“She’s a Brisbane-ite now”

I recently caught up with a friend from school whom I was blessed to be able to meet whilst I was on Kythira and then reconnect with over in Ireland.

Like me, she had also spent a decent amount of time overseas, experiencing and understanding how others do life.

With both of us now back in Australia, moving to Brisbane to study couldn’t seem less appealing. Especially with vivid memories still roaming wildly from our overseas expeditions.

When we hung out that day, we decided to make the most of our time in Brisbane. Because, just like travelling, we would surely look back on this experience and realise that it was such a small part of our lives. Therefore, having a pact agreement that we would take on Brisbane as though we were tourists ourselves. Instead of viewing it how I normally would, I aim to view it through new eyes.


I have lived in Brisbane before, when I was in primary school. So although many elements of the city have changed, a lot has remained the same (think Queensland Museum which has probably not changed it’s main exhibition since it was built, much to mine and Logan’s disappointment).

This feels even more different though then back then. I have officially moved out of home and I was more nervous in doing that then when I flew across the globe.

Of course I’m relatively independent (#stillcan’tcookadamnthing) but now that the time has come to move out of home, this independence only makes me feel sick at the thought of how it was when I left home for boarding school in grade 8.

Back then, I loathed a never-ending series of goodbyes after each holiday break had come to an end.

Of course things were very different back then. The people and the fact that I was still in a school environment all added to the immense hate for that place. Things would change this time around as well. I was much older now and more in tune with how to deal with situations by myself.

Unannounced nervousness rose as I packed up my bedroom on the quest for a new life in Brisbane. I couldn’t understand why I would have felt more in my element if I were to make a detour to the airport on my way to Brisbane. Since Brisbane was only an hour away from home and by quick detour, I meant; get on a plane, move to a foreign country and never look back.

However I couldn’t pin point the emotions that I was feeling on the journey to Brisbane. I mean I was excited for university and excited for a change of atmosphere, yet I still felt like I needed to crack some sort of code for the itchy feet I was experiencing. So that’s when my Aunty stepped in whilst we were having coffee. She knew exactly where these feelings had erupted from. The trigger that had set it off was due to my uneasiness and hate for my boarding school days. I automatically knew that this was exactly how I was feeling. Since realising where the pain was triggered from I was able to master how to control it.



My first week of university life was far from what I had expected. Then again, life is frankly more exciting when realisations ride shot gun on your expectations.

I didn’t get the best night sleep the night before the first day of university. So basically on Monday morning a zombie Ell rose from her bed, put on her ‘new year, new me’ outfit, grabbed the necessary items for uni (whatever I threw in my bag was out of a pure adrenaline rush to make it to my first lecture on time, I was extremely unorganised). I walked briskly to the bus into the city. Once in the city I would have to catch bus 66 heading towards QUT at Kelvin Grove campus. However, because I basically don’t know how any of the transport works in Brisbane I accidentally caught the 66 bus going inbound instead of outbound. But a motivated, headphones in- music on/world off sort of girl like myself didn’t really pick up on that factor.

I assumed that I was in the right place as I looked around at all the tech savvy kids on my  bus.

Skipping to the point now…

I ended up at UQ. Which is the wrong university. And as I watched all those tech savvy kids jump off the bus, I knew that even being a tech savvy kid myself; I hadn’t done any of the necessary google research in order to reach my destination.

I applied the “phone a friend” terminology into my real life crisis. 10 minutes later my gorgeous friend Lainie had collected me from my troubles and was en-route to my actual university. I decided to give my first lecture of the year the flick and instead have a much needed coffee break at the Regatta Hotel as a congratulations for starting university….


I would laugh about it later because most kids would get lost whilst navigating around campus. I guess I would be in the same boat as them if I could even GET to uni.

My first week of university slash hahaha jokes on you you’re actually an adult now life had so many downfalls.

I won’t go into too much detail but basically here is a list of what happened:

  • I caught the wrong bus and ended up at the wrong university
  • Thus missing out on my first ever lecture. (Okay I know, nobody goes to them anyways but it was a sentimental thing in my head that I should try to attend. Ah well too late)
  • My phone internet ran out, but thankfully would be up & running in another week
  • I had no idea how to do the Marketing quiz as I haven’t bought the textbook because I can’t afford it at this rate. Still managed to scrap through with a 6/10 score.
  • Centrelink contacted me saying that my claim for youth allowance as a studier will be rejected if I don’t get bulk paperwork in by Wednesday
  • The ATO (Australian Taxation Office) contacted me saying that I haven’t done 3 years worth of tax return forms. Basically I was now a criminal for tax evasion.
  • My new printer that I bought was not connecting to my computer so I couldn’t print off anything to prepare me for lectures
  • My brain got swamped with assignments already
  • My brain got swamped with things to remember for my new job
  • I continued on a daily basis to catch different wrong buses (not to university, I learnt the first time) but to other destinations around Brisbane….every time thinking “well how the hell did I manage to do that AGAIN!”
  • I did so much unnecessary walking which could have been prevented with some internet on my phone
  • Lost my phone charger
  • Drank too much wine
  • Only got 3 hours sleep before a 7am shift at work
  • My mum drove back to the Sunshine Coast with my wallet in her bag after our visit on Friday

And in the words of Joyce Meyer “WELCOME TO ENJOYING EVERY DAY LIFE”

So many things will go wrong, and since leaving the nest this is just the START of many to come ! !

It’s hard to ignore the fact that for the first few weeks I will struggle with things. I’ve often heard the term “Don’t try to run before you can walk” and I love it. There is so much honesty in that quote not only for those who are anxious in new situations but also for those who feel like they want to get out of their situation as quickly as possible. I am at both ends of the spectrum. I know I will eventually get to that place of peace, but I so badly want to cross that horizon now!

I’m still learning patience and to enjoy the touristy life of being a Brisbane-ite.

Wish me luck.

x o


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