that has been more difficult than we anticipated.
- Virtually every new person we’ve met is in tech/engineering! Amazon, Microsoft, and Boeing employ tons of people here. Kyle being at a biotech startup seems a bit unusual. This is very different from Durham where academia and medicine dominate.
- The summer weather is amazing. It’s been sunny and “hot” (read: mid-eighties Fahrenheit) here most of our first week, so it feels amazing to us. I know this is going to last only a short time so I’m trying to enjoy it as much as possible. Other people seem to be outdoors a lot as well.
That’s all for now! Much more to come on all these topics and more in the next few weeks. I also look forward to being much more engaged in the blogosphere now that I have internet again. 🙂
Have you ever driven cross-country? How have you move your belongings for long-distance moves? What were your first impressions of your current city?