Yesterday I got thinking about my current situation and how I feel weirdly normal about the lonesome life I have been living. I don’t mean lonesome in a bad way like being lonely, I just simply mean being alone. And being alone has become so natural to me now that it doesn’t bother me in the least. I go out to eat alone, I go on walks alone, I sit in parks alone, and it’s just normal. I certainly miss being around the people that I love, but I don’t have that deep feeling of homesickness that I thought I would.
It’s been just about ten days since I arrived but it feels like I’ve been here forever! My unrooted life of spending a few days in one place before packing up and catching a bus somewhere new just feels normal. Even the fact that I’m alone and don’t have a familiar face here with me doesn’t bother me. I feel fine. It may not seem like much, but to me it is shocking. I was almost in tears on my way to the airport, wondering why on earth I had made the decision to go travel by myself, all alone. Why I singlehandedly made this happen, used my own money, booked my own ticket, and had no one to blame but myself. Me, in all my shy and awkward glory. The weirdo who doesn’t even like sitting on campus alone, but can sure as heck go to the other side of the world for a month by herself. I started to doubt myself like crazy, really believing I was not capable of doing something like this.
And yet here I am. I feel just fine. The only thing that gets me down some days is boredom, which doesn’t come by too often except when it rains in a tiny beach town or when it’s midday and I’m too tired to go out exploring and just want some good company. And of course there are times when I see couples holding hands at the beach or a group of best friends laughing on the bus that make me miss my own boyfriend and my own friends, but for the most part this just feels like a period of my life that I am meant to do alone and I am okay with it. It honestly can be really nice; no place to be, no one to please, just me, myself, and I in control of my time. It surprises me how good I feel, and I have been reminded that as long as I really want to do something, I can. The good ol “you can do anything you set your mind to” really is true, and I believe it now with complete certitude.
Now that we’ve gotten that cheesy crap out of the way (barf, sorry) let me tell you about the rest of my time in Brisbane. Following my incredible donut experience that I will cherish for the rest of my existence, another food miracle landed right in my lap.
While I was researching the best vegan spots in the city, a food truck called MooFree burgers caught my attention. I was saddened when I discovered it was way up north, far from my hostel and not worth the long trip to some random suburb with no other attractions. Therefore it was nothing short of a miracle that during my walk to find lunch I stumbled upon a little food festival, and what was the very first stand I saw? MooFree Burgers, of course.
It was one of the best, most meat-like burgers I have ever sunken my teeth into. It almost scared me how much it tasted and felt like a beef burger and honestly it threw me off a bit. Since I choose not to eat meat for mainly ethical reasons, I didn’t really enjoy feeling like there was a dead cow in my mouth (lol, it is what it is) even though I knew no animals had been harmed in the process. That sounds so typical annoying vegan b*tch of me, the reason vegans get a bad name. I’m sorry and I don’t mean to sound like a preachy herbivorous freak, it was just too real tasting for me! But absolutely delicious nonetheless and just goes to show that even people who love the taste of meat can find plant-based alternatives!
The combination of a giant sugary donut and a juicy cheesy burger really pushed me over the edge. I was BEYOND full. Oh, the things I do for food… I just can’t turn down a good vegan treat when I see one. I thought it would be good to get a little extra walking in to (sort of) make up for my poor nutritional decisions of the day so I took the long scenic route back to my hostel.
The next day I was up bright and early to take a bus to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. I got to hang out with a bunch of kangaroos (so cool) and see koalas (obviously), snakes, lizards, birds, and even platypuses, which I used to be obsessed with when I was younger so that was quite exciting. As much as I loved the experience, I couldn’t help but feel sad for the majestic wild creatures being held captive. I thought sanctuaries were better than zoos, but now I’m not so sure. I felt guilty that I supported something that keeps wild birds in too small cages and sea creatures in too small bodies of water, so I really hope the beautiful animals are happy there.
I then went back into the city and had a veggie tofu noodle soup that warmed me up in the unexpected rainy weather. Even though the soupy goodness filled me right up, I knew I couldn’t leave Brisbane without having one more vegan donut, especially when there were two more flavours I hadn’t tried. So I just had to make my way over to Doughnut Time where I quickly devoured a “cream cheese” icing sprinkle donut. It was perfect. I don’t know how on earth I am going to go back to a donut-less life in Calgary. I’m already planning to open my very own vegan donut shop. Really though, this might be my new calling… I can’t bake to save my life (there are only a few exceptions) but maybe I’ll somehow master the vegan donut. I mean someone’s gotta do it, there are too many Calgarian vegans suffering through donut deprived lives and it’s a cause very dear to my heart.
Anywho, my 3 nights in Brisbane left me with swollen feet and probably 10 more pounds than I came with, but I had a great time exploring what the city had to offer, which for me was mostly just incredible vegan food. No complaints on that one, it was awesome. I’m now all packed up and ready to head out in the morning for Noosa, where I probably will need to do a cleanse because after rereading everything I ate these past few days, I’m not feeling too great about myself. At least I got the burger on a whole wheat bun instead of white. That’s gotta count for something, right??