Hello world! I’m Alex – a 27-year old Aussie chick who is on the move! I would love you to come with me on my journey to finding the perfect home as I relocate from Melbourne, Australia to New York City this winter. Yes – you read that correctly. I am leaving the gorgeous Australian summer and arriving in Manhattan right before that famous ball drops in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, assumedly a couple of feet deep in snow, and somewhat homeless.
The always house-proud female in me has, amongst my twelve months of planning, conjured up all sorts of incredible images of what my Manhattan loft apartment will look like: In the fashionable and fabulous Soho; with its original high ceilings and thick raw floorboards. A space I would inhabit with a contradictory but intended blend of modern, classics, bolds, brights and neutrals. The reality however is a little more confronting. The Manhattan real estate market is fierce and let’s be honest, it’s a little difficult to give a landlord reassurance that you are a legitimate, financially responsible and worthy tenant when you currently live oceans away and have no concrete plan post-NYC-arrival.
So, I began thinking: if I can’t get my own breathtaking Downtown Manhattan apartment (for now, anyway), why don’t I use someone else’s? Sound crazy? Not quite so!
With millions of people flocking to the island of Manhattan, there has to be one lonely soul in the concrete jungle who would want me as their housemate, right? Spot on! Cue Airbnb.
You see, I don’t particularly want to lock myself into a place I have never seen, in an area I know only a smidgen about, with a person I have met on the housemate equivalent of an online dating site. Airbnb gave me the perfect opportunity to satisfy a handful of my biggest New York cravings.
When I arrive on that cold evening two days after Santa, I will land myself three native New York housemates straight up, and given a few of the email conversations we have had, I expect I may be landing myself three Yank friends too! I will stay with these guys on the infamous Broadway, in Soho – of course – before moving on, just a few doors down, to another three housemates – these three from Texas with 3-years of Manhattan living under their belts. That’s my first month of being a New Yorker sorted.
Before you go thinking I will be coming to rest on these guys’ couch, give me some credit. Both parties live in gorgeous multiple bedroom and bathroom, high ceiling, original floorboard, and tastefully decorated loft apartments. Tick. And if you had given me a map and a pin and said, “Stick it exactly where you dream of living”, I would have immediately stabbed the pin deep into the exact block where both properties are located. Double tick.
Can you guess where the triple tick comes in? Uhuh – that’s right – no bond, no utility bills, no pleading to the realtor to get an approval stamp, only to later find yourself desperately reading the fine print as to how you can break your lease. Nope. Tick, tick, tick!
I’m notorious for being a creature of habit, so this unsettled kind of lifestyle is pretty out of character for me. But hey, I’m not coming to New York to do the same thing as I did in Australia, or I may as well have not gone anywhere at all. I’m throwing myself in the deep end. Unsettling myself. Seeing if my floaties work. Come with me for the swim. I have no idea what I’m going to do next, but one thing I promise you: it will be absolutely nothing like you expect!