Accommodation Abroad (Episode 3)

In this episode of the podcast, we talked about accommodation while living abroad. A common question on people's minds when we tell them that we travel and live abroad is "Where do you live?" Ha! As if we live in a cave or something. Quite the contrary! We've lived in various types of places. 

We talked about accommodation topics, such as:

  • A hotel room-style apartment with no kitchen in Thailand, where we lived for six months
  • The (impossibly cheap) price of living there and how we fed ourselves without a kitchen
  • Our neighboring building, which was a brothel, and how it wasn't as creepy as you may think
  • Actually, it was a little creepy, since our apartment building was affiliated with them and "rented out" rooms to the "employees!"
  • The few stray and lovable dogs we had living on the bottom floor of the building
  • Living in San Jose, California-- its perks and the opposite
  • Our FREE 3-bedroom apartment in South Korea
  • The modern apartment we had in Korea, filled with heated floors and a computer system for visitors, calling for emergency help, and more
  • Our studio apartment in Vietnam, complete with cockroaches, a tiny stove, and an incompetent landlord
  • Our expensive and tiny 1-bedroom apartment in Osaka, Japan
  • Sleeping on mats laid out on the floor of the room that doubled as our bedroom and living room
  • How we found this apartment

And so much more!

If you'd like to learn a bit more and see some photos, feel free to scroll down a bit! 

Thank you for listening/reading! Cheers!

Wine: Viña Albali - Tempranillo (Spain)


 

Matt and I felt it was necessary for us to spend a podcast talking about the various places we have lived abroad because, you know, that's a pretty big deal, especially since we've lived in some quite interesting places. 

In Thailand, we were hooked up with an apartment within walking distance from our school. The apartment building had no elevator, so we had to constantly walk up four flights of stairs to our apartment. It was a studio with a large bed in the middle of the room. There was no kitchen or any kitchen amenities, but there was a simple bathroom with no shower curtain, a small balcony, and an A/C (thankfully!). We had to pay extra each month to rent a fridge and TV. 

 The view from our balcony 

The view from our balcony 

For food, since we were not allowed to cook anything in our room, we went to a restaurant across the street from our apartment building for most meals and we ate lunch by our school. It was cheap and delicious, so it was no big deal.

Our apartment building was interesting because it was placed directly next to a brothel and, as it turned out, the ladies o' the night would take men from there and "work" on the second floor of our building! We also had wild dogs that lived near our building, which was an excellent plus because they were incredibly friendly, loving, and cute!

Tao, Lucky, Lulu, Lulu again, Happy and Lulu-- "our" dogs!

We also "lived" in San Jose, California for a month where we shared a house with a couple of random people. We had our own room, but it was small and we had to sleep on an air mattress! Also, our neighbors were the epitome of bad neighbors, so that wasn't a fun experience. 

In Korea, as a benefit to our job, we were given a three bed, two bath apartment. It had all sorts of futuristic amenities, like a computer built into the wall for calling the police, seeing who is at your door through a camera, etc. We also had butt-warmer on our main toilet, which was glorious! It was definitely the greatest apartment (then, now, and probably forever) we've ever lived in. 

 A sunset from our apartment in Korea 

A sunset from our apartment in Korea 

Our apartment in Vietnam was our first apartment that wasn't already pretty much chosen for us (not counting San Jose since that was only a month). We found the apartment in District 1, the center of Ho Chi Minh City, with the help of an agent we met through Facebook. It was a small studio that supplied us with a couch, bed, bedding, a hot plate, and a maid that cleaned our apartment and did our laundry for us! It was a bit pricey ($650/month), but we felt it was worth it to be in the center of things. 

 The center of Ho Chi Minh City, a seven minute walk from our apartment

The center of Ho Chi Minh City, a seven minute walk from our apartment

However, soon after moving in, we realized what a shabby apartment it really was. There were cockroaches, ants, the WiFi would randomly not work, and so would our water. And, when there was an issue, and there often was, it was near impossible to reach our landlord for help! Then, if they tried to fix any problems, they didn't or they took FOREVER to do so.

When we were moving out of our apartment, we actually ended up not paying for two month's worth of rent! Our landlord somehow managed to forget to do that. However, when we were checking out, our landlord purposely didn't show up so she could keep our deposit. But, it was no big deal because we didn't pay for one month's rent! Joke's on you, lady! 

Well, not entirely, because we did have a few cockroaches in our apartment, which was one of our least favorite parts about it!

In Osaka, Japan, we have a Japanese-y apartment that we found on Craigslist (Craigslist saves the day once again!). We have a bedroom with two mattresses that lay on the floor, a TV, a couch, a coffee table, a bureau, and a giant closet that fits a ridiculous amount of stuff. Past the sliding doors, the next room is our kitchen/dining area, where we were luckily supplied all of the kitchen supplies we could ever need! We also have two separate bathrooms: one for the toilet and one for the shower and sink. Quite hygienic, huh?

 Matt and I atop the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka, Japan

Matt and I atop the Umeda Sky Building in Osaka, Japan

Accommodation is actually surprisingly easy to find abroad. You just need to be patient and know what you want. You may even be able to negotiate, like we did with the landlord in Vietnam! 

Wine: Viña Albali - Tempranillo (Spain)

If you have lived abroad, what was your accommodation like? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you!