It was a shock to discover that in January I will have been living in Port Macquarie for seven years. I had to count on my fingers using the kid’s school years to work it out, Hippie Child was in Year 4 now she’s in Year 9 that’s one … two … and so on. Maths was never my strong point.
But that has got to be the fastest moving seven years of my life! No question.
This place we call home is coastal town with a population of around 49,000 or, when you include the smaller communities in the Council area has well, about 70,000.
Surf, sand, some wineries, a restaurant or two, the little fishing village is growing up.
However, after 23 years of city living there were some adjustments that needed to be made in moving to life in the country.
I’ve come up with my top five list of things you need to realise if you are making a sea change/tree change.
1. Don’t moan to your colleagues about the painter you hired, he’s probably related to the office accountant.
2. If you are relying on the classifieds for the job advertisements you are going about it the wrong way, join the local footy club, volunteer as a surf lifesaver, chat to parents at your kid’s soccer games, that’s where the jobs are being “advertised”.
3. Leaving the shopping to Christmas Eve doesn’t work in a place where there are a limited choice of shops and stock. Trust me, THERE’S NOTHING LEFT ON THE SHELVES AND NEWCASTLE IS A TWO AND HALF HOUR DRIVE AWAY. Sorry for the shouting I’m obviously still scarred from the first holiday season spent here.
4. Your budget needs to add in increased fuel consumption, soccer games are no longer a few k’s to the next suburb, they are in the next town which is an hour up the highway. A Sunday drive can be a three-hour round trip (although that could be something to do with your husband’s inability to follow directions – and nothing at all to do with the fact the phone service dropped out and you lost google maps, then you had the paper map upside down for most of the journey).
5. You forget your own history of holidaying in the town for 20 odd years and immediately develop an irritation for tourists who nick all the best car parks during the school breaks.
See, it’s important you come prepared if you intend to relocate. Gosh you are lucky to have me with my words of wisdom!
Over the next few months I’m going to take you touring to a few of the places of interest in Port Macquarie, I’m just working out the negotiations with the crew, who are proving to be a little difficult over the idea of family exploring, photo taking and blogging the outcomes. They are starting to talk contracts, with photo refusal options and confidentiality clauses. As if I would ever tell embarrassing stories on the blog??
Where do you live? Tell us about it in the comments.