Making a tree change: 5 years on

Hello there friends! My name is delirious. Mrs Delirious Macdonald. Off my face on jet lag, but home sweet home after a very long trip back from Rome (32 hours or something equally ridiculous). I hardly know what way is up at the minute so I was surprised to see from my Mum on Facebook this morning that today its 5 years since we made our move to the country. 5 years!


I’ve written about our move lots of times before you can see them all in this jumbo post here.ย In honour of the event, I thought I best mark the occasion with a few ideas on what has been thing we’ve ever done. Who knew all those years ago what would be ahead of us taking that leap of faith? We knew no one. The girls were still SO little. And off we went!

5 best things about 5 years in the country
1. Family

I know we are extremely lucky to spend as much time together as a family as we do. It wasn’t always the case…Rob and I both worked long hours in and out of our offices. We had the kids in daycare (dropping off screaming kids who hated it), driving to beat the clock before we were charged extra outside of hours in peak hour traffic to get home in time for a quick dinner, bath and long nights with either kids who hadn’t sleep enough or slept too much and were up all night.


This move has allowed us to spend a whole lot of time together. Fortunately for us both, we can both work from home while being here for the kids. We eat dinner together most nights and enjoy lots of quality time together.

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We’ve been able to expand our family too – I’m sure we wouldn’t have even considered this if we were still in Sydney. But the time, space, the mindset has allowed us to grow into the complete package it is now with all of us. The Macdonalds are now all here, and it’s wonderful.

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2. Home-making

I never knew just how much of a Suzie home maker I was till I moved here. But fluffing cushions, making beds, setting tables, sweeping verandahs and pruning roses brings me comfort AND joy.

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3. Cooking

You probably won’t believe me that before we moved here I just used to make packet cakes. Sure I could cook meals, but baking? Never! Living here and entertaining the way we do, having people stay and hosting many an event has helped me become a much more confident cook. I love to bake now, try new things and even enter my stuff into the local show. Ha!


4. Entertaining

While we only used to host the occasional lunch or dinner in our terrace in Camperdown now we can have people come and stay for weekends and really enjoy their company. It’s meant that I can indulge my passion of entertaining family and friends: making their beds and adding a fresh flower from the garden for their bedside, hosting hens parties, 40th birthdays, lunches, dinners, children’s birthday parties, Christmas and Easter celebrations – we’ve done the lot here and these make up all the very best of my memories of being here.

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5. Friends

And hands down the very best thing is the people we have met. Amazing people! From all over the place: creatives, farmers, business people, artists, musicians, butchers you name it this place has it. Really feeling part of a community is the most rewarding thing. Having our kids grow up in it and just be the normal? Well that’s a priceless gift they will have their entire lifetimes.

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So here we are, 5 years into our adventure. We’ve learnt so much – about ourselves, our kids and family and friends and the community. I’m a stronger person than I was 5 years ago: I mean look at me I can now apparently give birth without drugs! I’m tougher, more confident and as happy as a pig in mud.

These past few weeks all the way on the other side of the world I’ve been reminded of some of the best bits of home and what’s important in life.ย While the world is a big old place full of places to discover, when you’ve found home, your place,ย where you feel true comfort and love and happiness then you are a very lucky person indeed.

And tonight? 5 years on? I feel very lucky indeed x


  1. Amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ So happy for you that you made the move

  2. Five years?! My goodness that’s gone fast. What a wonderful life you have. xx

  3. Fiona Guglielmi says

    What a beautiful post Beth … How wonderful to find your happy place.

  4. As I said on your mum’s post – I cannot imagine you anywhere else! x

  5. Hope your body clocks reset to Australian time soon so you start to feel more with it. Sounds like you have really found “your place” & what a lovely place it seems to be ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. What a lovely place to come home to xo

  7. Mandy, Barbie Bieber and Beyond says

    My parents escaped the rat race when I was a teenager, I loved it! Somehow we made it back to the city, however I would love my kids to experience a quieter lifestyle, it is perfect for a family.

  8. Lisa Aherne says

    A wonderful post, makes me keen to find ‘my place’. Family in Adelaide are calling, especially Les’s new great granddaughter, just two months old and absolutely gorgeous. Love it here on the Sunshine Coast too, maybe travel between?

  9. How wonderful, to truly know where you belong and to feel it, have your children in it, with all the people you love a part of it. I have loved every one of your posts since just before those five years started, keep fluffing those pillows and cutting those flowers and Thank you, for taking us all along with you x

  10. How wonderful that you have found your home! There really is no place like it. We are 4 years into our tree change, and I agree with all that you have said above. Living here has taught me things and changed me in ways I never imagined before we arrived. Here’s to many, many more years of home!

    • And to you too Jo – it’s always good to challenge yourself…you learn so much along the way! Here’s to being out of your comfort zone!

  11. What is most amazing about your journey . . . is you!
    I have lived in small towns for fifteen years, and it is TOUGH becoming part of the community.
    For you to have been embraced so heartily, is testament to how remarkable you and your family are.
    It’s quite lovely.

  12. Happy 5 years Beth… always love seeing your Suzie Homemaker photos. Have also loved tagging along on your holiday, how amazing!

  13. We are about to embark on a sea-change ourselves, with a toddler and a newborn in tow and whilst it’s scary (and maybe s bit crazy) I’m hoping I can look back in 5 years with similar fond memories and experiences!

  14. I love a good tree change story. Good on you.

  15. Amanda (Archie Lane) says

    Such a beautifully written post Beth.

    How fortunate you are with that leap of faith 5 years ago. Some people go there whole lives to find their place called ‘home’ and never manage to find it. Bravo to you and Rob for having the courage to take the plunge!! You definitely make a tree change to the Southern Highlands awfully appealing I must say!

    Cheers to the next 5 years xx

  16. Congratulations on all you and your beautiful family have achieved in the past 5 years Beth. Cheers to many more years to come xx

  17. that’s a great life you’ve carved out for your family! … a good choice beth!
    glad you are home, happy, safe and sound!
    you are indeed a homemaker!
    enjoy springtime in your garden! love m:)X

  18. Best Post! And what a journey it has been for all of you! ooxo

  19. 3 years today since husband and I left home to travel and work around the country!! We usually travel with our light truck (motorbike on the back) and caravan. At the moment we are traveling light in the ute and I’m half way through an 8-week stint cooking on a cattle station in the Kimberley’s!
    We have welcomed more family members in that time…one granddaughter is just over 2 and the next is due in two weeks plus two of our three children got married earlier this year, 6 weeks between weddings ?. Life is always interesting and our plans are always ‘subject to change’!

  20. This is my favourite part of this while post ” The Macdonalds are now all here, and itโ€™s wonderful.”
    How good is it knowing that?! X

  21. I’m almost 16 years into the tree change that saw me leaving the comforts of Melbourne – work, family and friends – to move in with my boyfriend (now husband) in East Gippsland. We’ve lived in three different towns, five different houses, but now have our forever home close to my husband’s family and as luck would have it, some of my relatives have moved to the area too!

  22. Really enjoying reading your blog & your story ? How did you learn to garden?? Is that something you can learn?



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