Can you possibly imagine a view any more amazing than this?
The crazy thing is, once upon a time I could.
When I was finishing school, my idea of success was heading off to a big city to conquer the world… And I was going to do it by being the next Julia Roberts. I was going to hit the road and never look in the rearview mirror at lil’ old Orange.
Boy, was I wrong. And I am so, so glad I was.
SO, WHY TELL YOU ABOUT THIS NOW?
Now more than ever, the benefits of working and living in regional Australia are clear.
During COVID-19, the upside of geographic isolation has become apparent. Acutely aware of the mayhem occurring globally, I still felt pretty safe here in my little country bubble.
And, as we prepare for a ‘post pandemic’ world, things like lack of connectivity and access to services are no longer excuses for moving away or making a ‘tree change’.
But, I promise you we haven’t been left behind.
DO YOU HAVE INSIDE TOILETS?
Along with this very important question, others you might have include:
In this day and age, where creature comforts and instant gratification are expected, I can assure you, these ‘necessities’ are generally readily available.
Yes, these amazing areas have plumbing and internal facilities. In fact, some of them are pretty schmick and swanky nowadays.
It might be the local restaurant or Menulog instead of Uber Eats for your meals.
You might even do some online shopping when you are not supporting amazing local bespoke boutiques, but the mail will definitely come regularly enough to deliver your goodies in a timely fashion!
Shopping and brunch on a Sunday is almost the norm, and an awesome latte or glass of rose is never far away.
THE ELUSIVE ‘WORK-LIFE’ BALANCE
The iconic Dolly Parton said “it’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it” and she was only talking about 9 to 5!
Nowadays, hours can be endless, and when you add crazy commute times if you live in the city well, I think maybe ‘crazy’ is not a strong enough word.
If you are worried about employment opportunities rest assured, you are needed and wanted!
Whether you are a corporate professional or a tradie, not only are our businesses keen to recruit great talent, they are even more eager to keep you here.
In September, the ABC reported a massive 45,000 jobs advertised in regional Australia. The opportunities are here if you are willing to take the leap and even maybe try something a little different.
There is no denying the professional opportunities that come with the skyscrapers, and don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against big cities. In fact, I love to visit for a shop and a show, but nothing beats the fresh air and, as The Dixie Chicks once sang, ‘wide open spaces’ of our regional areas when it comes to finding your zen.
Did you know that you can live on a property in the peaceful, middle of nowhere or in another town and STILL travel less time than you would in the city to get to work!
But above all, the ‘feeling’ out here is so much calmer and far less hectic. There is time, space and plenty of places to share with family and friends, creating the perfect opportunity for obtaining that mythical ‘balanced life’ you are searching for.
FOMO – FEAR OF MISSING OUT?
Think you are going to miss out? No way.
The NRL and other sporting codes are playing games regularly in regional towns.
Some of the best hatted restaurants and awarded wineries are hidden in the charming streets and foothills of country Australia.
Musicians are seen in the appeal, playing at events like ‘Day on the Green,’ an amazing experience only regional areas with rolling hills for picnic blankets can provide.
I mean, Elton John in Bathurst? Hello!
Living in regional Australia no longer means being disconnected from all that is ‘metro-centric’. If the big events aren’t coming to your town, with modern transport you are never more than a bus ride or flight to the nearest city if you need to get your metropolitan fix.
And with that internet that we do have out in the sticks, and now more than ever in our truly connected COVID world, you can access anything, anywhere, anytime.
If anything, the FOMO should go the other way.
There are so many things you can experience outside the smog and smoke of the city that only our homes off the highway can provide:
- Hiking and exploring the outdoors
- Camping or glamping
- Wineries and amazing food culture
- Historical places and great Australian stories
- Parks and playgrounds galore
- Backyard BBQs and cricket
- Animals people, animals!
- Wonderful community organisations and events
WHERE THE GREEN GRASS GROWS
The bottom line?
I stole the ‘green grass’ line from my old mate and country singer, Tim McGraw and it is some of the best advice I have ever received.
I love my life here in Orange NSW, and all the incredible opportunities, experiences and people I have in my life as a result. I know my life wouldn’t be the same if I was running the rat race as I had originally, adamantly planned at 18 years of age.
And without question, I know my teammates and our more than 450 CEF volunteers feel the same about their green patches of this great country.
And if you need any more convincing, this is how I end my days.
DISCLAIMER: This article is not meant to offend, just to provide some light-hearted reading and fun for the festive season!