12 months ago we packed our lives into a truck and drove off to start life in a town few had ever heard of (Kandos in the Central West of NSW – see, told you so). We had no idea how things would pan out but we also knew things couldn’t stay as they were.
Looking back I can’t believe we actually took the step to leave everything we love: our family, friends, Sydney lifestyle and beloved ocean. Some have told us they found this incredibly brave. In my mind it was an act of desperation. Maybe it was both.
But as that wise old Socrates once said, the secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
This is exactly what we did.
We created a home
I’ve documented the transformation of the old house we bought in other posts. This was a massive task, almost single-handedly done by Leo who had never renovated anything before. We LOVE our little home. It has such a happy vibe.
I recently learned that it was the first house in the street. Knowing that this cottage with its big yard is truly ours, and we can’t be asked to leave by a landlord wanting to sell, is the best feeling of all.
We extended our family
Moving to the country meant 3 main things to us: space for the kids to roam freely, minimising financial stress, and getting pets! I was lucky enough to grow up with a few animals around – they teach us so much.
As my youngest son recently asked me, ‘mum are we an animal farm now?’ Well I am happy to confirm that yes we are – just without the communism bit; although we are enjoying doing the occasional labour exchange.
We made friends
I am not sure how this year would have been if it weren’t for the amazing new people who’ve come into our lives. For a small town, Kandos has a lot of awesome personalities. Sure there are a few interesting hairstyles at the local IGA but people are generally pretty chilled and their looks would make an Eastern Suburb hipster turn kale-smoothie-green with envy. Put simply, they are cool without even knowing it.
We’re lucky enough to be living around many people who care about treading lightly on the earth – we’ve visited some amazing sustainable properties this year – and share our hopes to keep life a bit real. My anxiety is a lot lower and I think it’s because I feel the support of the ‘village’. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s working for us.
For Leo, being around other artists, and people who care about art, has been really positive. He has started work on his studio and hopes to have it finished before Cementa 2017.
So, in a nutshell, so far so good.
Here’s to a happy and healthy year ahead for everyone and more skies like this one.