Making a tree change: 8 years on

Today it marks 8 years since we arrived at our home, our new life, a new beginning for our family. 8 years, can you believe it? I kind of can, and can’t. I can’t really remember our life in the city even though it was ALL our lives for such  long time, it’s funny how things change isn’t it? Rob and I were recently pondering the fact that we have been together longer in the country now than we were in the city. Us. Ha! Still makes me smile that we live where we do.

For those who may need a catch up on how and we got to this place…here you go…

THE ONE WHERE I QUIT MY JOB
THE ONE WHERE THE SEED TO MAKE A CHANGE WAS PLANTED
THE ONE WHERE I GOT REALLY EXCITED ABOUT MAYBE MOVING AND FEELING ALIVE
THE ONE WHERE WE MADE AN OFFER ON OUR HOUSE
THE ONE WHERE OUR DECISION WAS MADE…WE WERE MOVING!

And then once we were down here I have written some posts on how it has gone for us:

THE ONE WHERE WE MOVED IN
THE TREE CHANGE 1 YEAR ON RECOLLECTION
THE TREE CHANGE 2 YEARS ON RECOLLECTION
THE TREE CHANGE 3 YEARS ON RECOLLECTION
THE TREE CHANGE 4 YEARS ON RECOLLECTION
THE TREE CHANGE 5 YEARS ON RECOLLECTION
THE WEIGH UP

There’s so many wonderful parts of our move down here, and so much I have written in the past and over the years about all that it has bought us but for me, reflecting on this past year, these are the highlights and reminders of all the good things that have happened to us since we moved to this corner of the world.

Friendships

Our wonderful friends make this place as special as it is for us. New and old friends, younger and older they all make living here every single day a joy. Whether it’s passing them on the street, seeing them at school pick up, driving past on the highway or catching up with each other to celebrate the small and big milestones they make our house a home, the village our town and community and I love them all so much.

Entertaining

There’s no doubt that the move down here has uncovered a love and passion for cooking and entertaining. While I have always loved (and been capable) to cook my skills have grown enormously over the past 8 years. It amazes me that people make recipes that I serve my family and friends and that makes me SO happy. I love opening our home up and I hope that everyone that has been here over the past year has enjoyed sitting at the table, having something to eat, a laugh and a drink. I still can’t believe that I used to be able to make packet cakes, that was it, and now I have won ribbons at the local show…that will NEVER get old!

Community

Being part of a smaller town has both it’s advantages (and some disadvantages) but the good always outweigh any bad. There are moments here throughout the year, whether it’s the Easter market when I see Rob pounding the pavement in his high vis organising everything or afterwards when it’s just all the locals having a drink after a big days work, or when I sit at one of the school assemblies seeing beautiful kids doing simple stuff we did when we were kids or when I am dancing at the annual ball that I thank our lucky stars that we landed here, in this specific place. The different people that make up our community, the sense of belonging to a place and contributing to it’s history is a joy and privilege to be a part of.

Family

I love that we moved here 8 years ago without any member of our family (or a friend that we knew of) and now I have my beautiful sister literally up the road from us and my Mum and step dad not far away. The old “build it and they will come” has been the case for me and it’s a big part of the joy of living here having my family close by. I love that our home is still a place that people come and visit and stay with us at, oh the times and memories we have created here over the  8 years…so many meals! So many bed changes! So many beautiful times together.

My work

If we hadn’t moved here I’m not sure I would be where I am with my blog and my work. My blog has provided a platform for me to document our daily life and through the years it has become a story about life in the country, filled with friends and family and life. It’s an escape for people, a chance to look into someones life that may be different to their own and in a way. It’s been amazing that I have been able to create work for myself, a career that I work hard on each and every day from my home in the country. It’s meant that I have been able to raise the kids, not be on the constant treadmill where we were before of drop offs and day care and so much rushing around. My work has led me to my passion for photography which I practice most days because of my blog and has been a beautiful way to share and document our life in the country. Those simple, precious moments of mundane normal life are my favourite parts of my blog and are easy to find in all the beauty around here.

A sense of place

I think my favourite part of every one of the 8 years we have lived here is knowing the rhythms and patterns and flow of a year. Being in a place with seasons, being outside often and surrounded by countryside rather than buildings has connected me to place. I know that when I see this plant or that exactly what time of the year it is, down to a week or so and whether that means that we have had rain or not. I know the colours of the leaves change every year depending on the rain or the dry. I know the light in autumn is the best, the late yellow sun hitting the dining table in late summer and the frosts and silence that comes with freezing cold June mornings. What a joy to connect with the land, and a place, and mother earth. Something I treasure so much.

