During our time in Eungella we often talked about moving. Having lived there for eight years the boy was craving change. And having him work away for weeks at a time was wearing thin for both of us. But the question was always, ‘where do we go’?
Neither of us were ready to head back home to New Zealand, even though it held a special place in our hearts. Canada appealed but the thought of relocating with four dogs didn’t. Tasmania kept popping up on our radar, but we weren’t sure it was the right answer either.
At the beginning of 2015 the boy flew down to have a look around. The day before he flew out we spotted a house on the internet. The bank had pre-approved us to buy, and this house was definitely one we were interested in. Made of timber it had that country feel we loved. It was in a place called Sheffield. We had no idea where that was, but we made an appointment for him to look at it while he was there.
It might have been the mood he was in. Or that fact that he was travelling alone. But within a few hours of landing it was declared that Tasmania was nothing like we had been lead to believe. Sheffield was a hick town, full of people with two heads. And the viewing of the house was cancelled. At the time we didn't know how ironic this would be.
After a few days of exploring he had changed his mind … kind of. Still uncertain we decided our next move would be to see if we could get employment. Within 24 hours the boy had a job with a construction company. A week later I had a position with a physiotherapy clinic. It all seemed too easy. The signs were there but we still weren’t sure.
The next obstacle was finding somewhere to rent. Not the easiest when you have four large dogs. We had decided not to buy, choosing to rent until we knew it was where we wanted to settle.
Within a week we had a rental property lined up in the small coastal town of Penguin. But despite everything falling into place we still hadn’t made a definitive decision to move. Or rather the boy hadn’t. I make decisions easily and run with them. He’s the complete opposite. He’d been pushing for this change. But was now worried about the consequences of following through.
On a Saturday afternoon I sat him down. His work was expecting him to start in a week. Mine within the month. We were supposed to be picking up the keys to the rental property in 10 days time. We had to make a decision that day!
So we tossed a coin (I'm not joking about this!). Called heads to move and tails to stay. It came down heads. The decision was made.
Within three days we had packed up our whole house. On the Tuesday we loaded everything we owned onto a moving truck. And on the Wednesday we were on our way to Tasmania. The adventure had started.
If we had known what the next two years were going to be like we would never have moved.
It was hard! Much harder than we thought it was going to be. And it nearly destroyed our relationship. The fact that we got through it is testament to how much we mean to each other. Again I'm not joking when I say it is a miracle one of us didn't end up buried in the backyard during this time.
Renting with four dogs is a nightmare. Not being able to build kennels or fence the properties we lived in, the poor dogs lived on the back of a ute for two years. Or they were chained up to stop them adventuring where they shouldn’t. And we are completely against chaining dogs up so it broke our hearts. We couldn’t give them the exercise they needed. In one house you could only walk for three minutes before hitting a highway and having to turn back.
For two people that crave stability renting was difficult. We moved four times within that two year period. We lived with half our belongings in boxes. And through last winter in the coldest house known to man.
We also dropped both our wages when we moved. We went from living a comfortable lifestyle to living from pay check to pay check.
Daily ‘challenging conversations’ were had over money. Along with whether we would return to Queensland or stick it out. It wasn’t a fun time for either of us.
As a way to escape I threw myself into the online business world. Hoping to build that freedom lifestyle that everyone promised. When I wasn’t working as at the clinic I spent my time glued in front of the computer. Writing blog posts, newsletters and guest articles. Posting on social media and coaching clients.
We grew tired. We argued some more. Grew even tireder. And argued even more.
We were working long days, seven days a week and it was beginning to take it’s toll.
During another 5am 'discussion' I had had enough. My question to the boy was simple. If we didn't still own a house in Queensland, and we had a deposit, where would he buy? Back in Eungella or here in Tasmania?
‘I’d definitely buy here’ was his response.
‘Right, well leave it to me’.
That morning in the shower I stood under the steaming water. While I’m not into manifesting I decided to have a stern word with the Universe. We both wanted to stay in Tasmania. But we couldn’t keep going this way. Something had to change.
Later that day I got an email from our real estate agent. They had a potential buyer who wanted to look through our property in Queensland. Within a few days we had an offer. The Universe had delivered.
We hadn’t planned to buy again straight away. We still had eight months left on our current lease and we wanted to take our time to look around.
One Sunday morning we decided to go for brunch in Sheffield. The same Sheffield the boy had declared he didn’t like. Despite this initial declaration it was a place we had spent a lot of time. It was close to Lake Barrington where we took our dogs for a run. And not far from Moina where our favourite pub was nestled quietly amongst the forest.
On this morning we happened to drive down the road where the house we were originally going to look at was. Opposite it was a Purple House, with a ‘For Sale’ sign outside. We stopped and got out of the car. There was something about it we liked. It had a welcoming, cozy feel. Even from the outside.
We called the agent’s number on the sign. The people that owned the house lived next door. He said he’d give them a ring. They came straight over to show us around. Within minutes we were looking at each other and discreetly nodding our heads. It was the exact opposite of our dream home. But there was something about it both of us liked.
Two months later we unlocked the front door and placed the first boxes on the kitchen floor. We were finally home.
As Kookaburras sang, and rabbits played in the front yard, something inside me shifted.
I was done with being busy. I was done hustling. I was done chasing a lifestyle that didn’t exist.
I wanted to slow down. I wanted to live a simple and quiet life. And I wanted to start living life on my own terms.
It was time for the change we craved.