Our First Year in Arizona: Part 2

On this day last year, we properly moved into our apartment where we still live now.

In the last post we talked about what we had known we wanted and whether we got it. This one will deal with the things that we didn’t realize we wanted but now love. Some are Arizona specific or specific to living in a nicer apartment community, while some are general to the US.It appears to be at least a bit more common in the US to be paid weekly, while monthly is easily the most common in the UK. All the jobs that either of us have had in the US have been weekly cycles (two tech jobs as a contractor for Chris, Upwork and Google for me). Human life tends to happen on a weekly cycle with weekly days off, weekly shopping, etc. It is much easier to plan around being paid weekly rather than having a pile of money drain at the start of the month and then have to plan the next four weeks at once. When we were talking about this blog post, Chris told me, “I basically don’t live by the moon.” 🙂

We also didn’t know a pool or hot tub were even real possibilities, but obviously, we love having them and use them nearly every day. Those are mainly Arizona specific. I’m under the impression Texas does some of this too, but it’s otherwise not a general American thing. Ice makers are a much more standard thing to have in much of the US and we have very much enjoyed having one. We also love having trash pick up right outside of our door 5 days a week in the form of valet waste. I have no idea how widespread this is, but if anything, we’d love it if it went up to 7 and we never had to take out the trash again. Having a gym right next to our house is also fantastic. It means there is truly no excuse not to go to the gym when it’s a 30 second walk. This seems to be a side effect of living in a nicer apartment community. 

Having an office without having to work in one is also an unexpected perk, also related to living in an apartment community. Having access to the leasing office means there is somewhere to take our packages in if we aren’t home. It also means that, hilariously, we own a label printer but not a normal sized printer since we can just use theirs. The label printer is to assist in the categorization of what is Chris’s now amazingly large collection of Lego.

Due to liking where we live so much, we have also stopped going to the pub. We used to go to the pub all the time in the UK. I think a lot of it was down to not wanting to spend time in our flat because it was small and hard to do much in. The pub we most often went to had a large beer garden i.e. outside space. We now have our own balcony, and of course, the pool area, so we are much more likely to just pop out onto our own balcony or go down to the pool as they hit a similar spot. We have saved a very large amount of money by eating and drinking almost exclusively at home instead of at pubs or restaurants.

Something that might surprise long time readers is that we put oddly little thought into what weather we wanted. We just knew we wanted it to be better than Britain, but not much else. After experiencing a full year of the local weather, I think we definitely picked the right place. I hadn’t realized it before coming here, but my ideal weather is a low of 83F/28C with a high of 102F/39C with about 15% humidity. I’d be happy for it to basically be summer year round. Despite not craving anything even verging on lower temperatures, when I saw temperatures like -9F/-22C in Wisconsin, I was thrilled to be here enjoying days in the 50s-60s. We are both enjoying missing out both proper cold in the winter and high humidity in the summer. Chris is also pleased he’s only had to blow snow once in his entire life, and that was actually mainly for fun while visiting my parents.

Since I really like the weather here, something that surprised me was the local attitude toward things related to weather. About 95% of people stopped using the pool in about October. Some of this is probably down to that they didn’t start heating it quite as early as would have been preferable, but it was still hardly cold. When they did start heating it, it was brought up to a toasty 85F/29C. There have been several days in December where it’s been in the 70s in the afternoon and that is certainly pool weather. We never want to go so local that we forget that.

The Arizona lifestyle is excellent. We basically got what we wanted out of moving to the US and a whole lot more. We have three times the space we had in the UK. We have far more facilities than we had in the UK, and other than health insurance, everything else has been much more affordable.

We really love living in Arizona and we definitely will not be going anywhere anytime soon. 🙂

Here’s the video:


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