So guys, we moved house. 90km north of Sydney and just before we moved I started penning my feelings. Typically I didn’t finish it til now (almost 2 weeks since we moved). But here it is:
Last time I did something like this was the biggest decision I’ve ever made in my life. There is my life BA and AA – Before Australia and After Australia… although really it should be IA – in Australia.
And yet here we are. I recognise the feelings. One minute so excited. The next minute thinking I must be mad. And in this last week the more I think of all the elements of it that make me anxious the more that I remember how all the stuff I pushed down deep inside of me when I moved to Australia has never really gone away. I pushed down my concerns of leaving my amazing group of friends. I pushed down my anxiety about being far from my family. I pushed down my sadness about leaving my flat – my own space, that I created and loved so much. My own friendship group that I had created with them… and loved so much. My family, who helped create me and whom I loved so much.
So, it is with trepidation that we move 90km up the coast.
But here are three things I need to keep reminding myself –
- You did it before you can do it again
- It’s not the other side of the world like last time.
- There are many wonderful reasons for choosing to do this.
With regards point 3 – I realise I should probably back up and explain what the heck is going on here. So currently (or for the next 24 hours or so) we own and live in an apartment that we bought in a suburb we love, on the beautiful Northern Beaches of Sydney. Both Mr OC and I have lived in this area since we moved from our respective motherlands. We have lived in this apartment since just before we married. When family came to stay it was difficult as they all had to stay in nearby accommodation – the houses we found for them were really awesome. But it niggled that we couldn’t accommodate more people. After all, most of our family lives overseas and so whenever they visit they’ll need a place to stay.
And when Little Miss Z arrived we quickly realised that our lovely little apartment was not going to cut it long term. But when we looked at what it cost to buy a house in Sydney we knew it would be just impossible for us to afford.
Which of course left us with only one option – to move out of Sydney. The only question was where. Should we move away completely and find new jobs or move far enough to allow us a rather long commute?
It was after a couple of trips up to see one of my best friend’s that we realised we really liked the Central Coast. It was near enough that even day trips back and forth to Sydney were do-able. Commuting was done by many and we could join them. It just allowed us to get a house – plenty of space and back yard.
But more than that we were over the traffic and hustle and bustle of life in Sydney. Like driving 20km up the road and it taking nearly an hour. We were ready to give up the conveniences (lots of choice of breakfast locations, a large range of UberEats and finding your way back from work socials in a taxi ride) and were instead excited by the small community feel, the quiet (apart from the cicada mating season) and the ease of getting from a to b.
And so we started planning. We got the usual warnings about how it’s not the same up there, how we’d be sooo far from everyone and so on. But we paid little attention. First up, the fact it’s not the same kind of people and same kind of environment that makes us want to live there. We have loved the lifestyle on the Beaches but it’s competitive, occasionally pretentious and materialistic and fast-paced. It is a lovely community in many ways and the way of life is infectious but it’s not the only beautiful place to live. People will always say bad things about the place they don’t live. And that’s ok. Most of those people have never tried living there and are judging it from a distance. And what suits one person or family is not going to suit another.
As for the being so far from everyone – this was basically a moot point too. We had both moved very far from our family (and friends) in the past. I couldn’t get much further from mine. And I already knew that I was good at going up and down the coast to visit the people who matter in my life. I could do it the other way round too. And besides, I’d still be commuting.
So, over the course of this year we have weighed up our options, made a decision, put our flat on the market, sold it, found our beloved house… and then at the start of December came the time to move.
I had been so excited until the week before we left. And then all of a sudden it became too reminiscent of the underlying sadness I felt in leaving the UK. It was in the saying farewells to friends and little Miss Z finishing her daycare which we had all loved so much. In the last swimming lesson with her beloved teacher Jade. In the ‘see ya’ drinks with our mates who lived around the corner. And finally, in walking out the flat and closing the door for the very last time.
Which even now brings a lump to my throat. Mr OC shed a tear too.
Leaving… moving on… is never straightforward. You can be very excited about what’s ahead but still feel anxiety, trepidation and sadness as well.
When we finally got the keys for our house, our home – during the middle of a huge hail storm – it was 4.30pm and Little Miss was getting tired and hungry and we had an entire truck to move into the house, let alone find everything we needed.
I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face. I literally couldn’t stop smiling as I ran back and forth to the truck in the pouring rain. Every time I entered our house I was happy again.
But I don’t want to move again for another 100 years.