“I wish I knew how to quit you.”
― Annie Proulx, Brokeback Mountain
Australia has welcomed me back into it’s sweaty embrace after a year of non-stop travel. I admit I was reluctant to return to the motherland, but Australia has a way of sucking you back in. One day you’re drinking a flat white and scarfing down a lamington, and the next day you find yourself signing onto full-time work and a share house.
And it’s with that flick of a pen that I found myself firmly living in Brisbane, Queensland. Again. I have a bed, a lamp, and I even bought myself a full-sized lint roller instead of a little travel one.
The phrase ’embrace it’ has been thrown around a lot from various friends and family when I whine about having to live in Australia again. The word ’embrace’ has two meanings. The first being ‘ the act of accepting something willingly or enthusiastically‘. I am neither willing nor enthusiastic about moving back to Brisbane. When I left the place a year ago, I told anyone who would listen that I would have to be bought back kicking and screaming. I was bored of the mucky little river town that had gotten too big for it’s boots. I had set my sites on London, Copenhagen and Shanghai.
Like most people who set their sites on the worlds most expensive cities, I was quickly brought slamming down to earth. I was (and still am) as poor as a street rat. The pastel hues of Copenhagen and the buzzing streets of Shanghai would have to stay firmly put in my dreams.
The other, much more fun, meaning of embrace is ‘an act of holding someone closely in one’s arms‘. Now I have hugged some seriously shifty people (I’m looking at you ex-boyfriends). I once even hugged a three-legged, one-eyed street cat. It might have even been foaming at the mouth.
If could wrap my arms around and embrace a mangy street cat, then surely I could do the same for Brisbane. So I have decided wrap my arms around Brisbane and give it a big ole’ sweaty HUG (it’s so flippin’ hot here). Which, in less convoluted and writer-y terms, means that I am going to be basing myself in Brisbane for at least another year AND making the most of it.
Although I will be based here, I do have some very exciting plans for the year and hopefully will be ticking off a huge bucket list item around the middle of it. When things become a little more certain I will definitely announce it everywhere (to do: look up how much sky-writing costs).
Other than my big trip, I will be heading down to Sydney and Tasmania, as well as exploring Queensland a little more. But South-East Queensland is the main event this year and so it deserves its own little bucket list.
1. Dive the HMAS Brisbane.
This has been on the bucket list for a very long time. Although I have done over a 100 dives, I have never done a proper wreck. The HMAS Brisbane is a purposefully sunk wreck, turned artificial reef, located a short boat ride from Mooloolaba.
2. Master the ‘staycation’ and explore Brisbane’s coolest hotels.
When I’m not exploring the depths of the sea, I would like to be exploring the depths of a comfy hotel bed and room service menu. Brisbane has some stylish boutique hotels that I would love to experience and write about: now is the time!
3. Spend more time at the beach
There is nothing more refreshing and soul-cleansing than diving underneath a wave and letting it rumble over your head. It is a sensation that I crave. Having access to a car in Brisbane will greatly improve my chances of getting to the beach more. I especially want to spend more time up North towards Noosa.
4. Take some photography classes
It’s no secret that I don’t know what I am doing with my photography. This year I want to learn what my camera can do.
5. Take a weekend road trip..somewhere
If there was any good reason to take a road trip somewhere it is to see ‘big stuff’. Queensland has a wealth of big things. On my hit list, The Big Pineapple, The Big Mango, and The Big Macadamia Nut. Not on my hit list, The Big Pie (I heard that it wasn’t that impressive).
6. See more live music at the Tivoli and the Hifi
Brisbane has some great live music venues and when I get my act together and go see a band, it’s always amazing. These smallish, cozy venues are a real gem and I am looking forward to making the most of them.
7. Get out of my food comfort zone
I’m not a fussy eater (even though I am now vegetarian!) but I do know exactly what I like. Brisbane has some amazing restaurants and I am looking forward to pushing the burgers to one side and trying some fine dining (wallet permitting).
So there is my Brisbane bucket list. I am excited and I hope you are too! Have you been to Brisbane? What did you love about it? Am I missing something from this list? Leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.