I have been pretty negative about the way things have been unfolding during Covid so I really need to just write this for myself. I think it goes without saying that I absolutely love living here. When I first arrived here in January 2017, the plan was to only stay here for a year or so. Fast forward five years (and two kids) later and we are still here and there are reasons for it.
The weather. I never dreamed of living in a tropical country next to the sea, but even I have to admit that there are advantages to having sunshine for about 360 days a year. Even though you can sometimes get blue skies depression, mostly the sun just makes you happy. With this comes a certain flip flop lifestyle (until you get older, realise you need more support and it changes into a Birkie lifestyle), you don’t have to think about clothes too much. In general, the whole attire business is completely different and much more easy going. If you have kids, it’s so much easier to clothe them and they can pretty much be barefoot most of the time, which is good for their muscle and posture development anyway.
The weather also ensures a steady stream of the freshest vegetables and fruits all year round. Lukas just bought three boxes of strawberries for ten bucks in the middle of winter. Unreal how good and cheap that is. It’s also easy to buy the groceries straight from the source instead of supporting corporations, just buying it right from the farmers and plastic free. Lukas has his favourite stall at the markets, the owner calls him Mr. Onion. Once he didn’t go and I went instead and the week after he asked where he was, after he admitted that I did the shopping the farmer exclaimed: But Mrs. Onion didn’t say anything!!
Plastic free shopping in general. There’s very little we have to buy in actual stores because what we don’t get at the markets, we buy at a local bulk store and for normal prices. I hate it when something is so expensive just because it’s eco/sustainable/plastic free.
My plants grow wonderfully. I should say our plants as Lukas is somewhat a skilled gardener himself.
The sea. Being more of a mountain girl, I was never the type of person who would say: “I would really love to live by the sea one day.” it sort of just happened. I love it. There’s something so wonderfully calming about the sea and our quiet beach. The way the sky changes colours at sunrise and sunset, watching it just playing with the sand. Having the beach literally a minutes’ walk from the house is something that I will forever remember. Seeing dolphins chasing each other and the surfers. Watching the whales migrate south and then back north is spectacular. Josie gets to enjoy the biggest sandpit right at her fingertips whenever she wants to. On some days, when the water is calm and you get to jump in and just float, keeping the salt in your hair until the next day. That feels like living.
I also love the community and friends we got here. So many wonderful people living around us. Always meeting with friends on the beach or just for a coffee. I think Lisa and Saga living across the hall not only was the reason we have stayed here for so long, but also the reason I felt brave enough to have kids so far away from home. On some days, this really did feel like home.
I also love good access to yoga and pilates again just minutes’ walk or a drive from the house.
I absolutely enjoy the fact that Australia is home to craft anything. ANYTHING. Gin, beer, whiskey, coffee. Me and Lukas have also enjoyed our visits to the most popular wineries like the Yarra Valley or Margaret River.
Big cities are pretty cool. I love Sydney and Melbourne.
All of this is fantastic, it’s beautiful, it’s easy living. Unfortunately none of this values more than freedom. And the minute somebody tells me that I cannot come and go as I please, I feel trapped. I come from a country with a modern history of totalitarian regime and whilst I have never lived through it, I know enough. When I see basic pillars of democracy being violated and people prosecuted for exercising their rights, it’s not ok. So I guess it’s not ok to live here anymore. Damn it Australia I love you so, but they way you have dealt with this is not ok. Mental health matters too. I can see some repercussions from these actions in the future and not just the economical.