Where is all the time going? I have been in Ireland for five months and have just recently entered into the merry month of may. Almost half of my time here is gone. I admit I find that fact to be a little depressing because a) I really have not traveled outside much from Galway and b) I haven’t traveled much in Europe. There’s still plenty of time obviously but I better get my rear into to gear and explore before I run out of time.
In my last blog I discussed how numerous adventures had detained me from consistently blogging. One of those adventures was moving into my new apartment, but before I begin with that story I feel that we should first begin with my apartment searching in December.
I was living in a hostel out of my backpack. A hostel is not exactly a place you could call home for there are always people around. There is nowhere to be alone in a designated place to call one’s own. Plus my clothes had a distinct backpack-airplane smell which I am sure meant that I smelled quite interesting. When we first arrived it was difficult to know what we should start looking for first: a job or an apartment.
We did both simultaneously which is not something I would recommend for those who are prone to anxiety attacks. Everyday we were attached to out laptops inquiring after jobs and apartments, trying to boost each other’s spirits, taking advice from our friends and trying to entertain ourselves in the mean time. I felt like I was doing very little yet my days always felt very full.
My expectations of apartment searching were that we would find a place, both move in together and stay in that same apartment for the duration of my stay. The reality of course was much different.
Two bedroom apartments are very hard to come by and if they are available they are often expensive. Even if the rent seems affordable you still have to take in account the cost of electricity, internet/TV and trash bins. All of these added up to equal one thing: expensive! Not to mention that neither of us was employed which made the search all the more difficult.
Our perky optimism was shrinking into a monster of panicked delirium. Neither Michelle nor I were going to admit how we were secretly freaking out on the inside and kept hopeful smiles on our faces at all times. It didn’t help that Christmas was fast approaching and the hostel we were living in was closing down for the holiday. This was also the first time in my life that I had to look for a place to live. I am a homebody who spent most of my college career at my parent’s house, content to remain in the realm of the familiar. Deciding to live a year away from my family, my hometown, my comfort zone is actually completely out of character for me. I was probably depending a little too much on Michelle adding extra pressure on her shoulders to find us a place to live. Finally she came to a decision: we were going to have to split up.
There were a lot more single bedrooms available and while I really did not want to split up I didn’t really see any other option. Michelle was the first to move out. It was to a house out in Salthill living with 5 other girls who were all Freshmen in College. It was about a 20 minute walk from City Centre and her room had a beautiful view of the ocean.
We then spent time looking for a place for me to live in. The apartments that I looked at for the next couple of days were either breeding grounds for black mold or far away from the city centre and even farther away from Michelle. Then I interviewed with Charlotte and Aine. Two PhD students who were living in a three bedroom apartment. Their roommate was moving out and they were trying to replace her.
It was a single bed, with a window facing the docks. It was a bit on the cozy side, but I didn’t mind I fell in love with it! My favorite part was my bedroom window which was a circle making the room feel quite nautical. It helped that it overlooked the docks where one could see huge boats come in and out of the docks. Of course I was interviewed for the room so I had no idea if I got the room or not. Later that day I got the phone call from Charlotte the happy news that they decided that I would be their next roommate. I was delighted!
From December to April my home was the docks. I loved waking up every morning to look outside and see if a new boat came in the middle of the night. Sometimes it was fishermen in from a day of fishing unloading crates of their catch of the day. Aine and I would go grocery shopping. Charlotte once skyped with my parents for over 45 minutes while I washed dishes. Sometimes we would just hangout in the living room and talk while the TV glowed and flickered in the background. Of course things never stay the same. Charlotte ended up moving out. It was not because of any feelings of animosity or drama which can become common in any living situation. Rather she had means to buy her own place. Her leaving us meant that Aine and I had to interview for a new roommate. That is how I became friends with Edel. She was the second person that Aine and I interviewed and was instantly liked. She has a very energetic friendly personality which makes it easy to love her. Aine and I both consider each other to also be of the friendly sort so we did not see why we should not ask Edel to immediately move in with us.
Well not too soon after Edel and Aine signed the new lease, resulting in a raise in out rent but also the introduction of a tumble dryer, that we were informed that the landlord wanted the property back and we were to move out within the month. Leave my apartment? Well I couldn’t believe it! Leave my little room with the circle window, our spacious living room, our patio, our view that overlooked the docks! I had to say goodbye to it all. Yes I am being hopelessly sentimental but this was my first home in Galway. It was hard to not get attached.
Aine and I began looking for a new place to live. Since Edel has a real job with grown up person hours we took my camera to our apartment viewings so we could take pictuers and then report back our findings. We found a place that was the next street over. 3 bedroom with 4 beds and all rooms had their own personal bathroom. If there were two people that could stand to live in the same room we would be in luck. Luckily for everyone Michelle and I are able to do just that. Michelle had moved from her house in Salthill and had been sharing an apartment with two other girls since January. The rent would be less expensive in the new place and she had a sneaky suspicion that there might have been some mold growing in her bedroom.
Over Easter weekend we moved. Since the new place was not far away from our old apartment it was a quick job. While I lost my circle window with a view of the docks, my room in the new place is bigger. I am still living with friends and am slowly making the new place a home. Change is good. It makes you appreciate what you had. It also reminds you what is important. It is not always the place you live but the people that you live with that makes a place a home. And I am very lucky to be living with my 3 friends.