Making a Hotel a Home

Now that I have gotten past the overwhelming and stressful few days of moving in/going to classes/going to work/trying to find my way around, I’ve actually been able to enjoy myself and explore my new city without (too much) panic over getting lost. I’m starting to settle into my apartment, which was not what I expected at all, but I’m warming up to it.

I’m living at Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments, which is in Darling Habour. The strange thing is that this is technically a hotel, so we see a lot of people from all over coming in and out of this place. My apartment is two floors — bottom level is the living/dining room and kitchen area, and upstairs are the two bedrooms. I’m rooming with a classmate from Pitt, and my suitemates are from the University of Delaware and Pitt as well. Four of us total live together.

The biggest challenge my roommate and I had to get over was the TINY bedroom. And I’m not exaggerating. Like this is smaller than the size of my room in my apartment back in Oakland, but this one has to fit two people. We rearranged the beds to make it feel a little bigger, but there wasn’t much we could do about the space. Our beds are separated by a night stand, but we’re so close they’re practically pushed together. And that’s basically all we have space for, which forces me to be really neat and always clean up after myself (not that I normally have a problem with that). Another terrible part of our room is our “window”. I put window in parenthesis because…our view is into the hotel hallway. It’s a great view of our neighbor’s front door, but that’s not the view I came here to see. We live in a pretty area though, close to the harbor which is really pretty at night. It’s lined with restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and a lot of things to do. Just not close to things I really need, like a grocery store for FOOD so I can EAT…no big deal. At least we have one grocery store near us, Cole’s (an Aussie chain), which is about 10 minutes away. I’m just brand loyal and prefer to do my shopping at Aldi, which is just a little too far away to do weekly shopping at.

Not all is bad though! One perk of the apartment is that since it is a hotel, there’s great service. We get all our toiletries for free, as well as weekly cleanings. They change our sheets, clean the bathroom, throw out our trash, and do our dishes! It’s honestly a blessing. And the biggest advantage of living here is that it’s really close to where I work (details coming up in my next blog post!!). Some of my classmates have hour commutes to work, and I only have a 15-minute walk. And it’s scenic too! I walk right over the harbor, which is the best view I’ve ever had commuting to work.

It’s only been about a week and a half, but I’m already falling in love with Sydney and Australia in general. There’s so much to do, so many restaurants to try, and so much sun to soak in. I’m really looking forward to the next few months here.