Our Journey as Migrants in Australia: Post 3 – Big City Living

Published on: June 19, 2021

4 minute read. Topic - Our Migration Journey in Australia
This post is in a series of posts that invites you along on our journey as migrants in Australia. In case you missed the two preceding posts, the links are provided below:

In this post, I share our experience of big city living in Brisbane, and the events surrounding our arrival to Queensland’s capital and our eventual departure.

Brisbane evokes happy memories for both of us. We moved to this city from Townsville in early 2017. When we relocated, we were in a semi-settled state with a permanent job in hand and a beautiful child in our lives; we had also developed a network of friends – our life was moving in a positive direction.

Never the ones to miss a travel opportunity, Ambika and I decided to make a road trip out of it so we bundled up Rohan, who had just turned one, in our second hand Toyota Corolla and took a leisurely four days to cover the 1350 kilometres distance from Townsville to Brisbane.

The picturesque coastal drive allowed us to explore the countryside, but more importantly, it also gave us a chance to unwind. We made three stopovers: Mackay – to meet friends, Rockhampton – for an overnight rest, and Harvey Bay – for the beaches.

Red Earth Diaries_Brisbane
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Our rental unit in Brisbane was a compact 2-bed, 1-bath unit located in Ascot, an affluent suburb situated in inner Brisbane city. We chose the location out of necessity, as it was close to my place of work and I usually rode my bicycle to work.

Brisbane, or Brissy, as it is referred to by locals, was a marvellous experience.

Our unit was located close to the racecourse and the train station. We were also a short walk away from the ferry terminal, and we’d often spend holidays travelling into town and aimlessly wander about in Southbank or the city centre. The CityCat ferry rides along the meandering Brisbane river past the waterfront houses with their private jetty’s, the botanical gardens and towering skyscrapers was a beautiful experience and something we did regularly.

We were also very lucky to have wonderful neighbours- friendly, kind and reliable.

Being a shift worker, I had the luxury of having an equal time on-time off roster so I’d spend most of the mornings on my days off taking Rohan for a walk to the stables to watch the horses during their morning training.

We’d visit the local farmers’ markets on most weekends to pick up fresh vegetables and groceries – an activity that took us back to our childhood days in Mumbai. ​

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I was able to strike off one item that had been on my bucket list ever since I’d started running – participating in the Gold Coast Marathon. It was a proud-happy feeling for me to meet my family at the finish line on that day.

Whilst we had a healthy work-life balance and a fairly comfortable lifestyle, we did not have much savings. We still did not have a house we could call our own or a sense of permanency that comes with it. I was happy in my role, however, I was looking for my next break. With ‘Áustralian’work experience now under my belt, I was now in a much better position than when we first arrived in Australia.

Later that year, we got the incredible news that Ambika was expecting our second child. Not soon after, I was offered a senior management role at the Port of Port Hedland. We were ecstatic.

Until then we’d never considered moving over to the west coast, let alone to a remote mining town nestled in the furthest corner of this vast continent.

But as a migrant, it was clear to us that you go where the next big break takes you. And this was an offer too good to say no to. So for the fourth time in three years, we were ready to move house.

It was time to explore the western shores.

In my next post, I take you to the picturesque city of Townsville in Tropical North Queensland and a year of many firsts.

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