Coat c/o SheIn
I recently posted a tour of my little studio apartment on Instagram stories. Afterwards I was met with a ton of questions regarding moving, transitioning from Milwaukee to Chicago and Florida to Chicago, and how I was able to find my apartment! So today I wanted to talk about some of the challenges you can expect with moving…really moving.
I say “really” moving because I’ve moved before. I’ve gone from my parent’s house to college houses and to Florida where I lived with my brother. But the move to Chicago has been much more permanent/official. I wrote about my move to Florida a few months after that transition took place. In hindsight that move, although all the way across the country, was much simpler in many ways.
The move to Chicago, specifically from Milwaukee to Chicago was pretty simple. Since it’s just an hour and 45 minutes from where I grew up, I already know some people who are currently living in the windy city. It’s easy to go home and see family and my closest friends pretty much whenever I want to make the trip. That aspect has been really easy and hasn’t felt like much of a transition at all. Then there have been a few challenges, some that are fun and part of the reason I moved here and some not so fun. Let’s start with the fun ones :)
Up and moving to one of the largest cities in the world all by yourself can be, well intimidating. That’s exactly what I was going for with this move. I wanted to be outside of my comfort zone and find new challenges daily. Things like city transportation, waiting in lines for just about everything, remembering reusable bags so I don’t waste plastic and get charged for bags every time I shop, walking more than I ever have, and learning the hard way which sushi restaurants are worth my money are challenges I have gladly welcomed. They’ve taught me patience, time management, and have made for some fun stories along the way. In the first few months after a new move you’ll end up at some less than decent restaurants, go to out of the box workout classes, and definitely pay more for parking than should even be legal, but the beauty in that is that you will learn. You’ll discover new budget friendly apps, convenient delivery options, and find the shortcuts that save your feet a few aches. Before you know it you’ll find yourself feeling super savvy and strangers on the street might even mistake you for a local ;)
And then you’ll find yourself faced with challenges that are much less interesting and much more…mundane. Let’s start with finding an apartment. If you’re anything like me you hop on apartment hunting sites on occasion just for fun, even if a move is nowhere in your near future. So when it’s time to look for real it’s pretty exciting, but that excitement can wear off quickly. It took me about a month and too many to count apartment tours to find what now feels like a diamond in the rough. This is partially because I was picky with what I wanted, but a bigger factor was the market was just incredibly fast and complicated. Places got picked up before I had a chance to look at them, some realtors never got back to me, and sometimes I’d go to a showing and they’d show me units that were nothing like what was on their site resulting in a total waste of my time. Oooof I’m glad this part is over. Some practical tips for your apartment hunt are to start early, be aggressive (get into showings as soon as you possibly can), and have patience. In the end I’m glad I didn’t rush into the first place I looked at out of fear that I wouldn’t find a better fit. I can’t picture myself anywhere but the place I am in now! Another challenge is just general, mundane, “adulting” tasks as I like to call them. Finding a new doctor, getting a new drivers license, getting a parking permit, changing your address on every piece of information…the list goes on and 6 months later I feel like I’m just wrapping up this process. Finally, ironically maybe the biggest challenge has been finding “my people” here. I say this is ironic because in my moving post to Florida I think I talked about how simple it was. Ha! I think I just got incredibly lucky and two of the first people I met in Florida I knew would be my lifelong friends! In Chicago I have friends from a bunch of different areas of life and people that I can call up for coffee, a workout, or tacos, but I still feel like I’ve yet to really find “my people” or the people that I have deep connections with and will be in my life forever! I think those relationships just take more time and a bit of luck :)
For those who asked questions about my move and who are thinking about making one of your own I hope this post helps! Also, go back and read my post when I moved to Florida for some more transition tips!