A little seed.

PIN ITI’ve been living in the back room at my mothers house for a while now. Finding my strength. Finding my feet. Surrounding Bo and I in safety and warmth with the added security of having my own mama close during the most challenging time of my life. But through the long and difficult summer of my broken heart I discovered a little flame of eternal hope that lives inside me, and like a roaring fire it refuses to be silenced. The time is coming for me to leave the nest once more. After months of tumbling through my own mind, somersaulting from one idea to another, trying to find direction… I know now what I’ve known all along. I don’t want to live in a city. I was raised a city girl, but after living for so many years now in rural lands around the world, my place is no longer the city.

I don’t know where it is I belong. But I know it’s not amongst the towering buildings. And it’s certainly not in a housing estate, where every house looks the same.

I want to grow a garden to feed us. I want to raise Bo in a mindful way, close to a city so that I have opportunities for work and growth in my industry but in a community of shared resources and creativity and fertile land. I know that this means starting over, without my family, and the road will be long and there will be some big challenges along the way. I’ve never been scared of hard work, and I know what I want for my little family. And I’m not going to let my own fear get in the way of that.

The question now is, where?

How lucky I am to have the whole world at my feet. To be able to make such a big decision for my child and myself. To have the freedom to choose a village or a town or a place and pack up and go. How blessed I am not to be tied to a place or a neighborhood. How lucky to have options. It might take me a while to decide where to go. But the path is becoming clearer. Choose a state, choose a city to be close to, to choose to be close to the ocean or close to the mountains, to choose a town, to choose a house, to start a new life.

Like a little seed this idea has been planted into the cool autumn earth, and by summer, the hope is that it will have sprouted the fragile seedling with strong roots, and the determination to grow. The beginning of a new life for Bo and I. A new life with a bright future.

So my question to you is, if you could live in any small town in Australia, where would you live and why? I’m on the (perpetual) inspiration hunt.

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  • May 20, 2013 - 7:03 am

    Jacqui - I already do live in a very small town, for similar reasons. It’s not perfect by any means but it is affordable and forces us to focus on the things we value in life, without the distraction of the city noise, lights, pollution etc. It’s mostly an older farming community here, very different to myself and my husband, but we’ve been welcomed with open arms regardless. We miss being around more ‘likeminded’ people but then I have to stop and remind myself that really, we all live here for a reason, and that in itself unites us. My town is Landsborough in Victoria.ReplyCancel

  • May 20, 2013 - 7:47 am

    Joelle - Hmm, Exeter? Bundanoon? Close to Sydney. Close to the Beach. Community gardens, markets, flea markets, good local bloggers, lovely schools, great NYE street parties, friday night pizza nights, knitting clubs, book clubs, playgroups, good bushwalks. Shall I continue? Perhaps a gorgeous caravan in someone’s back yard temporarily for you….ReplyCancel

  • May 20, 2013 - 7:59 am

    Ellie - Hey Sash.

    My high school drama teacher went through this process. He lived in a few places before he settled on Bright. I think his criteria were along the lines of community, arts, beauty, quiet. I’d say check it out just because he is such a good soul and I trust his opinion very much.

    I hope you’re well, love.

    Ellie xxxReplyCancel

  • May 20, 2013 - 9:01 am

    Maxabella - Firstly, keep that flame burning, Sash.

    And then… well, we live in the ‘country’ in the city. Lovely community. Showground. Horse riding club. BMX trails. Bushwalking. On the edge of Sydney overlooking and surrounded by bush. 20 minutes from the city. Perfection to me.

    BUT, if I was going to live in a small town in Australia, so far my travels have told me to look for one of these: Daylesford, VIC; Mudgee, NSW; Orange, NSW; Byron Bay, NSW; Airlie Beach, QLD or Port Douglas, QLD.

    Long way from home for you, though…. xReplyCancel

  • May 20, 2013 - 9:14 am

    Lila Wolff - We live in a small city but as much as it works for us I think it would be too isolated for your needs (sadly I’d love to have you here). I don’t know of a specific place but just go for where feels right in your heart. We tried out Launceston (too much like living in a damp cupboard) and Adelaide (we just didn’t fit) and I tried the Sunshine Coast before Ty and I got together which I loved but ultimately couldn’t find anywhere to live.
    Somewhere will just feel like home and they’ll be lucky to have you and Bo.ReplyCancel

