Arguably Australia’s most up-and-coming city, Brisbane has gone from ‘big country town’ to modern cosmopolitan international city in less than a decade, and is now a favorite destination for locals and international visitors alike.
The moment I reached Brisbane, a weird feeling took over my senses.
There I was, at the sixth and final stop of our tour around Australia, but it felt as though I was just starting the journey. Weeks of being in the middle of flat, barren deserts and isolated, small islands had left me adjusting again. Suddenly, multi-story buildings and parades of cars are strangers that I needed to get to know or lost friends I would need to reconnect with. Perhaps the feeling was brought about by sheer exhaustion. By the time we hopped off the train from the airport, we were almost bereft of energy.
As I stood on the edge of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, I tried to remember the last time I did abseiling (or rappelling, as it is called where I’m from). It brought me to my high school years, when I was a little bit more physically fit and nimble. That was probably 15 years and 50 lbs ago. I remember the first time I did it, I had no qualms at all. I stood atop a cliff unshaken and fearless. I even volunteered to be the first to do it among my friends, when no one else would step forward.
For some reason, it was different this time around. Over the past decade and a half, I have evolved into this overthinker who paints every possible scenario in his head. I knew I had nothing to worry about. Stuart, our instructor had done this many times every single day for years. When he asked if anyone of us wanted to do it first, I raised my hand but Vins (my blogging partner, the other Poor Traveler) beat me to it. I was thinking, the longer I wait, the longer my brain gets consumed by thoughts of my extinction. “Travel Blogger falls to his death,” not a very good headline for the next day.
By the time I emerged from the train station, I was almost completely spent. Brisbane is the sixth and final stop in our trip across Queensland and the Northern Territory. Albeit rewarding, it had been an exhausting journey. A good rest would be very welcome. Thankfully, we would be staying at Brisbane YHA.
As YHA’s flagship branch in Queensland, we expected only great things from this hostel and we weren’t disappointed. When we made it through its gates, we were greeted by a spacious common area and a adequately-staffed reception. After checking in, we were told to make it to the next building through the backdoor, and to our surprise, we were greeted by a 5-story building. Judging from the hostel’s facade, I wouldn’t have known that this place was huge.