Thursday, July 18, 2013

First thoughts

So I'm here.
The flight wasn't as bad as I thought, it was about fourteen hours from San Fran to Sydney. I had the window seat, so that definitely softened the blow (although the entire flight was during the night, so there wasn't much to look at except the stars, but the guy in front of me kindly pointed out constellations!). They gave us three meals, which was nice, except they weren't the most tasty.
Once we got to the airport, I got myself in a bit of trouble by bringing a sandwich through customs (I had meant to throw it away, but forgot) and had to stand in a separate line from my buddies to claim it. I finally got through customs and met my Happy Cabby driver at the McDonalds. He drove us for a couple hours north to Newcastle to our new home, the Abbeywood Apartments. We all live in 7 different apartments that are next to each other. My roommate, Brittany (from Wisconsin) and I share a bedroom and we have our own kitchen and living room as well. I'll upload pictures once everything is in order!
My first day was very overwhelming, and I wasn't in the most optimistic mood from the jet lag, I was definitely missing home a lot. At night, we decided to go to a bar down the street because essentially the "superbowl" of Australian rugby was playing. I left so early though because I was so tired. But waking up for my second day this morning and finally taking a shower was absolutely fantastic!
My roommate and I did the majority of unpacking in the morning then walked to Bar Beach with some others. The beach was incredible, we even saw dolphins! It's crazy that I'm only a fifteen minutes walk from somewhere so beautiful. We ate lunch at the bar and then went grocery and cell phone shopping. I'm still trying to figure out the cell phone situation right now, why is it so difficult to activate a phone plan?! Goodness. Hopefully I'll get that figured out within the next day or two, because it's just strange not having a phone.
Tomorrow, we are touring the campus, which is a short train ride away, and then having a welcome dinner at a nice restaurant downtown. I'm so excited to see the campus, I've heard it's gorgeous!
To sum up my experience so far, I absolutely love the city of Newcastle and Australia overall seems like a wonderful country! I'm eager to explore the city more and start going to classes :)

Bar Beach, 15 minute walk from my apartment

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