Hi guys! We are back with another interview! This month we gonna talk to Miranda, from Miranda’s Muses. She is a Canadian who decided to move to Australia, let’s see how she ended up there and what she has to tell us about the place!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, who are you, where are you from, where are you living now, etc?
I’m Miranda Menelaws, a young writer from Canada, and I’ve been living here in Australia since early 2017. I mainly grew up on the West Coast of Canada near the city Vancouver, and moved to Brisbane’s Northern suburbs. However, I’ve recently moved to a small country town here in Queensland which has been an entirely new adjustment in itself.
What brought you to this place?
I met my husband when I first visited Brisbane for a few months back in 2015, and we’ve just recently gotten married this year. It’s been a crazy ride trying to mesh two very different lives and backgrounds into one, but fighting for our relationship has been the best decision I’ve made so far.
It was a bit of a rough go for us to decide who’s country we should live in, especially since I’m very close with my family, but we could ultimately agree that Australia would be the best for us as a young couple. I love this country, and despite missing certain things from home I really enjoy our life here.
What were your expectations before arriving in this city?
As I had mentioned, I’d visited Brisbane for a few months a couple of years ago so I had a rough idea of what to expect.
What I was unprepared for was how competitive the work hunt would be, especially as an expat. I have a few years of administration experience, so I expected that my qualifications would carry over and that I’d be able to find work in a similar position.
Turns out, I was mistaken.
But, not being able to find work right away was a blessing in disguise. It gave me the sudden free time to do what I’ve always wanted to do – write and write some more. Thus, my blog Miranda’s Muses was born.
My husband and I recently made a somewhat impulsive move to a small country town a couple hours away from Brisbane in which we’ve both found work and much cheaper housing options.
Wasn’t at all what we had originally planned a year ago when we were preparing for my move and our marriage, but it’s turned out pretty great considering. Life never really goes as planned, does it?
What was your first impression?
I’ll never forget first exiting the Brisbane airport and being floored by the humidity that seemed to smack you right in the face.
Aside from the weather, I think I was a bit surprised at just how urban it was. I know, it’s the CITY of Brisbane, but when you grow up watching the Crocodile Hunter, you kinda get the picture in your head that Australia is one giant wildlife death trap.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was very wrong, and that Australia actually has some great cities (other than Sydney) to explore and enjoy.
Did you have any cultural shock? What was that?
I distinctly recall venturing out for a cup of coffee to fight off my jet lag and suddenly feeling like I didn’t speak the local language.
The coffee lingo here is completely different from what I was used to. Very few items on the menu looked familiar, and the prices were a bit shocking as well.
I couldn’t understand a lot of the questions the barista asked me when I finally worked up the courage to order. I forked over what I thought to be an obscene amount of cash for a simple coffee, just to taste it and be forever changed.
Coffee here is an art form, and I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that it’s turned me into a bit of a coffee snob. I visit home and I’m reminded of just how bad drip coffee really is!
What’s your favorite historical or cultural spot nearby?
I love King George Square in Brisbane.
It’s nothing too expansive, but I love the mix of old and new that mesh in that area.
There’s shiny modern skyscrapers blending in with the old Town Hall building and a beautiful old church. The whole area really stands out and I love how you get a sense of the history of the city by standing in the square.
What would you miss the most if you moved away?
Aside from blue skies basically year ‘round, probably the laid-back culture.
While Canada is plenty friendly, it’s definitely not as relaxed or go-with-the-flow, which is something I’ve really enjoyed since being here.
If you could add anything from your country in Australia, what would it be?
My family of course, but speaking material I’d have to say Tim Hortons, all the way.
It’s the ultimate Canadian cheap comfort food chain, and I crave it often.
On the one hand, it does make it more special when I visit home and can indulge, but at the same time I know it’d add so much value to my life if there was a Timmy’s just around the corner.
Yes, the coffee is terrible, but the food is so cozy and comforting.
You can find Miranda here: