Feeling at home in Chicago from day one

How Blueground helped a European expat make the smoothest relocation to the US

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

at home in a blueground apartment

Imagine that you are moving to a new country to undertake a new business project far away from your home. What would be the first things you would need to sort out? Work visa, SIM card, bank account, and cash card, metro card, or car rental, perhaps?

Amid the small errands and “life admin” involved in arranging an international relocation, it’s easy to compromise on a home. Expats, often overburdened and overstimulated in their first months of a work placement, ought to not underestimate the importance of a comfortable home. Now easier than ever to research and reserve online from abroad, the advantages of a furnished apartment are numerous for new arrivals.

blueground guest sebastian in his apartment

We chatted about with one of our long-term guests in Chicago, Sebastian Krueger, about his relocation experience and what having a turnkey home has meant to him. Sebastian has been staying with us since the beginning of 2019. He had initially signed to a 12-month stay before deciding to renew for another year with Blueground — here are a few reasons why.

Thank you, Sebastian, for taking the time to share your experience with us. Would you please tell us a bit more about yourself?

Sure, I’m originally from Hamburg, Germany where I was based for my current employer working in sales and marketing operations, at the time focused on Central and Eastern Europe. I was approached by my manager to take on a VP role as Regional Manager, Americas, and I couldn’t have been more excited. It wasn’t only that I would have broader responsibilities, but I would have the opportunity to work in a different country for the first time and explore a new culture.

And, you landed in Chicago. What was your first impression?

I loved it. I remember my Uber ride from the airport, it was in the middle of the night, the fog was covering the tips of the high rises and coming from the interstate into downtown. It really felt like driving into Gotham City (it’s not a coincidence that many Batman movies were shot here). However, the first days were so hectic as I had to rent an apartment ASAP. I think I visited more than ten apartments in just three days! I was scheduling the viewings back to back.

And then Blueground comes along. What led you to settle with us?

I had decided that I would rent a fully-furnished apartment. From a quick search, I realized that leasing an unfurnished apartment would require enormous time and money investment on my end; from coordinating extensive paperwork to planning décor, ordering housewares and furniture online, and waiting for shipments to be delivered.

Working from your living room

I visited many apartments on my three-day house hunt and the majority of the furnished apartment options were very bland and had old furniture. What caught my eye with Blueground was the design. I also love the full package: the furnishings, the easy online processing, utilities are taken care of, even the bathroom essentials. It’s really easy to settle in with everything there — the dishes, furniture, you don’t need to shop around for an internet provider — taking that time instead to sort out my state ID, going in person to the bank, among other things.

Glad to hear that. We strive to offer a hassle-free and smooth booking experience. Now, about the location. How important was that to you? Are you taking advantage of the building amenities?

Very important! The location of the building is great. I’m living in Downtown Chicago, basically in the heart of the city. The tower has amazing amenities (temporarily off-limits due to COVID-19 precautionary measures) with a number of pools, a gym, and a sauna for those cold Chicago winters. I’m looking forward to their re-opening.

Hope they will be up and running soon! Would you like to tell us a bit more about how you’ve adjusted to more time at home this past year?

I’ve set myself up for a longer-term WFH with a workstation complete with a desk and chair. I value having the kitchen table and couldn’t be bothered to clear it off at the end of the day and put my work stuff back before the start of the day. I also make a point of going for a walk every day and I have since gotten a car for some exploring nearby. I’ve also really taken up curbside pick-up these past few months!

You will be in Chicago till the beginning of 2021. What’s next?

Work may be taking me next to Asia, and if Blueground had apartments there I would totally go with them again.

We currently have homes only in Dubai. However, among our plans is to expand to many more cities around the world! In any case, would you consider renting furnished again?

For sure! I really value the convenience of renting a furnished home. Especially for stays of a few months to a year. I would consider it for longer stays i.e. 2+ years but I have to dive into economics. If other colleagues end up relocating to Chicago from abroad, I would definitely send them to Blueground.

Chicago skyline view seen from the lush green of Lincoln Park

Sebastian’s favorite spots in Chicago – Check them out!

• Where to walk and reflect on the day: Illinois St > Grand Ave > Lake > North Avenue Beach > Astor St > Rush St > Pearson St > Fairbanks Ct > Illinois St
• Where to find delicious baked goods and treats: Tous Les Jours
• Where to eat: Niusushi for Japanese fusion, Cafecito for delicious sandwiches, Brown Bag Seafood for lobster rolls, Beatrix Restaurant for classic American cuisine, HaiSous for Vietnamese treats
• Where to relax: By the stairs close to Ohio Street Beach (perfect for lunch by the Lake), in Lincoln Park for a picnic, in Jackson Park for a nice walk without crowds, a stroll through the Japanese Garden is a must
• And a few hidden gems: Ping Tom Memorial Park, The skyline view from “Adler Planetarium Skyline Walk”, the Cafe Cremerie for the best (European-style) ice cream

Whether life has demanded a long-distance relocation where renting furnished just makes sense, or because you’re simply looking to live and move with less ‘stuff’, we’re here to show you what there is to gain from a long-term furnished renting experience. Trust Blueground with your next long-term furnished stay and focus on what matters most.

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.