Brisbane: the City I Hated and Loved all at the same time. Well, hate is a strong word. I disliked it, mainly in frustration for its lack of jobs for backpackers and it’s expensive living costs. Also, for its obscene amount of rules (no running, no dog walking, no drinking, no skating…) and for it’s incredibly high population of flying cockroaches *shudders*. But why did I Love it? Well, how could I not love it? A beautiful little metropolis surrounded by exotic forests and jungle. I loved it for having a London-inspired Southbank full of cafes, shops and art, that wild Sharks swan beneath. For being home to so many beautiful wild kangaroo families. I loved it for the lakes, for the mountains, for the view points and especially for those incredible storms that makes the rain in England look like a little bit of drizzle.
They always say that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone, and no matter how much you enjoy a city or a country when you’re travelling, you really don’t know how much you loved it or appreciated what a great place it was, until you’re not there anymore. This – like many cities we traveled to – was definitely the case with Brisbane. After living there for over five months, the Beard and I knew we were ready to move on. But it’s only looking back on the pictures, the video footage and reliving the Amazing memories that I realize just how wonderful that time of my life was and how dam lucky I was to live there.
It began as a hard period of our travels due to complete lack of money and lack of job opportunities. Going from gallivanting around Asia and surviving on pocket change, to living in a country and a city that charges you a gazillion dollars per night for a hostel dorm – it was a shock at first. Fortunately, we moved in with two friends, Jen and Tom, who I knew from England. They had moved to Australia a few months earlier and took us under their wing along with their dog Dave (and Thank goodness too as were close to running out of rent money!) It was definitely the right move and the five of us had such a lovely time experiencing the best parts of Brisbane and its neighboring towns. We had weekends away at Mooloolaba, which had one of the most beautiful beaches I have EVER seen. We took trips to Lake Wivenhoe, where we all had a swim, including Dave! There was the Beards Birthday at Australia Zoo and days out at the seaside town of Shorncliffe and the Botanical Gardens. The storms were fantastic too; great for sitting on the porch with a beer and watching the sky light up.
Eventually I got an evening job that only took up four evenings of my week yet paid quite well (bar work in Australia can bring in a pretty chunky income!) This meant the Beard and I had our days free to hang out together in the Sunshine. Free evenings were taken up with firework displays, city festivals, or just staying in with Tom and Jen and watching Trashy Australian TV such as ‘The Bachelor’ (so bad its good). At the time the job and money issues were a definite stress, because we were desperate to do a road trip and had to try and save money on one person’s income, but looking back it was also such an amazing time that I will never forget. Every day was sunny, even the stormy ones. We laughed so much and we got to see so much nature. And when I think of Australia it’s usually Brisbane that pops into my head first.
We left Brisbane after five months to do our road trip, before moving down to Melbourne for the Christmas period. But check out my Video below to get a real taster of our time in Brisbane: