It’s been a while. We haven’t posted much to this blog, nor to our YouTube. Now that we live together – permanently – it feels like there’s less time for online activity because we’re spending more time together in person.
We’ve exchanged Whatsapp and endless browser time for actually being together.
Gustavo arrived in May, we spent June in an Airbnb in Philadelphia, part of July is Morocco for a conference, and since July we’ve had a lease in both (!) of our names in Philadelphia. Going through the process of looking for a place wasn’t too stressful, actually, despite what I would have said at the time. We spent a week or too looking at a bunch of places, though the home we’re in now was one that took a while to set up a viewing for but I knew even before we visited that it was the one I wanted.
The biggest challenge has been getting Gustavo set up with all of the different documents that he needs – not so much as an immigrant, but as a new American resident. Things like state IDs, building credit, US-based bank accounts, etc. When we went to go set up his bank account, they immediately asked for a state ID, in addition to his green card. While we were able to finish everything without it, we still got his PA identification right away. Mostly because I also had to change my driver’s license. (We basically had a date to the DMV.)
We’ve been spending time getting to know our new city. Finding new restaurants.
Checking out parks and hikes.
And exploring some new traditions for someone who’s never actually experienced Fall or Halloween.
In fact, the second we moved from Summer to Fall, I pressured Gustavo into putting up our Halloween decorations. Halloween is my favorite holiday and I haven’t had an opportunity or a place to celebrate appropriately. I’ve missed it for the last four years!
Our house is definitely making up for that.
We also got to check out Philadelphia’s Brazilian day in September! It’s not as big as the one in Newark, but it was really cool to hear some Brazilian music, have some coxinha and caipirinha, and generally enjoy the sun so close to home.
Next month, we’re going to go to Montreal together – for a work trip, and for Gustavo’s first time in Canada. Most of all, I think he’s looking forward to a real winter with snow. (Hopefully not too much!)
We’re also figuring out what to do for the holidays. We spent last year with my family, but flights to Brazil between November and March have gotten way more expensive. We thought about taking everyone to Portugal (no visas required), but we’re looking into having his parents come to Philadelphia for their first trip to the US.
All in all, the past few months have been great. There’s so much less stress and tension for us – namely because I’m not stressed about travel or frustrated about life in Brazil. I’m looking forward to feeling truly settled in our new routine and sharing so many new things together.