Before Brisbane

Good Friday morning, everyone!

I’m writing this from 40,000 feet because I am currently on a flight from my home in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) to Brisbane, Queensland (Australia). It is a 15-hour flight, and I just have an hour to go. I just ate a large square of chocolate peanut butter banana snack bread that I packed, alongside a tasty red bean moon cake that my Grandma bought for me.

It was a mostly peaceful flight – only a little turbulence and one little crying baby. I got as much sleep as I could in these tiny Economy seats (probably 7 hours?) before working on some projects on my laptop. I didn’t bring a book with me this time, though I wish packing either Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, or it’s sequel, Glass Sword.

Now, one of my favourite things to do on an airplane is to go on a virtual rant of all my thoughts and expectations of the place I’m headed. It makes for a fun list to look back on, once the experience is over.

  • I am most excited about aerials. I can’t wait to learn aerial straps. I know I’m probably not strong enough at this point to do any real tricks on the straps, but I figure the worst that can happen is I get stronger for the silks. My goal is to take 10 lessons, one per week, throughout my time in Brisbane.
  • I am taking 5 courses, which are science/health/psychology related. I hope I still have enough time for training in aerials and yoga, so if academics becomes too much, I will drop a course.
  • For my classes, some have tutorials and practicals. I am a little confused about it since every week seems to be different, according to the weekly schedule online. It doesn’t seem to follow Waterloo’s A-B-A-B weekly schedule. I hope this is clarified during orientation.
  • I hope my roommate, Jessica, and I will become good friends (like how Madhulika, Arsalan, and I still stay in touch from our 2 years together in Waterloo)
  • I live roughly 25 minutes from school, which is a bit of a long walk in the heat.
  • The only things I have for note-taking are my laptop and one notebook, plus some colourful pens. I’m looking forward to note-taking and studying, since it’s been 7 months since I was last in school.
  • In Australia, I am going to eat very healthy, light foods because it’s summer!
  • I live 3 minutes from Zama Yoga, so I’m excited to do lots of yoga. They have Pilates, Barre, Hot Vinyasa, Dance Cardio, and one that I think will be my favourite – Warm Slow Flow Yoga.
  • I am looking forward to making new friends and getting to know new people.

Other things from lately:

Family had brunch at Brown’s Social House. There, we enjoyed nachos before everyone’s main dishes came. My entree was the prosciutto eggs benedict, and this was one of the best English muffin benedicts that I’ve had (I normally like biscuit benedicts). The flavour of the hollandaise was very unique, and I adored the Cowboy Salad on the side, which was topped with plenty of walnuts, chopped dates, edamame, black beans, carrots, grape tomatoes, and feta cheese.

Seline and I did plenty together. We love reading in Chapters, and scanning the summaries of novels to see which ones might be great. Also, I got a manicure with her! Seline helped me choose the colour, which is pink with lots of shine. Manicures always make me feel so clean and polished (I didn’t even intend this pun).

Seline’s birthday was on Saturday, February 4! We celebrated with lots of helium balloons and a Dairy Queen ice cream cake that read “Have a claw-some purr-thday, Christopher Shaw!”. Inside joke.

Another day, I went to the gym and then to Ikea with my dad, where we purchased a lovely chef’s knife which is currently also on its way to Australia. I can’t wait to use it!

Finally, I had an excellent sushi dinner with my sister, Seline, at her favourite Coquitlam sushi place called Sushi Karis. I had the fatty tuna aburi sushi and snapper aburi sushi. Seline had the beef ramen, and then we ordered three rolls. All the rolls were delicious, but I’m such a sucker for seared scallops that I’d say the Master Roll was my favourite.

  1. MASTER ROLL – California roll topped with seared scallops and mustard sauce
  2. VICTORIA ROLL – Yam tempura sushi with avocado and unagi sauce
  3. SPIDER ROLL – Soft-shell crab on top of a California roll, made with black rice (this gave it a striking appearance, but the flavour was the same)

Now I have to fill out my landing card details, so until then!


When I’m Not Studying…

When I’m not studying, I clean my room and make it look neat before I take pictures for you. I promise it’s not normally this clean! 🙂 Especially during finals.

When I’m not studying, I am lucky enough to receive emails from communications managers who ask if they can use my photo on tourism sites! This was so cool. Remember when I posted about Railtown Cafe in this post? One nice lady liked my peanut butter crunch bar photo so much that it was featured on this page for Vancouver’s top desserts. I was so thrilled and kind of freaked out when I saw my name and picture on BC Living’s website. 😀

Check out the link here:

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When I’m not studying, I go to the bakery (planning to study – what a joke!), realize it’s going to close in 10 minutes, but order a hot chocolate and a white chocolate brioche anyways… and scarf it all down in minutes.

When I’m not studying, my friend and I (Maddy from Niagara Falls!) did something cool – we went to an exotic animals exhibition in Kitchener. The massive yellow python was my favourite! And that’s a baby kangaroo on the cushion.

Have you ever held a spider before? This tarantula was hairy and tickled my palm. It isn’t as bad as it looks – this guy was so friendly. I was just worried that he’d crawl under my sleeve!

When I’m not studying, I try to study and get distracted because my paper dyes my sweaty fingers. 😦


Once, I went for sushi with the Mission Nutrition team. 168 Sushi is all-you-can eat. My favourite part was the BBQ oishisushi, the sesame red bean ball, and the red bean ice cream. It was decent, but sushi in Ontario certainly doesn’t even come CLOSE to Vancouver’s sushi scene.

I spend lots of time talking to Seline (my sister) on FaceTime and discussing her schoolwork. Check out her poetry and class schedule for next year!

Speaking of Seline, check out her new blog, Purely Poetic! She plans to share creative and cute poems every week. Go Seline!

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PS: If you want to see more of my weird but wonderful ‘lil sis, you can check out my Paris page (click HERE) for 3 weeks of adventures that we had in the City of Fights Lights. 😉

I also make to-do lists and analyze nutritional stats for recipes just out of curiosity.

When I’m not studying, I label a whole bunch of stuff! You should see my ruler, calculator, computer mouse, cellphone, laptop… they’re all labelled now. I also found out that Princess Cafe shared something that I did! I’m so lucky.

When I’m not studying (and sometimes when I AM – distraction alert!), I receive countless food photos from Mom. She always makes such elaborate meals! If you could order something from this menu, what would you choose?

There’s just too much! I like the variety she brings to dinner. Great job Mommy! 🙂

Apparently Snapchat has a bunch of new features (and some very bizarre face-swapping ones) but I don’t have Snapchat. I get tons of screenshots from Seline, though.

And… I go to Princess. Again. This sandwich was absolutely DIVINE – with cheddar, black bean salsa, spinach, tomato, grilled eggplant, and avocado.

Chocolate praline tart for dessert – just 1/4 for here and the rest packed up to go. 🙂 Although I was tempted to faceplant into the to-go container.

When I’m not studying, I go to Chapters, gawk at all the beautiful notebooks – and try to resist myself from buying them because I have a plethora of notebooks already – and fail because I buy one anyways! This one is my favourite colour, and I love the gold writing and the message. I started a new journal yesterday. 🙂


Happy Leap Year Day everyone!

Tell me:

  • When you aren’t studying or working, what do you like to do?
  • Do you have a label maker? Do you like it?
  • Do you know anyone born on February 29th? How do they celebrate their birthday? On the 28th or March 1st? :O I’m curious!
  • Am I the only person with a stationery addition?!


Stay tuned, because…

PS: I have some AMAZING, SUPER COOL news that I absolutely cannot wait to share with you in the next post. I am so excited about it and I think you will be as well! It’s definitely something very different. See you soon!


Any guesses? 😉