After spending over two decades of their lives chilling down in Melbourne, Nic Langford and Sonya Millan decided it was time to trade the same-day rain-and-shine weather for something more stable.
Sonya and Nic have been shacked up in Queensland – more specifically, Burleigh Heads – for a solid few years now, so they’re theoretically approved for dual citizenship.
I’m not saying I’m jealous of them or anything, although I really could do without having to pack both bathers and thermals on a walk down to the shops, just in case the Melbourne weather Gods decide to be pricks and hit me with that UV rain.
So, if you were ever curious to know just how different Queensland living is to its Southern neighbours, we got some intel from the freshman locals directly.
PEDESTRIAN.TV: How long did it take you to get settled?
Nic Langford: Not as long as I thought it would to be honest. I moved up here for work and with that came a bunch of mates so I kind of dived right in. We struck gold with our neighbours as well and they got us involved with their mates who welcomed us right in. Legends.
Sonya Millan: Loving the area we live in helped out a lot. We are so lucky to live close to the beach. However, I started to get settled as soon as I got a job.
P.TV: What immediately struck you about day-to-day life in QLD that was wildly different about Melbs?
NL: It might be a subtle balance of sunburn and a little mid-strength buzz but most of the crew love a chat and are a lot more open to a passing ‘G’Day’ or a shite joke at the Woolies checkout. Also, the sun comes up criminally early which means life starts at 4-5am. That had a bit of teething to it.
SM: At the risk of sounding embarrassingly cliche, I have been enjoying the GC lifestyle. I am regularly swimming down at the beach, riding my bike more and driving around less.
P.TV: What are the biggest differences you’ve noticed since living there for as long as you have?
NL: Definitely Airbnbs popping up everywhere. Great for individuals to make some coin on the side and interesting if you get one as a neighbour. Second to that would be general development of big unit blocks down at the beachfront.
SM: I love seeing all of the new and unique bars popping up around the GC. I particularly get excited about the nightlife growth for the LGBTQI+ community!
P.TV: At what point did you realise you considered it ‘home’?
NL: Kind of like when that kid in your class accidentally called the teacher ‘Mum’, I used to call our joint in Queensland ‘my place’ or ‘the unit’, and one day I let it slip and called it ‘home’ and that was it. I was in deep.
SM: It began to feel like home when we started decking out our sweet apartment. To see Nic’s skateboards all over the place and a lot of my Mum’s kitchenware I stole really gave our apartment that homely touch.
P.TV: Is there anything you can get in QLD (food, drink etc) that you can’t get in VIC and vice versa?
NL: Big Ms. No Big Ms in Queensland, only Oak. Who drinks Oak?
SM: So, I did not realise that my favourite Melbourne beers of liquid gold were going to be challenging to find on the taps of your local pubs/surf clubs. Luckily, Queensland offers just as fabulous beers, while some hidden gems do serve Melbourne classics.
P.TV: What places have become your go-to joints?
NL: Love a surf club and anywhere with a good fish taco. We’re right down the south of the Gold Coast on the NSW border so anywhere with a view and VB on tap ticks the box.
SM: Burleigh Heads and Nobby Beach have great bars. However, I love riding down to Coolangatta/Kirra for sunset and dinner.
P.TV: What would you recommend to people thinking of making the same move?
NL: Do some digging before you flip the switch and find the spot that’s right for you. There are heaps on offer and suburbs vary a fair bit. Apart from that, learn to love a mid-strength beer, prepare to call Parma’s “Parmi’s” and get rid of your indicators – they’re a waste of time anyway
SM: Save up some cash and travel around the Coast for a little bit before settling into work life. Gold Coast is a beautiful place with lots to do!
In response to Nic’s claims about the lack of Big Ms in Queensland, I would like to direct your attention to Exhibit A, your Honour.
Ignoring the fact that this post was from a decade ago, that does prove that the mythical Big Ms were, in fact, sold in Queensland for a brief period of time.
Regardless, I’d happily trade a lack of Big Ms for decent weather, the option to hit up the beach straight after work and as many waterfall day trips as my heart desires.
If you’re looking to hit up Queensland for a working vacay, head to the Give It A Go page to check out the perks currently being offered to transplant locals.
On top of heavily discounted Greyhound buses ($399 for a 90-day pass, which, if you’re out of the loop, can help you see a lot of what the Sunny State has to offer), there are various discounts offered to tourism workers.
Bite the bullet and mix it up this year, we’re not getting any younger.
Well, I am, but you regular plebs aren’t.Image: Instagram / @slazy_