  • May 20, 2013 - 9:16 am

    Lilybett - I’d probably try somewhere in rural Victoria, which has a beautiful food belt and lots of like-minded people but I’m not really a Victorian at heart. I’d love to take to one of the towns on the mid-north coast or up in the hinterlands – where the earth is volcanic and the weather is slightly warmer and the beach is only a short drive away. My Dad bought a house up on a plateau between Newcastle and Port Macquarie not far from Crowdy Head. They have a dairy next door, an avocado grove on the drive in and blueberries over the hill. The small store sells the home-grown produce from around the place. And there’s a community centre that doubles as an internet cafe, a centrelink/family assistance office and part-time doctor’s surgery. The little school there won a grant for a Stephanie Alexander kitchen and kitchen garden and it’s just beautiful. It’s a tiny school, two/three classroom type affair.ReplyCancel

  • May 20, 2013 - 9:34 am

    Michelle - We live in a small town and it’s a great place to raise a family. Everyone knows everyone else, there’s space, we walk everywhere….only downside is that it’s a long way from any city. Our town is Nyngan in Central NSW. I can see you settling near the water maybe on the East coast somewhere. Good luck with your search!ReplyCancel

  • May 20, 2013 - 10:32 am

    naomicot - Well you really can’t go past Thirroul, though I’m JUST a tad bias. There are so many beautiful place that the hubs and I have travelled through and gone ‘Could you imagine if we LIVED here?’ Moving to Thirroul realised that dream in a way; moving away from the franticness that is Sydney city and finding somewhere with a bit more soul.
    If I was to look further afield though, it would have to be Yamba, on the north coast (one of my favourite places in the whole world) and Berri. I had the best breakfast of my life in Berri and there’s something about the main street there that I adore.
    Good luck lovely, can’t wait to see where you end up!ReplyCancel

    • May 20, 2013 - 2:22 pm

      Amy - I would choose Denmark. Gently sloping hills, trees, surf…downside is the distance to Perth. But Albany is around the corner…ReplyCancel

  • May 20, 2013 - 3:41 pm

    Cherie - I’ve got to agree with Joelle, Sash. The Southern Highlands has everything you are looking for and more!!ReplyCancel

  • May 21, 2013 - 12:16 pm

    MissM - I left a piece of my heart in Mission Beach. Oh how I love this place…it is a very small town, but oh so quietly beautiful, beaches, palmtrees, a ferry to go to Dunk Island, a place called coconut cafe, a health food shop and not much more but if I could I would move my family there so my heart would finally be whole again. The closest city is Cairns which is a bit of a downer but the beauty and magic of Mission Beach makes it worth it.
    I miss it every day!ReplyCancel

  • May 22, 2013 - 7:27 am

    Prue Gilfillan - Hi, new followe here.

    I feel just the same – I’m a city girl but my place is in the country. Although unlike you I did spend my formative years in a country environment (ish – we were 30 minutes from the centre of Adelaide but lived in untouched bushland hills). I also spent a year living in the real country in Roma, Queensland. I loved it. The town was booming with the oil and gas production and yet still had that country town feel.

    But where would I live if I could live anywhere at all? South Australia. The Adelaide hills. Or, the outskirts of Mount Gambier. Or somewhere on the coast.ReplyCancel

  • May 23, 2013 - 4:39 pm

    Gayna - Central Victoria for sure. We live in Kyneton, it’s beautiful… Lovely community, close to Melbourne, great people, coffee and food…options of organic and locally grown everything… But the Illawarra (I’m from Wollongong, lived in Thirroul, loved it!) also great! Oh the possibilities!ReplyCancel

    • June 9, 2013 - 4:45 pm

      alice - We also live in Kyneton (moved from Adelaide via 8 years in Melbourne). We LOVE IT! Great community, great food and wine but it is COLD! Minus 2 Saturday morning. And despite not ever needing the beach, I feel the distance from it in summer.ReplyCancel

  • May 23, 2013 - 5:04 pm

    Bek @ Justfordaisy - I haven’t commented here a lot but love reading your story.
    I have to agree with what’s already appearing above… come to the Southern Highlands! 🙂 You’ll be welcomed and loved! 🙂 And believe me, it holds all you long for and more! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • May 26, 2013 - 9:00 pm

    Rachel - Northern NSW has certainly captured my heart in a way I didn’t think it would. Although I’m a big city girl and am looking forward to the day I can move my little family back to the hustle and bustle of a big metropolis. But I do enjoy the coastal/alternative lifestyle of Lennox Heads, Byron Bay etc.ReplyCancel

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