And just like that…drumroll please…we have an apartment! Its always the same. You’ve searched, walked miles and miles. Spoken to countless agents and landlords. Sometimes you have no idea where you are, you get so turned around. And then, someone knows someone, who knows someone, who has an apartment that they were thinking of selling but have decided to rent. They haven’t shown it to anyone else yet, and you can see it if you can get across town NOW!!! And you run there.
Such is the story of our new apartment. I looked at very fancy places. Places with terraces that had a view of the city and were as big as the apartment itself. Penthouses. They were luxurious, lots of marble and high end finishes. Very Bellevue, Washington. But here’s the thing. If we wanted to live in the US, and Bellevue in particular – we would still be living there. Part of coming to Spain was to do it differently. Not just to downsize our stuff, but to downsize our lives. Sure, we’ll travel and have amazing experiences, but we’re going to keep it simple.
Don’t get me wrong. I like luxury just like the next guy. But the trappings of it, have become heavy. The show of it all no longer holds the appeal that it once did. I live in a different skin now. And I need different things. So I met the landlord of this secret flat, who isn’t working with an agent. And he’s a really nice guy. And the young family who lives there now? They’re lovely people who scraped together the money they needed to buy a house for their two young kids in the country. The vibe in the flat was wonderful.
I was torn. There was another apartment I was seriously considering. It was in a big building covered in granite. In the ‘New Part’ of town. It had all the hallmarks of living by Bellevue Square – near where we used to live in the US. Very slick – it would fit in well in MicrosoftLand. I took a video of the apartment and the view – a postcard. Stunning. I sent it to Jeff at 2:30am his time and waited. I thought for sure he would say ‘That’s the one’. But while he loved the view – he said no. It’s not for us. So I just called and let them know we’ll take the one with the cool landlord, the good vibe and the real neighborhood. We’ll have our own ‘local’. Pub and café. We can walk into the old city and enjoy the river.
I wondered if I should be nervous. I mean I rented an apartment on the other side of the world – we don’t even live here yet. But I feel great! When we arrive in early March, we will be staying at our apartment, instead of a hotel. We’ll be coming home, instead of just visitors. That’s the biggest luxury of all.