Furnish Your First Apartment: A Guide for Newcomers in the USA

Moving to the USA feels like restarting your life, but in a foreign land.

Do you remember the first time you rented a room or an apartment in College? How about when you first moved out of your parents’ house to start building your career? Or when you first got married?

In all of these cases, you had to buy almost everything you needed. Sometimes you received gifts and giveaways from your family and friends.

When you first arrive in the USA, you will need to buy a lot of things! A lot!

Thanks to the World Wide Web, you can now order most of your needs online. This is even better for the bigger items such as a sofa or mattress, especially if you don’t have a pickup truck!

Here’s a list of all the things you will need to buy right after you arrive in the USA and secured your first apartment.

Most of the items below are from Amazon.com. If you ever purchase on Amazon, make sure to signup for Amazon Prime membership to enjoy free two-day shipping and other perks.

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Our Green Card Timeline

In March 2015, I received my US R-1 Visa, which allowed me to accept a job offer in the Philippines. If you’re not familiar, R-1 is the visa granted for religious workers to work legally in the USA. Although I am not a pastor, I moved to the USA to take on a job with a religious organization, which is tre church I belong to–The United Methodist Church.

Based on conversations with our organization’s lawyer, and based on my reading of the requirements, I need to wait until I have completed two (2) years of service with my current organization before I could apply for a Green Card.

My official first day of work was May 1, 2015. That meant that the earliest time I could apply for a Green Card is May 1, 2017.

Just to make sure that I would not be a out-of-status in the US, my employer applied for an extension of my R-1 visa. The initial R-1 visa is good for two and a half years, renewable for another 2.5 years for a total of 5 years.

We got the extension but I didn’t apply right away. I got occupied by my responsibilities at work, which is why it took me another year to apply.

Here’s our Green Card timeline

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Disaster Preparedness in the USA

My phone’s alarm rang at 6 am on March 3, 2020. I turned the alarm off and after a few minutes, I checked Facebook.

What I saw alarmed me. A strong tornado ripped through Nashville (Tennessee) between midnight and 3 am! To make things worse, I was in Raleigh, North Carolina attending a 3-day meeting. My wife and sons remained in Nashville.

The photos all over Facebook and the news showed buildings without roofs, overturned cars, and electricity poles blocking the roads!

After trying to call my wife several times, she texted me. They heard the tornado warnings, hid in the safe space at home, and when the tornado passed by, they went back to bed.

From my hotel room in Raleigh, I let out a sigh of relief!

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Follow Me on YouTube and Learn What It’s Like to Live as a Filipino in the USA

I’ve had my YouTube channel for a couple of years now. But I have not really uploaded much content there.

That has changed!

Finally, I mustered enough courage to relaunch my YouTube channel. The past few weeks, I uploaded several videos to show what it is like to live as a Filipino in the United States of America.

Subscribe and Follow Me!

If you want to learn about the joys and fun stuff of living in America, or to be aware of the challenges, and just learn about How-Tos of being an Overseas Filipino, go subscribe to my channel at http://aMightyLife.com/YouTube.

Right now, I have uploaded some fun stuff that Malcolm (my firstborn) and I have done together; what winter is like in Nashville; and services such as Remitly and Xoom to use for sending money to the Philippines.

In the next few weeks and months, I plan to post more videos documenting our life in the US and sharing How-Tos and tutorials on visa application, Green Card application, Personal Finance, and even Filipino food and restaurants in the USA.

Watch this welcome video to learn more about my channel!

Do you have questions or thoughts about living in the USA? Or do you have suggestions about topics for the channel? Let me know in the comments!