What a blurry, wonderful whirlwind the past two days have been! After landing at SYD, Daniel picked me up, and we went straight to the Trio Apartments in our neighborhood of Newtown. Despite wanting to sleep more than anything in the world, we hit the ground running.
Day 1: We walked from the apartment to Newtown proper where I got my first taste of Aussie humor via the Fire Department. Hilarious. Next up, we did what is probably the most critical 1st step when you live abroad: opening a local bank account. I went with ANZ Bank (Australia New Zealand). We took a number (as if we were ordering deli meats), sat down, got called up to the associate manager and a solid 1.5 HOURS later, I had my accounts opened and a new credit card on its way. They were very thorough, to say the least. Finally after this, my first meal in Sydney. We stopped at a place called Brewtown Newtown and oh man, a real Australian-born Flat White! Plus my steak, egg and beet open-faced sandwich was basically to die for.The rest of the day was pretty much just an attempt to keep me from passing the F out. We walked up the road from the apartment to the very charming neighborhood of Annandale, did some light grocery shopping and such. Dinner was made at home after I snuck in a mission critical 1-hour nap. Fully in bed and completely exhausted by 830pm!
Day 2: This was the big day. First one in a new job which is always stressful but felt even moreso give the jet lag, location change and potential for culture shock! Daniel very thankfully drove me to the Hilton Worldwide regional office on Pitt Street in the Sydney Central Business District (CBD as the Aussies say). And just like that, I walked through the doors to my new role.The day was jam-packed. I met the entire Sydney office, from sales to marketing to revenue management to HR…and unsurprisingly they were all so friendly and absolutely charming. I spent the majority of the day in a meeting room with my new manager, Maria, and we immediately got to work with onboarding. Maria is based in Singapore where the APAC office is but she flew down to AU for the week. Following onboarding until about 6pm, we headed over to the Hilton Sydney for a kick-off party at Zeta Bar with some key stakeholders. It was an awesome first day and I met a bunch of people whose names I immediately forgot. 🙂
By the end of the day at 730pm I was so extremely wiped. Daniel picked me up and we grabbed some takeaway Vietnamese food from Miss Chu which clearly has a we-don’t-take-ourselves-too-seriously menu. You would think by now it was time to go home and call it a (long, exhausting) day. Daniel, however, had a fantastic surprise up his sleeve which I will never forget. From Miss Chu, we drove a short distance and I could see us getting closer to water. And just like that, I was suddenly having a picnic of delicious Vietnamese food on a gorgeous night in Sydney, Australia and looking at a view I’ve dreamt of for ages. What an unforgettable start to this journey! -JW