Is a Change as Good as a Holiday?

They say change is as good as a holiday and I certainly daydream constantly about all the things I want to change – about my life, my home, my work, my time and myself. Sometimes I think I become so caught up in thinking about all the possible other directions in life I could take, that I forget to appreciate the now.

Do you find that?

I very much notice and appreciate the small things, all the time. Yet I am a huge daydreamer. I also get restless feet and love to travel, especially with my family, and love nothing better than hitting the road and driving off on an adventure. My husband and I spend hours and hours talking about, thinking about and exploring, the idea of moving to a more rural lifestyle with our boys. This has been an ongoing theme for probably the past decade

I am a nester. A home changer. Someone who likes to shift furniture, plump cushions, try new throws and add new rugs. We love our home and have spent a lot of time and energy making improvements. We also love the convenience of close city suburban living, while being in a gorgeous area (but not a great street!) near the foothills. Yet, when I look out from our deck across the neighbour’s back yard and see a forest of weeds, and the other side looking like it needs demolishing, or hear the young men across the road arguing, or notice the traffic – I dream of a simpler, more peaceful life.

I know from growing up in the country that there are still unkempt yards, noisy neighbours, and stress. I know it is a fantasy to think moving house will make your life different. I know there are stressors in the country that are not experienced in the city – such as a lack of health care services, feeling isolated, access to schools and university for our children – to name a few.  This yearning period for a country life, has probably happened more often since we had our now 5 year old and grew older ourselves. That sense of when is ever the right time, seems stronger. We know we don’t want to move our middle son, now in year 9, once he hits year 11, or even too far into his year 10 next year. So maybe we feel more of a sense of urgency.

It also seems there are always reasons not to move, such as:

– it is not the right time for one or all of the children with their schooling, university, work opportunities;

– there are not enough emergency health services (with my type 1 diabetes and other conditions and young children this is a big factor for me);

– I will be away from my parents and my support network and child care;

– My hubby will have to find new social networks and sport outlets;

– I will have to commute for meetings and trips to the airport for interstate meetings and conferences etc;

– Good Internet connection is huge for me running a national online counselling service and being a pro-blogger;

– I have multiple businesses to run and manage;

– Breaking into a new community can be hard for kids;

– etc etc

And so, we look, we dream and then we stop and settle where we are. Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean we are unhappy, we are not. It is just something inexplicable that happens to both of us, regularly. So does that mean something?

The most recent urge was last weekend, after getting an email from a real estate agent about a gorgeous looking and sounding home in the stunning Barossa Valley. We love the ocean and this is always a draw card area for us, adore the hills (but would not live there due to bushfire risks and driving down on icy roads and fog), so we often end up with the Barossa as a good choice for us.

We headed out there on Sunday and the house was not right. Of course! There is however another home we could not see inside at the time, which appears on paper to tick all our boxes and we did a drive by and have spoken to the agent, who says we can look this weekend.

So, now our heads are full of “how to’s”.  These are the things that happen when we start with this urge – the how we would manage making sure we saw my parents each week? How I would plan a fortnightly day in Adelaide at my offices to meet with my team and board members? Would that work? How we would get the kids to the local schools and settled in? How we would sell our own home (and that is a huge barrier) and make the move? How would we manage if the kids or I got really sick?….blah blah blah…..


So, here I am, sitting and pondering a huge lifestyle change, once again…. I say pondering because, as usual, it is all pie in the sky, having not even seen this house yet! And having all of those “how to’s” to contend with.  In fact, the Barossa is just 40 minutes from my hubby’s work and an hour from my parents and my office, so we are not exactly talking isolation here. It is a tourist mecca and well serviced. It has all the things we would ever need. So half of me yearns. Half of me worries and wants to stay safely and conveniently put with my happy, easy and settled life.

Shall we go and look at this house on the weekend and tempt the toppling of our status quo?  I wonder, in this short and sweet life, is it greedy to want an “other”? Should we stick with what we have when it is perfectly lovely and sweetly secure? Is it wrong to want to have a different life? Or is it a mid life crisis or a dream?

I am not sure what the answer is, what do you think? Do you have a similar story to share or have you made a move to a more rural area and what was it like?



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  1. ingrid on September 25, 2013 at 7:15 am

    It looks a really nice house and not moving so far away from all you are used to… go for it!! You wont know til you try. We dream of building a sustainable house on acreage. As soon as funds allow we will! Before that… we dream 😉

    • Helen Edwards on September 25, 2013 at 7:56 am

      thanks Ingrid! should have said this house also is off the grid with solar already and rain water plumbed on – so that is a part of it for us too, we also talk about building a sustainable house but buying one already off the grid would be next best! Happy dreaming 🙂

  2. Sandra Kenny on September 25, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Did you have the wow factor when you both saw the house is my first question? I’ll try and keep this as short as I can. Too bad you live there, as I would so love to share my stories with you then you could ask many questions. First our lives are not a dress reharsle. And really at the end of the day around the 80yrs mark you will be sitting in your favorite chair somewhere going i’m so glad i did that. My way of thinking is I don’t want to be there going I wish I had of. Did you know what motherhood was going to be like? or marriage? or work life? or even for that matter the journey’s you have taken and are still taking?I’m guessing the answer would be no, but you have done all that and achived a great deal. life has been very rewarding by the sounds of it (and challeaging too) Skpe is the moderen day conect i believe (althought I have no idea how to do it myself)Okay in short if i can. Go for it helen just do it. Remote is four hours away from anywhere as i found out living in tom price wa. It nearly killed me but I learnt to love the distances I travel now. No where is too far away and with the moderen systems there are now you are anywhere and everywhere. I was city born and breed. One of the most amazing adventures I have had the previallge to expereince was a hugh pushbike ride
    no support vehicels with my family it was massive. 7800k’s my boys were 7 and 8 they rode it was the most unbelievable high light of my life besides my husband and my children. Then we home schooled after being in the system it wasn’t working for us so we pulled them out. My sons have achived plenty and are well rounded in many ares to many to say now. We then embarked on another adventure in a car this time and spent three years on the road with at least two in tom price. again even on the road you deal with the challanges of parenthood and growing all of us. We decided we didn’t want to live in the city any more and wanted property to be self relient. However with teenages we meet half way we are in country yet not on land. From my back yard for now we look straight up the hills. Best of both worlds. My sons have flown the coup well one has and the other isn’t far.
    My family are about an hour away. And at times when i have been extremely ill the ambulance and hospital and doctors for that matter are’nt that far away. We live in a new world now where everything is at the push of a button or on a screen. You sound like you already love the place and it looks fantastic. I was once told nothing ventured nothing gained. Doesn’t stop the nervous or the am i doing the right thing or not but if you don’t give it ago you’ll never know. We all have our ups and downs and that is the even balance of life. My suggestion don’t sit in the chair going I wish I had of. If it’s going to work it will no matter what. And when the hard times hit and they will as they always do you will get through them. Go for it. I’m sure glad I did and it certainly wasn’t easy. When i get to very old age I’ll have very few regrets. Now isn’t htat what is called living. Just take that first step out of your comfort zone and all else will follow. If you stay positive positive things will happen sooner or later but they will don’t let the fear of the unkonwn stop you. That’s why it’s called the unknown because none of us know what tomorrow will bring.
    Sandra Kenny

    • Helen Edwards on September 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Sandra you are such a wise woman and this all makes perfect sense to me. What an amazing life you have lived so far and not stopping here as far as I can see! Thanks for your input and thoughts, we are waiting to see if we can go and view this weekend!

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