Monday 23 May 2016

The secret life of BrisVegas

Last Friday, as I was sitting with my legs spread out on the grass of the school oval watching the kids kick around an AFL ball, the sun was starting to dip behind the lush, green mountains. A golden haze spilt across the grounds giving a warm glow and the most perfect light. A balmy breeze blew through the tall gums circling the oval.

I was chatting to some other parents, talking about where I'd come from and what had brought me to Brisbane. Talk moved onto the weather, as it often does. "It's just so glorious, to think winter is just a few weeks away," said one. "You see, this is one of the reasons Brisbane is Australia's best kept secret. I moved here from Canberra and you just can't beat the weather and the lifestyle. If everyone else knew how we lived, they'd all want to move here," said another.

It's true. A lot of people think we're a little strange for moving here. Brisbane equals boring in a lot of people's minds. Suburban. Nothing much to do. Redneck. Boring.

A dear friend quoted Paul Keating when we said we were moving here: "If you're not living in Sydney, then you're just camping out." Well if that's true, then I have to say I quite enjoy camping out.

Sydney is my hometown. It's where I was born. It's where I spent the majority of my life. It's where most of my family and friends live. It's a place that will always be "home". The problem is the few times I've been back over the past few years, I've found that it started to annoy me and stress me. I'd get in the car thinking I had plenty of time to get where I was going to find it actually took me three times longer. To buy a home we would have to settle for something nowhere near what we wanted, miles away from friends and family, and have a long commute for work and just about anywhere else. Then there's the parking, the rush and everything else. Sydney was beginning to lose its shine for me.

I've found Brisbane to be anything but boring. We can afford to have a lovely house just a couple of kilometres from the centre of town, in a nice neighbourhood. I've driven into the CBD at peak hour on a Friday evening and back again in a matter of minutes. We can jump in the car and be in the bush, the real actual bush in under 30 minutes. We have a funky bar, as cool as anything I've seen in Sydney a three minute walk from our house. Yet, there is space and parks and trees. There are plenty of good coffee shops and places to eat. There are Farmer's Markets and boutiques and bookshops. And best of all it's relaxed. It feels like life is made to lived here, not just to exist. It's easy and simple. Life just feels good here.

For an easy day trip you can venture north to the Sunshine Coast, south to Byron Bay or west to the dividing range. Places I'd dream of going for a holiday are now in easy reach each and every weekend.

So, if people think that Brisbane is this boring uninteresting place, where not a lot happens that's a-ok with me. I'm happy to keep it secret.


  1. I love coming to BrisVegas for any reason and for all the reasons that you mentioned.

  2. That sounds wonderful! I'd say "wait until the heat of January" but after Dubai you will find it a piece of cake :)

    1. The one thing that Dubai has that Brisbane (or most places in the world) don't is exceptional air conditioning! So I could very well melt come January!!

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