MY FIRST FLAT

MY FIRST FLAT

Five months after making the move to London it is time for me to wave goodbye to my cosy, homely, zone three flat (or apartment) and move into another, slightly different but quite similar flat. I probably would say that the process of moving is repetitive and painful if I actually had a decent amount of belongings, like my two housemates do. However, in my case, I flew into Heathrow with one suitcase and a backpack and somehow, I’ve managed to restrict my possessions to one suitcase and a backpack… maybe chuck in one Waitrose reusable grocery bag and that’s a more accurate representation.

When I first arrived in London the main issue that was looming on my mind was where I was going to live. Endless factors came into play; location, price per calendar month, housemates, transport links, centricity to work, crime stats, surrounding green-space, the quality of the flat and many more, and finding a place that met every single one of these factors to a certain extent was tricky, but somehow, I found that place.

I viewed only two places before settling on the flat that I’m currently living in. One was a newly renovated five-bedroom house along a quiet, residential street in Isleworth, zone four; the other was a three-bedroom apartment in a block of flats with well-maintained gardens located in the “leafy and affluent” district of Chiswick, zone three.

I immediately fell in love with the Isleworth flat because of the modern interior and large bedroom, however, I was never 100% sold. Despite all the above factors I considered when searching for a place, I nailed out two particular factors that really resonated with why I moved to London.

1. I knew that I wanted to be as central to the city as possible whilst staying inside my budget; I was expecting a smaller room, and I was okay with that.
2. I wanted to really actually get along with my housemates and establish friendships rather than just pass by each other in the kitchen every now and then.

Keeping the Isleworth house in mind, my Mum and I viewed a second flat. This flat was in Chiswick, zone three, and was only a five-minute walk to Gunnersbury Underground and Overground, a ten-minute walk to Kew Bridge Station, and a ten-minute walk to a bus stop. It had three bedrooms, was on the second floor, and had two girls living there who were both in there twenties. The rent was a little more; but still within my budget, the room was smaller and the flat was older; but I had been expecting that, and the current housemates were lovely. The cherry on top of the pie was that it was a fifteen-minute walk from work!

I tossed up between the two over the weekend with my Mum’s support, and I realized that the Isleworth place was not a contender simply because it was located in zone four. The only close transport link was a bus, and I knew I would end up despising myself if, when I eventually made some friends, I needed to travel twice the distance they did to go anywhere or come home from anywhere. I let the current housemates in the Chiswick flat know that I was interested and a couple days later they let me know that the room was mine!

Over the past five months, I made that flat my home and I fell in love with the little things. I had the District line visible from my bedroom window and I got accustomed to sleeping through the sounds of the passing by trains, my back eventually got used to feeling the slats of the bed through the thin mattress, most mornings I would wake up with the sun shining through the trees outside my window and warming up my duvet, the creeks of the wooden floorboards reminded me that this apartment has some history to it, my housemates and I would have our Love Island viewings while yelling at the TV and feeding our faces with dinner in our cosy living room, and during late Spring the trees leading into our block would blossom with pink petals and flood the road in colours.

I also fell in love with Chiswick. The river thames lined with a few historic pubs and cafes are a five minute walk from my house, the architecture of the surrounding houses are a mixture of 18th century homes and modern renovations, Chiswick High Road is lined with restaurants, cafes, shops and pubs, various green-spaces- such as Gunnersbury Park and Turnham Green- are littered around the district and amazing transport links including the South Western Railway from Kew Bridge station and Chiswick station, the Overground from Gunnersbury station, buses to Hammersmith, Fulham and White City, and multiple branches of the District line are accessible via Chiswick Park station, Gunnersbury station and Turnham Green station and are scattered around the area.

In saying all this, my housemates and I have no choice but to pack up shop and move out at the end of this month, however, we’re staying close by in Chiswick. I’ll miss this flat as moving into it was the most pivotal thing I’ve done in my life so far, but I’m ready for a new beginning. Here’s to another six months in the lovely, leafy Chiswick.

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Racquel Hardie
Racquel Hardie

A twenty-something Aussie woman passionate about travel and documenting everything.

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