There’s no place like home. Home is where the heart is. People usually are the happiest at home.
There are infinite sayings highlighting the importance of home. That’s all well and good. First though, you need to have a home. Which, when we moved to London, we didn’t. Now, let’s hold off on the pity party. It’s not like we were actually out on the streets. But being in a small studio with our six suitcases scattered around the place got old very quickly, especially for the one of us who was “working from home”.
So on day two, our first morning waking up in London, instead of snuggling in bed and nursing the jet lag, we dragged ourselves outside and made our way to Canary Wharf.
The problem with moving to a new city, not to mention a new country on another continent, is not being very familiar with the distinct areas. While both of us had visited London on several occasions—both together and separately—there’s a major difference between seeing a place from a tourist’s perspective and actually living there. After all, who wants to live in Trafalgar Square?!
So, despite semi-intensive online research, we had still not narrowed down an actual Zip code (sorry, Post Code) where to start our search. Canary Wharf sounded like a good place to start, also because there was that other nagging issue to deal with—opening a UK bank account.
All started off well. We both liked Canary Wharf. But we made one major mistake—we just looked at the center and never bothered to venture a five-minute walk out. When one of us returned to deal with more banking woes, the gold-tinted glasses were rudely snatched off. Somehow, we soon realized that Canary Wharf, despite its bustling center, was not going to be the right home for us.
Second stop, Shoreditch. While one of us was happy to sign the lease on the first place we say, the more picky one of the two wasn’t.
Which brings us to another problem. Put two very opinionated people, one of whom with sometimes unrealistic expectations, and you have a recipe for disaster, or at least several arguments.
But with the clock ticking and more pressure to find a place before our 30-day temporary housing comes to an end, we couldn’t afford the luxury of disagreeing. Compromise had to come into play. That wasn’t an option. It was a realistic necessity.
After a week of looking at apartments, we stumbled across Southwark and somehow both agreed that it would be a good area to call home. For starters, it was close to work for the one of us who actually had a job. Secondly, Borough Market is close by, which, for two people who love cooking, is an extremely important plus sign. And third….well, we agreed on a place, why analyze it further.
So less than two weeks after landing in London, we had made an offer on an apartment. We had finally found a home.