It’s so funny how things turn out. Not once, ever, has my overseas adventures been exactly like my daydreams. You know how those dreams turn out; the best, tanned version of you is sitting on an exotic beach drinking very nice looking cocktails or surfing or doing something else exciting. They never include getting lost, carrying around backpacks, long journeys or loosing stuff. They also never seemed to include the ‘bit’s’ – the 3 hour chat with a random local at a station while you’re waiting for a delayed train, going to some place you’ve never heard of because you had a drink with a fellow backpacker or the impromptu conversation in the bathroom that turns into a life long friendship. And it’s those ‘bits’ along with the fabulous and the not so fabulous that have made the last 5 years the best years of my life.
After travelling and living around Asia for many years I decided Australia was my next destination and it was time to make the move. I was pretty comfortable travelling around after all that time so I rocked up in Sydney and decided to start my trip in Coogee Beach after hearing it had some good vibes. I researched some accommodation and thought Mad Monkey Coogee Beach sounded like a good place to start – it seemed to be really social and right on the beach so I figured it would be a good spot for a week or two.
Pretty soon after I arrived I got chatting to a few people in the common areas at the hostel who seemed friendly and without me knowing it, this was really the start of my Australian experience. With these new people I decided to check out a few sights around Sydney and then a few others started to join. Before long this turned into a bit of a posse, hanging out in the evenings, socialising and generally having a good time getting to know each other.
COVID-19 was also starting to be a ‘thing’ at this point but I honestly didn’t really think it was going to affect Australia, so life for me and my new friends continued in one exciting blur of exploring and socialising. I was wrong though. Before too long COVID-19 was the centre of conversation and I realised that this was something pretty big which was going to rock the entire world.
Knowing I wasn’t ready to go back to the UK I decided to stay put and extend my stay in Mad Monkey which was rapidly beginning to feel like home. I signed up for the work for accommodation option they had, which basically meant I could save some money on my stay while working at the hostel. This was a game changer for me especially during the COVID-19 lockdown when not only was it a massive help financially, I was surrounded by awesome people and could literally walk down the hallway to work!
I’m currently living and working at Mad Monkey and another hospitality venue close by and despite these strange times I’m in no hurry to leave. I’ve learnt that it’s up to you to make the most of what you can control and try not to worry about what you can’t. Each day brings a new experience and there’s just so much to see and do in and around Coogee that I just don’t get bored.
Like so many other people around the world, COVID-19 has absolutely changed my plans and expectations for 2020. While it’s totally restricted my travel options and large group socialising and events, it’s also made me grateful for my friends and the new experience I’m having living in Sydney. So from that perspective I wouldn’t change a thing. The way I see it –there’s no point worrying about the potholes in the road when you could be enjoying the journey!
WHERE TO STAY IN COOGEE BEACH?
MAD MONKEY COOGEE BEACH
Mad Monkey Coogee Beach is your dream hostel in Sydney to explore Coogee Beach and surrounds. We’re located right on the waterfront so just a stone’s throw away from the sand, surf and swimming, as well as tons of great bars and restaurants including FNKY MNKY located on the first floor of the hostel.
Our beachside hostel is sparkly clean with super friendly staff available to help with anything you need, and don’t miss the Mad Monkey social atmosphere that we are famous for. Our unique accommodations offer everything from traditional dorms to apartment-style lodging with private living rooms.