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I’m a big fan of the Australian TV series titled “Escape From The City” on the ABC and the British version of “Escape To The Country” on the BBC. It’s interesting learning what motivates people to move from the city to the country or seaside. In most cases the people making the big move are elderly retirees, but occasionally I see younger people with families leaving the rat race to lead a simpler life as well.
The concept of the TV series is that presenters take the prospective buyers around to different houses in the country with the hope that they will decide which is the perfect location and house for them.
When we decided to downsize and escape from the city of the Gold Coast earlier this year we didn’t really know if we would like it. We moved from a lovely beach house located only a short distance to the beautiful Burleigh Heads beach with shops, cafes, clubs, pubs and restaurants all just minutes away. We left behind many good friends and some family to move over the border to New South Wales to a small seaside village. A few people thought we were crazy to do this!
Our reasons were many and varied. Some were perhaps a little too personal and we figured that we needed a fresh start in a new place. Other reasons included:
Around 4 to 5 years ago we sold an investment property on the Gold Coast and started looking for a property across the border on the Tweed Coast. We thought we could holiday let the house/unit out and use it ourselves on occasion. After searching for a suitable property for a few months we never found anything we both liked so we went cold on the idea.
18 months ago we were having lunch with friends in the Tweed Coast village of Kingscliff and on the drive home we stumbled across a newly developed release of land subdivided into residential blocks. When we got home we took a look at the land online and discovered that there were a few vacant blocks for sale. So we made an offer and within a few short months we were the owners of a vacant block of land.
liked loved about this little village was its easy laid-back holiday vibe, its great amenities, range of shops, cafes and restaurants and its proximity to the beach and estuarine creek. Our block of land was within a short stroll away to all of these wonderful things. It really ticked all of the boxes!
We were also still only a 20 minute drive to the Gold Coast if we needed to visit friends, family or access the larger shopping malls.
So we immediately started looking at house designs and decided to downsize considerably, eventually selecting a low set 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home.
In a word YES! Now that we are settled into our new house and have completed most of the landscaping and outdoor spaces, we’re fully embracing our new lifestyle. We have been taking advantage of all that’s on offer in our new town. We walk and swim at the beautiful beaches, walk along the kilometres of pathways, enjoy coffee at several cafes in town, visit the markets every second weekend, buy farm fresh fruit and vegetables just outside of town at Cudgen, play lawn bowls at the local Bowls Club and enjoy live music at either the Surf Club or at one of the Cafe/Bars in town.
Our neighbourhood is cosy, quiet and extremely friendly. In fact we can’t get over how quiet and still it is here during the night and mornings. There’s no traffic noise and most days we can walk on the beach without there being too many people around. I’ve found a great medical centre, yoga class, physiotherapist and a new accountant in town, so there’s little need for us to visit Tweed Heads or the Gold Coast. In a few years time there is going to be a large hospital here too, as the Tweed Heads Hospital is being relocated here.
The answer to this is very open ended. I’ve heard of a few people regretting their decision of making a seachange. Some miss their friends and families too much and find it hard to make new friends. We met a couple from Adelaide a while back who built a house in our estate and they returned because they had family members that were ill. So sometimes your strong bond to your family can get in the way.
I think it depends on a lot of factors, including:
There really is a lot to consider before taking the big step of seachanging or tree changing. For more reading I recommend this great article written by my friends Jan & Rowan from Retiring Not Shy called Making a Sea Change
Also a post I wrote recently titled Tips For Downsizing Your Home.
At the end of the day you need to do what’s right for you. Your kids will cope if you move away to a new town and in these days of Skype, Facebook and Facetime it’s easy to keep in close contact with family and friends. If you’re willing to stick your neck out it could be the best decision of your life! I know this because it has worked out very well for us.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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JohannaNovember 27, 2019
Your new home and location look absolutely lovely, and I can see why you made the move. I think you tempered everything really well – not too far away from friends and family, a smaller house, a smaller footprint, but a place that offers you both beauty and entertainment as the years march on.
KathyNovember 28, 2019
Yes I feel so blessed to be living here. It really has ticked all the boxes and I’m sure I’ll continue to be happy here.
Melissa @ All Around OzNovember 27, 2019
Great read Kathy. It sounds like your new lifestyle is very much agreeing with you both. Just as ours is :)
KathyNovember 28, 2019
Thanks Mel. Our new lifestyle is idyllic and hopefully it will be our settling place now until our old age. I’m so happy you’re enjoying the caravan life. :)
DenyseNovember 27, 2019
Loved reading this and know how much you are enjoying where you are now because of the photos I see! We moved away from Sydney to release us from the mortgage as I was over going to work even though it was part time. We moved to try the Central Coast of NSW as renters and our first place & area did not suit us at all. Lesson learned. We knew though that we wanted to be around 2 hours from Sydney as my Dad is there and our kids/grandkids. We moved after a year to the northern (& less trendy!) area of the coast, found a house that mirrored the one we had sold and settled in. Then ain got cancer. Suddenly the need for me to be in Sydney where my rare cancer could be treated was the priority, Now 2 & a half years of treatments etc we know, even if I remain as well as I am now we will need to prioritise our health as we age (70) and be in reach of experienced medical care. So glad your move has worked out. Denyse
KathyNovember 28, 2019
I think it’s a wise move to get out of the mortgage trap. It’s a shame that you had to do all that travel throughout your cancer journey. We’re getting a big hospital built just outside town which will be open in about 3 years time. Fingers crossed we will stay healthy until then but you never know what’s around the corner. This lifestyle really suits us and I think we’ll be happy to live our lives out here.
Jan WildNovember 29, 2019
As you know this is a subject very close to my heart. I am so pleased you have happily settled in Kingscliff, I know what a difference that can make.
Keep on loving life.
KathyNovember 29, 2019
Thank you Jan. You’ve been there and done that so I know you totally understand both sides of seachanging. I think we’ve made a very good decision. Both of our kids love Northern NSW and hopefully they may relocate down this way some day. I’m just loving the easy going vibe of Kingscliff and I don’t miss the busy Gold Coast at all.