I’m such a different person I was to the one that slept here 8 years ago huddled by the fire wondering how it was still cold even though it was spring. Ha! I am more confident, I am infinitely happier. I work harder than I ever have before. I am prouder of my family and the life we have created for our 3 beautiful, happy girls. I’m amazed that Rob and I both work from home and manage to still like each other given the amount of time we spend together. I am proud of how hard Rob works on so many parts of village life, so much time and I know he spends so much time worrying about it all.

Each and every day I pinch myself that I call this place home. Our beautiful home. The green garden. The crunchy sound of the gravel driveway. The happy, noisy kids in the backyard. The smoke spiralling out of the fireplace. The fast dog running around. The tall trees in and out of town towering over us all. The cows in the paddocks. The rows of potatoes green against the red earth.

My favourite moments are the quiet ones for me. All of these little moments that bring me happiness every single day. That made life worth living. Feeling alive. Who knew it was going to do all that?

Not me. Thank goodness for taking leaps and knowing that the net will come.

Got any questions for me about the move?
I’m happy to try answer if I can!
Here’s to the next spin around the sun…

Comments

  1. We feel exactly the same about our move here Beth, a lucky twist of fate that has us pinching ourselves on a daily basis!

  2. Do you still have chickens? Love your home & garden, just beautiful!

    • No – a fox got them and we never got around to getting more. The coop we had was very dodgy anyway – wish we did though I loved them. One day!

  3. Omg I needed to see this blog tonight. Anxiety levels are high at the moment as we navigate our move to the Highlands in December. Can time just slow for just a bit so I can coordinate everything smoothly. With 3 daughters in tow, my doubt and worry keep me up at night.
    However, we are jumping in feet first. In 8 years hopefully I can report back to you similar thoughts as yours on this blog xx

  4. We’re 18 months into our tree change to my husband’s hometown in NZ. I love that this year I’m recognising the sights and sounds of the time of year – just like you said. Spring is tractors and mowers. The seasons are so distinct here. In Perth I never really got what you were talking about, but I do now.

    Not to mention: my 3 year old picking a sprig of rosemary to sniff as she walks by, my 2 year old correctly identifying native birds, eating meat that we have raised and vegetables from our garden, my husband able to seriously consider quitting his job to earn a living off our land… Thank god we took the plunge!

  5. I’m so grateful for spending more than a few nights in your lovely home and village. I can’t imagine you living anywhere else …

  6. Have just spent a lovely few minutes reading back through your journey to get here – wow I recognise a lot of myself in the old Beth with a tantrum-machine toddler, sickly baby and stressed out mum with far less patience than she would like. Some real food for thought here. My 9 month old sounds very similar to Harper as a baby – wondering how her eczema / allergy journey has turned out over the years? x

    • She still has them – I think once a kid is prone to this stuff theres not much you can do. But she’s grown out of it and I know that she’s much better off than she would have been in Sydney!

  7. Congratulations to you and your family, Beth! I love the way you share your life in Burrawang with your readers. I’m a city girl but I enjoy visiting your highlands in person, and virtually through you. As always, thank you for sharing and for your glorious photos – they keep getting better and better 💐🎉🎈

  8. I have loved following your journey and loved reading the yearly milestones of each year in the country. Living in Brisbane we don’t really get the true seasons like you do in the Highlands however I love reading your blog and follow your Instagram pics. I will never forget reading the post where you mentioned driving around the block for 20 mins with 2 kids in the car trying to park outside your house…it’s totally insane when you think about it particularly with kids and groceries. Good on you both for trusting your guts and making a big life change. Well done.

  9. Hello Beth,

    I so look forward to your lovely emails and love the way you write.
    I lived on a farm in Griffith had such a wonderful childhood mum was
    a great cook and entered cooking competitions and won many …..life was
    simple and lovely…..
    My dream is to move to the Southern Highlands hopefully it will be soon.

  10. I have loved sharing your journey over the years Beth ! We made our seachange to bayside Melbourne 3 weeks ago and now live 150 m away from the beach which makes us and our 2 border collies so happy . After 30 years of marriage and 3 now grown up kids we are in our next phase of life together.

  11. I read all your links Beth thank you! I wonder if you miss anything from your old life? Any regrets? I love reading your blog and your pics are delightful.

  12. I feel very privileged to have been a guest in your lovely home! It really is every bit as lovely as it is on your blog. I’ve so enjoyed sharing your life in the highlands through blog too.

    You are indeed very blessed, and wise to act on those “what if..” moments.
    xxx

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