This journal was written as a physical diary by me during my gap year. I am typing this up to share my gap year experience. At the beginning of travels I was 22. I travelled with a friend (Kieren) and anybody else involved will be introduced during the journal. For more details, check here.

To spend a year in Australia, we got working holiday visas. These allow up to 1 year of travel and work in Australia. Find more information here.

Check out the previous instalment here.

The Brisbane portion of the journal doesn’t always go day-by-day because I got a job to save up for future travels so I neglected the journal a bit. There will likely be less photos (sorry!).

13th April – 24th April 2018

I’ve been spending a lot of time working and I am so exhausted. There are a few nice people that I’ve met at work though, which is nice. And it will definitely be worth it when we leave Brisbane! Saying that though, I do love Brisbane too!

The Story Bridge, Brisbane

Kieren got the job at The Guilty Rogue (bar attached to Base). We decided to move back to Base Backpackers from Chill Backpackers to work there instead. It’s so much nicer here! The hostel is nicer, the other staff are so great and we actually get paid (rather than working directly for accommodation). I’m so glad we moved back.

We’ve already made lots of friends here because there are lots of other backpackers working at the hostel. There is a bar (The Guilty Rogue) attached to the hostel where we always go (I normally go after work) so it’s very social. Kieren is very close with Taze (manager of The Guilty Rogue) and Dan (runs the open mic night), which is lovely.

25th April 2018

Dan picked Kieren and I up and we went to his house. He did a BBQ and we had some drinks with him, his wife Trish and his kids. He lives in a lovely house near Mount Coot-tha. Just before sunset we drove up to the lookout point. We sat here on a picnic blanket, eating snacks and drinking wine, watching the sun go down. There is such a great view of the city from here and it looks so beautiful all lit up at night.

Mount Coot-tha

Afterwards we went to The Story Bridge Hotel. It was so busy because it was Anzac Day. There was live music and it was a great atmosphere.

26th April 2018

I was working both jobs today so here is a brief schedule*:

10am – 12pm : housekeeping in the hostel (2 housekeepers on shift at one time and we clean all the bathrooms and make beds for new arrivals)

4pm – midnight: waitressing in the restaurant

*I did 2 or 3 housekeeping shifts a week (always 10-12pm) and worked in the restaurant 5 days a week (mostly evenings except Sundays where we did breakfast and afternoon tea only). Often these would overlap so I’d do both on the same day. On these days I normally chilled in The Guilty Rogue with friends between jobs or went somewhere nice in Brisbane to relax e.g. Botanic Gardens or Southbank.

27th April 2018

Kieren got a free ticket to see The Killers from another guy called Kieran who he met in the hostel. Apparently the ticket was for his brother but for some reason he couldn’t make it anymore. I was so jealous but I was going to work anyway.

I finished work early though so I went to The Guilty Rogue where some of the other Base staff were. We had a lot to drink then went to Down Under (the bar attached to Nomads hostel)*. It was such a fun night!

(a) Down Under Bar. (b) The Guilty Rogue.

*This bar had club nights every night and was where we went most often. We normally went out here a couple of times of week.

28th April 2018

Another busy day at work today. I was only working at the restaurant but I worked 1pm-11pm. It was a busy Saturday! After working here for a few weeks, I feel that I’m used to it now. It’s not as fun as Renzo’s (the restaurant I worked at in Melbourne). That was a family-run restaurant and most of the other waiting staff were also travellers. We didn’t get paid as much but we got so much food while we were working and on our breaks.

Here, we only get food if we work a double (e.g. lunch/dinner or breakfast/lunch). Most of the waiting staff are from Brisbane so it’s just a different vibe. It’s also more upscale and less of a relaxed restaurant meaning that the customers are different. That said, I have met a couple of lovely people and I’m very grateful for the job!

(a) Brisbane sign en route to Southbank. (b) Southbank Parklands.

29th April 2018

I worked 12pm – 4.15pm so I have a free evening. Dan had free tickets to see the Stereophonics this evening, and he offered them to Kieren and I. We were right in the front row! I’ve never been particularly a fan of Stereophonics but they were incredible live! After the gig we saw the band in their mini-bus and they waved at us!

After the gig, we went to The Guilty Rogue and met up with other Base staff. We ended up in Down Under Bar again…

30th April 2018

Today was pretty much a write off. I got up for housekeeping, had food then had to have a nap. I then did some laundry. I’d spent $18 doing my laundry then discovered that we (as staff) can get it for free by sneakily getting the key from the night receptionist (which is Harley most of the time and we’re friends so this works out perfectly)*. Such an exciting day…

It was open mic night this evening. Kieren and I have a great thing going now with the free drink situation. Taze initially offered Kieren free drinks if he attended the open mics before we moved back to Base. I got it because I just happen to be with him. He probably regrets it now that we live here and come to every open mic anyway. However, he’s still true to his word and gives us free drinks. It’s got to the point where we don’t even ask – he just brings over a bottle of wine. Living the dream.

Open Mic Night at The Guilty Rogue

*This continued until we left Brisbane so for a few months I exclusively did laundry around midnight and waited for it while playing Mario Kart in the common room.

Check out the next instalment here (available 9am GMT 17th May).