Almost 3 Weeks in Brisbane…

…and everything is going well. So well that I did not really had time (or took time, sorry) to write another blog post.

After a bad start with a homestay family too far from QUT which was also a bit too crowded and hectic, I managed to find another homestay as of my 2nd weekend here. From then on everything is going great! This homestay family is really friendly and includes me in all kind of ‘normal’ family and social activities. Something that I clearly need. At the same time I do enough on my own, for instance yesterday. Together with 4 colleagues and the girlfriend of one of them we went to D’Aguilar National Park. Only a short drive (30 min.) from the Brisbane city center. There we drove to several lookout points. Then, we made a 4.5 km walk through (rain)forest to a (modest) waterfall. That was halfway the walk after which we turned round to get back to the car (and motorbike). It was then already past 3 PM and nobody had any lunch so we were happy to find a place with gas barbeques. Even though it was raining a bit and the barbeque was not covered, we had a great meal. Everybody brought some meat, bread and juice, even pepper and salt. It was delicious (but maybe because we were really hungry). All in all it was a great day, with nice colleagues from QUT. You can see a selection of pictures here and others on Facebook. The next trip is in the planning and should take place 2 weekends from now. I’m curious what we will see and do then 🙂

Besides the fun and weekend stuff I’m of course also working. It is interesting to see that the (work) culture in Australia has its commonalities and differences with the one I’m used to in Eindhoven. Although I’m not sure how much is due to cultural differences or just group dynamics. Furthermore, since the collaboration between the two groups is rather tight, there are not really that many differences in approach and work ethics. It’s just other people working on different topics.

This Thursday is my ‘halfway’ point by the way, after that the countdown towards my trip back home can really start. Although I really like being here and I’m glad that I was given this opportunity, I do look forward to go home. I have a lot of respect for those that leave their home and family behind and go pursue a study, and/or PhD in another country. I would not be able to do that for several years.
It will also be interesting to celebrate my birthday here, it will be one I will not quickly forget…

By the way,  I am quickly adapting to the Australian habit of eating a ‘proper’ meal both at lunch time and for dinner. Where in the first week I sometimes had a banana for dinner because I was still full from lunch, last week I sometimes felt hungry, only an hour after having lunch. At the same time I’m not gaining any weight as far as I can notice, even though gaining a couple of kilos could not hurt. I will have a hard time getting used to sandwiches for lunch… Now I really understand the complaints of the foreigners visiting our group, we do not lunch with real food indeed… Poor us 😛

I’m Alive and Travelling

Dear readers,

The time has come. The time to travel. For business. For real.

It is something each academic should do: visit other groups in academia and learn how academia works around the world.

I have been given the chance to visit the QUT BPM group in Brisbane, Australia. I’m leaving next week Tuesday and will be staying there for a good 6 weeks. Although this will not give me a lot of time to do and see all the really fun Australian things (Great Barrier Reef, Sydney’s Opera House, and far more nature than I’ve ever seen) I still think it is plenty long to absorb some pieces of Australia. And, of course, work!

Furthermore, I’m staying with three different families during my stay. I think that this will be a unique experience to learn about the Australian culture. I expect it to be different than here in the Netherlands, although Australia still has kind of a Western culture.

So, in the next few weeks I will be posting regular updates. Mainly aimed at family and friends but of course colleagues and complete strangers are more than welcome to follow me. And, hopefully, including beautiful pictures to make you all wish you were there.

For some readers my posts might be not very interesting (I will be posting pictures of airports and planes) but please understand that I have never travelled further than 1300km from home (Croatia), never been away for much more than 2 weeks and I’m travelling alone. I’m not a world traveller (yet) but hope to visit America and possibly China/Indonesia/… with my girlfriend (/wife) sometime in our lives.

For now, I’m preparing for my flight: 24 hours of travelling, mostly spend in air planes, something I have never experienced… And then the timezone difference, in the wrong direction. That will be a hell of jet lag I’m afraid…

As soon as I have more news to share, you’ll find it here! (also links will be posted on Twitter and Facebook)


NOTE: for those concerned, I’m still in the Netherlands until next week Tuesday (June 6) and I will still be at work tomorrow. Thanks for caring Ine 😉