“But girl, don’t they warn ya. It pours, man it pours!”
Name that tune. (you won’t)
Honestly, there is SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOOOOOO much to update on, but I want to focus on specificly my transition to California.
Surprise! I’m here!
Y’all, that was the QUICKEST turnover, ever. I’m still reeling and think half my brain may still be in Arizona. I finished in Tucson on a Friday, went to Phoenix to hang with family on Sunday, interviewed for this current job on Monday, was offered and accepted on Tuesday, and slated to start the following Monday (yesterday). Phew- anyone else exhausted?
So that basically meant I had to rearrange game plans, and start seriously hunting HARD for housing. I knew from past assignments and experiences- sometimes that can be a weeks long endeavor, so I was nervous. I knew there was always the option of extended stay hotels and AirBnb (more on that later), but I would love to be settled before starting work.
So, between driving from Phoenix to Redondo Beach (sidenote: super thankful for amazing family members), I hustled the Craiglist, the Facebook groups, the AirBnbs to find SOMETHING 1) reasonably priced and 2) available for my stay in Santa Barbara.
(I forgot to mention I’m living and working in Santa Barbara. Here’s Santa Barbara.)
By the time I left Redondo for SB on Saturday morning, I had 8 places lined up to see and decide on, 5 of which I was planning on seeing on Saturday. Of the 5, I had a good feeling about 1, and when I went there and toured it, I liked what I saw. Two rooms for my own (bedroom with adjoining sitting room), big kitchen, sunny yard, warm and open woman renting out the room. Sure, she seemed a bit “kooky” and “artsy-flighty” but nice. For an easy month-to-month lease, this place could be mine. Best news- fairly walkable to the main drag in SB, which I’m all about. But, I wanted a chance to check out Sunday’s choices before I made my final decision.
Sunday came around, and for some reason I woke up a WRECK. I think the stress of the last week really hit me, and I spent a solid 2 hours intermittently crying and feeling super anxious in the hotel (not my best moment but #reallife). Traveling has made me adaptable, but I’m still a human. Despite this, I washed my face and bucked up for another day.
Welp, turns out, 2 of the places fell through so I only ended up seeing one place on Sunday. But, it was also a really good place! The kicker- the woman who owned the house is hosting a 37 year old foreign exchange student named… Chandra. WHAT?! Who else has that name besides my sister? Bizarre.
Unfortunately, having 2 choices wasn’t actually a good thing. It just spiraled me more into a panic. I hate the thought of making a mistake, so I was agonizing over not making the RIGHT choice. I spent 2 hours sitting on the wharf thinking and literally making a pros/cons list. I ended up deciding to go with the first place that I saw Saturday (despite it being slightly more money) because of the proximity to town, and 1 less roommate. YAY, decision made! Should be cake from now on… right? Oh, read on dear one….
I call up the woman who owned the house, and stated I was deciding on her if she’d still have me, and confirming I could move in that night. She also expressed being thrilled, but despite us previously stating “Sunday night” she asked for one more night and day, so she could “finish getting the room up” and “make sure it was cozy for me.” Well, I didn’t REALLY want to stay in a hotel Sunday night and have to start a brand new job in a brand new city, but hey, alright. I’m a traveler, I can adapt, sweet. Oh, did I mention the “all cash security deposit” stipulation?I tried explaining that ATMs have limits, and my bank is on the East Coast so… uhh…. check is easier? But, nope. So despite that minor red flag, I soldiered on.
I spent the night in the least expensive hotel I could find (Which was far overpriced, trust me) and went to work. Already anxious, let’s just say that wasn’t the smoothest transition I ever had (another post for another time, y’all). I couldn’t wait to just GET SETTLED into my new home. I pulled up outside of the house after work, and knocked on the door and walked in. Immediately, I was confused. There was a GIANT bed in the living room. Yes, the same bed that had once been in “my” bedroom. The owner stated her boyfriend was “on his way home right now” with a brand new bed for the room.
…. what? Why? I went into the room and sure enough, no bed. Unfortunately, quite a bit of other crap was in there though. I came out, and circled the house a few times, trying to figure out how we went from this nice house with full access to living room, kitchen, the whole 9…to a bed in the living room. I asked the owner what the plan was for the bed, and she was stating how she was looking forward to sleeping in the living room.
WHAT? I explicitly actually asked her on Sunday where she slept, and she stated her plan was to stay in the bedroom off the bathroom. Apparently, it was her room she was renting out…. strange, but whatever. To each her own. After sitting and marinating in the entire clusterF that was happening around me, I texted my mom some photos and a “WTF do I do?!” and decided I needed to ask her what was up.
I’m not great with being assertive in situations like this, so confronting her was really hard. But when I started to tell her I wasn’t sure I was comfortable with the situation, I started hyperventilating and just excused myself to the car. In the car, I called my mother, who was now just as panicked as I was, and we collectively decided I needed to get the F out of dodge. I mean, I walked in there Saturday with a comfortable (albeit quirky) house, and it quickly spiraled wildly out of control. A California king bed in the living room!?
To wrap up my long story, I ended up calling the woman who showed me her home on Sunday, and she very graciously gave me permission to still rent the room and show up within 5 minutes. I am forever grateful for that! And now, I have a roommate named Chandra, which my sister obviously states is a sign!
I guess in a way I am lucky, because I haven’t had any true housing “horror stories” as I so often read on the different traveler housing sites. This was a very near miss. I think a lot of this was also worse due to the rapid transition to a new job/city/state within less than a WEEK. WOW. I mean, I started traveling to learn to be more flexible and adaptable. But I’m only human, and a type A one at that.
I hope I could make you laugh a little bit along with me (I’m done crying, I can only laugh now) and I now leave you with a few photos from the rest of my California road trip to SB. Stay tuned for more information about my California adventures!