It hasn’t been long since I landed at SJC airport feeling clueless about what’s happening and what is about to happen. The only thing I was sure of that time was ‘how to take an Uber’ to a temporary house I found through a Facebook group.
I had an address, an active LTE sign on my phone and I was a pro at using Google maps. As I booked an Uber, I kept tracking the ride till he dropped me home. This is when it struck me that someone has just pushed the reset button to my life and I am reframing everything starting today.
With this blog, I am trying to frame my fellowship journey through Maslow’s Hierarchy pyramid.
In the quest of reaching to the top of the pyramid, the most important need was being able to eat, drink water and have some rest. Atlas did take care of that part and my bank account was not empty.
I knew that the next day when I wake up, there will be safeway, Costco, Walgreens and also DollarTree and hundreds of other restaurants where I can buy anything to fulfil my physiological needs.
Good, I wasn’t dying and my psychological needs were all checked.
When I landed in San Jose, California things went smooth and my landlady was very welcoming. She showed me my room which was beautiful but empty. The flashbacks of the room I left in Pakistan started reeling in front of my eyes.
No furniture, no side tables, not even a bed. Just a mattress on a carpeted floor with 2 windows. I stayed positive and stopped worrying about it thinking it’s ‘temporary’.
Days turned into weeks and weeks turned into a month, I joined my host organization and all of a sudden it got me that I still do not have a place that I can call home after 30th August. The hunt was not as easy as it sounds. Being VERY particular in my needs, I almost gave up trying to find a place that has a separate restroom. It is one of my pet peeves and coming at peace with is wasn’t possible.
On Sep 10, 2018 I finally met a lady through Craiglist who was offering her Master bedroom with an “attached restroom”. I fell in love with the place the moment I went to meet her. The place I called home for next one year and the place where I am sitting right now and typing this.
That’s how my housing hunt ended and safety needs were met.
Belongings and Social Needs
When my two basic needs were fulfilled and I had a house to live and food to eat, that’s when life gave me lemons to make lemonade. I started missing my friends, family and even my cats. I wanted to travel everywhere in the US but had no one to go with. I started living my days in my room with Netflix as my best friend, which I didn’t mind but I was missing out on so much. New people, new place, new food and everything else.
A few days later, America got into me and I took the help of apps to meet new people and make friendships. If you are in the same boat right now, the next paragraph will help you.
Couchsurfing: Just by the name, this app sounds like a place for travelers where people surf couches of fellow travelers but this app gave me some lifelong friends in the US. Couchsurfing has an option to mark yourself available for meetup and within your preferred radius, people who are also available can create a hangout.
My first batch of good friends were from India, Kazakhstan and the US.
Bumble App: Bumble is another really good app to meet people as friends, as professionals and, as partners. I actively used Bumble’s professional category to meet like-minded professionals and made really good connections in the Silicon Valley.
Meetup.com: It is one of the best apps out there to look for events in your area or your town. I was actively attending all good events in my area and soon after, made really amazing friends who I will cherish for life.
To be Continued…