Posts tagged Brisbane

north for winter

Oh happy days! We’re finally moving on from Brisbane on Sunday, so once again we’re going through the process of packing, planning, organising and budgeting.

And in amongst all the planning, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed at the sheer size of this country, and daunted about how much distance we have to cover in just two weeks. It’s exciting, but it’s kind of scary as well. I’m trying to not think about the ‘what if’s, and instead just look forward to the adventure.

You see, we’re heading off outback to take up a WWOOFing opportunity on a cattle station. So the next two weeks will find us travelling up the east coast, from Brisbane to Townsville, and then way out west, to Maronan Station near Cloncurry.

That’s about 2156 kilometres, in 15 days. Eeek!

We’re super excited about seeing the Top End and outback Australia, and can’t wait to see some emus, crocs, camels and red dirt, along with everything else that makes the northern parts of this country special.

But most of all, we’re looking forward to being back on the road again. After all, there’s too much fun to be had.

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City life

Oli and I have had to kind of put the trip on hold for a couple of months while we focus on making and saving some more money. This travelling around the country lark has proven to be a bit more expensive than we expected!

So we’ve been sucked back into the nine-to-five working and city lifestyle, and it hasn’t been an easy transition. Oli’s found a great job doing the same sort of work he was doing in Sydney, but I’ve had to take the first thing that came along, which was a temping contract in a customer service type role – not the kind of work I’ve ever done before, and to be honest, not the kind of thing I’d ever want to do long term, but it’s ok for now.

But the whole process of having to get back into the routine of wearing corporate-type work clothes, commute into the city every day, and sit at a desk in front of a computer for eight hours a day has been really challenging. The whole office environment feels so alien and impersonal and sterile to me now, in comparison with the kind of work we’ve been doing while WWOOFing.

The past three weeks have been an interesting journey of learning how to do this new job, fit in, be productive and also, get used to a whole new realm of office politics. I’d forgotten how toxic and bitchy workplaces can be sometimes.

Settling back into this kind of ‘normal’ life again has meant I’ve found myself missing some of the things I enjoyed in Sydney, like the music and cafes and the weird and wonderful sights of Newtown. And having my favourite yoga classes, my cat, and my garden to enjoy on the weekends.

Having said all that though, we have been doing our best to make the most of it and enjoy Brisbane while we’re here. We’ve been up Mount Coot-tha to enjoy a spectacular view of the river, the city and beyond. We had fun last weekend at the Gold Coast theme parks, screaming our lungs out on the roller coasters and crazy water slides. We’ve found a great local farmers market at the Mount Gravatt Showgrounds, where we can buy really cheap fruit and veg and enjoy the bustle and atmosphere every Sunday. And this weekend we went down to the Yatala Drive-In Movies – it was so cosy, watching movies on the big screen while snuggled up in our bed in the back of the campervan!

We’ve got about four more weeks to go until we can get back on the road and have some more adventures in the van. In the meantime I’ll be counting down the days, just daydreaming about what’s around the corner.

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Cheap thrills in Bris-Vegas

 After Bluesfest wrapped up, we decided to head a couple of hours north to Brisbane, to look for some work. It’s been a strange week since we got here – doing the trawl through job websites everyday, hassling recruitment agents, and moving from caravan park to sharehouse.

Despite being on a super tight budget which doesn’t allow us to indulge in any of the real tourist activities Brisbane has to offer, we’ve had fun exploring the city and doing some bizarre things in the process.

We’ve been getting out and about on our bikes almost every day, finding awesome cycle paths all over the city and its suburbs, and maybe even getting a wee bit fit in the process! The Queensland Museum was an interesting excursion for us one day, where we saw the smallest boat to ever sail around the world (it looked more like a glorified bathtub actually) and the fabulous photographic exhibition on explorer Herbert Basedow.

And we’ve visited some pretty wicked parks and gardens, including the stunning Roma St Parkland, which is full of exotic looking tropical plants, as well as being a great place to people-watch!

Here’s some other things we’re into at the moment: 
• Eating canned soup
• Befriending random cats that hang around trying to bludge food from us
• The smallness of Brisbane: “Is THAT the city?” – Oli.
• Sunshine and being able to wear shorts and singlets at this time of year (sucked in to the Canberrans reading this, all rugged up in a gazillion layers of winter clothing)
• Watching random suburban club rugby matches on the weekend

Things we’re over:
• Jandals (sorry, thongs) sticking to the floor of the caravan park showers
• Pubs that don’t have pool tables
• Our GPS giving us random directions and getting us lost
• The tedious hunt for some work

Actually, Oli has already found a job doing some landscape gardening work, but I’m still looking, and keeping my fingers crossed something comes my way soon.

Have you got a suggestion for something free and fun we can do here in Brissy?  Leave a comment and let us know!

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