Diego, how did you meet Sara? What have been some of the biggest benefits and challenges living together as a couple in a coliving studio?
Sara and I were born in the same city but met here in Sydney, whilst we were on our own journeys. It’s like life laid out the best pathway in front of us to follow. We’re now living together in a co living studio. When living as a couple, you start to know one another much more such as one another’s individuality that comes out through manners and customs. When you share space, you share time and even your moods! But we have fitted together so well.
The studio gives us the option to “customise” it to our liking and we don’t tend to have much furniture or many decorations. I like how the place was initially set up. I’ve tried to keep the layout as it leaves enough space to move around and not feel like you’re getting out of bed and walking straight into the fridge! For us it’s great to have a balcony, we chat whilst watching beautiful sunsets before moving onto the couch where we keep chatting or watch YouTube. We’ll cook something and eat at the dining table. We’ve even had friends come over and we didn’t feel there was no space. So far I haven’t struggled with anything, so, there’s not much to talk about regarding challenges.
Why did you move to Sydney and what do you do in this city?
Diego – We’re from South-America. For us it’s important to learn the English language to open up more opportunities, whether that’s professional or personal. It was a great decision that we made to come to Australia rather than the United States. Here we’re able to study and work and afford the experience, which is not possible in the States. The quality of life we experience here is a blessing, and Sydney is one of the best cities to live in the world. We also love the opportunity to meet people from everywhere and learn from their culture. And of course, to be able to have a beautiful place to come home to after work!
Sara, so how’d you come across UKO?
I’d planned to spend some time outside of Sydney in the Blue Mountains around the time that Diego and I met. When I came back to Sydney, and we planned to move in together, we went to a few open inspections and nothing was suitable. I’d seen the photos of Paddington Village on the UKO website. I was super excited and said to Diego, I want to move here!
Why Paddington Village?
Sara – I’d been living in Killara, which is nice but not the most convenient place to live. I knew Paddington quite well and how much of a great location it is! Walking around Paddington Village there are such beautiful streets and houses!
Diego – We knew about the co-living concept for a while before we moved in. I’ve personally found it amazing as I like to socialise. In a regular flat you rarely have the chance to with flat mates as everyone has busy and varied schedules. For the first time, as our fellow UKOers are always friendly and happy to say ‘hi’, I often have short conversations. This makes me appreciate how good the people are that I share the building with. I’ve only attended one event, but it was enough to meet everyone and become excited about the UKO experience.
What has your experience of UKO been?
Sara – When we went on a tour of Paddington Village we were surprised, Diego especially, to find that the photos on the website were accurate. Everything in real life looked as it did online. This is rare with rental apartments in Sydney! Everything was brand new and the sign up process was easy. I’m super busy with my work and study so I love how Jorge (the Community Host) leaves sweets in our communal lounge area and drinks and nibbles in the fridge on a Friday! I also love having fresh sheets every two weeks. OMG this is unbelievable!
So, co-living and micro apartment living is working well for you two
Diego – I have to say that it’s more than I expected. We are both pretty organised people and like to have a harmonious place to live. It’s a winning combination to have a micro apartment – our own space which is easy to clean.
Living here has also taught us to own less. Previously, when we had a large room, we were able to store many things which we never really used. We found it incredible that the studio had all the necessary space! Before moving in, the first thing we did was decide what we needed to keep and what we could get rid of such as clothes, bags, etc. Another benefit was the kitchen appliances were brand new. The experience from the beginning has been incredible and it continues to be.
Have there been any unique benefits to co-living as a couple that you didn’t expect?
Our co-living experience has been minimal as we haven’t attended every gathering, however, after being to a couple at UKO Paddington and UKO Paddington Village, the opportunity to know people who are similar to you is a unique benefit. In this environment, everyone is willing to share the benefits that UKO provides within the spaces. Sara and I discuss personal challenges, this is not speaking native English. However we feel proud when we’re interacting with locals and holding these conversations! So we’re really fulfilling our purposes coming to