I cannot believe I’m writing this already since I feel we moved yesterday… but it’s been a year! I feel very lucky to be able to say that, although we did have some minor hick-ups in our moving process, overall our whole experience was very good. As you know, I previously did a 6 month move update where I talked about expectations and realities of it all so check that out if you want! As for the 1 year update? I wanted to touch more on the day-to-day activities that we tend to gloss over because they’re not as glamorous or interesting, but ultimately important when moving.
Housing – We were lucky that before we moved one of our friends saw the complex we ultimately chose. He showed us video and broke down the rules and layout. We’re very happy with where we’re at and we feel it’s a good starter place. We could definitely get a bigger and cheaper place, but as mentioned previously we had our pit bull to consider and our community allows them so that was a must for us. Regardless the space we have now if perfect for our family and very centric to our life activities (work, social life, gym, etc).
One thing you have to keep in mind is how the rent will rise every year you stay there. This definitely puts pressure on you to buy a house since you’d be paying way less in mortgage than you are on rent.
Neighborhood – We really wanted a safe place to live where we felt comfortable walking inside the community at all hours. Although the culture is still somewhat a “everyone keeps to themselves” situation we feel that for the most part neighbors follow rules and are tidy…except when picking up after their dogs but I won’t get into that.
For our part, we try to be as considerate of the rules and those around us and we’ve yet to have any complaints so I think it’s safe to say we’re on the right track!
Social life – The cool thing about Tampa is how diverse it is and it’s growing. We’ve met so many cool people from around the world and we’ve made some very good friendships. For us, it’s mainly the gym so it’s nice to socialize with people who have the same interests as we do. I always suggest joining some type of group or team when moving and looking to make friends. People here have been nothing but inviting to us and if you ever move/visit I hope you have the same experience.
Night life – Tampa is full of life no matter what day or time. You have so much to pick from including food, shops and dancing. It’s so cool to be able to have so many choices to pick from! You can check some of those places out in my Explore tab.
Commute – We’re pretty centric right now and a good Tampa nightlife experience is a 20 minute drive away, as well as some peace and quiet. We joke that when you leave our complex you have 2 choices – pick left for a more quiet experience or pick right for an all out night of fun.
The reality is, people commute here. Some from far away and others from a closer location. Me? I have a 30-40min drive to work in the mornings and it’s mostly because of traffic. Although some people will see that and cringe I find that traffic here moves at a good pace and I never find myself loosing my cool due to it.
It’s amazing to look back and see how fast a year can go by. I think we’ve done a good job of enjoying our experience so far. We both came here with open minds and positivity, despite some bumps in the road, and it’s been paid back tenfold. Like with everything, your outcome depends on your approach. Taking those steps towards what your end goal is crucial in life.
Wanting to move to another country was a dream we both had separately and together, so stopping to acknowledge that we did it is surreal. We’re incredibly grateful and proud of ourselves.
Let’s see where the next year takes us!