iv: Blessing in Disguise

Let me preface this post: when Neil and I decided to move abroad, we knew we would encounter some ups and downs along the way.  We knew it would be an amazing experience but we also knew we would likely be presented with some challenges as well.

We recently encountered our first “challenge” but little did we know it would actually be a blessing in disguise!  Keep reading…

Neil and I were fortunate to find a fully furnished, beautifully renovated flat, steps away from Parliament.  It was move-in ready, a bit compact, but I fell in love with it, especially given the location.  It had beautiful decor and furnishings and felt “luxurious”, albeit, a bit small.  Regardless, we signed a year lease and moved in a month ago.

Shortly after staying in the apartment (a week or so), I randomly opened the guest bathroom door and was overwhelmed with a smell of natural gas.  If you have a gas stove at home, imagine turning the gas valve on, but not igniting a fire.   After just a few seconds, you can smell natural gas coming from the valves.  It is not a comfortable smell.  I quickly closed the door in the bathroom, opened the windows and called Neil.  He rushed home and confirmed the potent gas smell.

The chain of events from there brought us the “challenge”.  A boiler issue was quickly identified and given it was a holiday weekend, we were advised the new part would not arrive until Monday (this was a Friday).  We had no hot water, no access to cook (given the unit was all gas) and more than anything, a shared discomfort that we did not feel safe with an underlying gas issue.

We were provided temporary housing for free, but while it was nice, it was not our home.  We took Lily and a suitcase to the new pad a few streets away and stayed there for four days.  We made the most of it but looked forward to getting back to the flat we rented.

Once we were told it was safe to return to our flat, we were excited to begin our routine again, finish unpacking and settle in.  No more than 3 days later, gas smell, again.  We went through the same process and a serviceman arrived the next day to tell us our flat had a major issue with the boiler.  It was recommended the owner of the flat purchase a new boiler and handle all of the re-piping and chimney work.  In the meantime, we were told to ventilate the house while using the dishwasher, washer, and showers.

Neil stepped in and advised that we would be exiting our lease and he quickly moved us into a managed residence for 5 nights.  Again, we packed a suitcase and took Lily with us to yet another temporary housing.  We spent the next few days searching for apartments and ended up finding an absolute gem.  The flat was also just renovated but we saw the quality on this one.  We moved in this past Saturday and spent Saturday/Sunday getting our belongings out of the first flat.

Since Neil and I arrived in Budapest, we have spent time in 5 separate housing options…one when we first arrived, the flat with the gas issue, the temporary flat, the managed residence and now, hopefully our last, our new flat!  It has been very frustrating, disruptive and confusing for us all but we are very thankful for the blessing in disguise…we are much happier in this unit, saving more money, and truly living in a larger and nicer unit than before.  Thus, we feel lucky this all happened, despite the challenge.



  1. OMG, glad to hear you are safe! As they say things happen for a reason. Despite the challenge and inconvenience you seem to have found a better place to live! Good luck in your new home.


  2. So happy that you are settled in before you start your new position. Can’t wait to hear about it. Enjoy your visit with Mom. Love you guys – Aunt Harriet


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