You have probably heard that saying “Create a life you love” or similar variations.
And then there’s the one from Seth Godin, “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from.”
It’s a great thought.
Years ago before I started my own business, I worked 9 – 5. I hated my job. With a passion, I hated that job. Nothing about it made me feel fulfilled or worthwhile. I lived for Friday afternoons and dreaded the roll around of the next week.
I couldn’t wait to take holidays even when it was to sit at home for a couple of weeks. But now things are different. Every day I do what I love, work my own hours (which are so much more than 9 – 5) and feel more fulfilled and worthwhile than I ever have. It is demanding, scary and it has made me step outside my comfort zone so far that I don’t even know what that is anymore. But it is also exciting, challenging and… well, let’s just say it’s one of the best things I have ever done.
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Sacrificing my Travel Plans
This year I had plans to travel to Greece and Iceland. And I also wanted to add in Cortona in Italy as well if I could.
But sadly, for various reasons, the Greece component fell over. Which was hard at the time, but now makes perfect sense.
As many of you who have been following my posts will know, we have made the decision to move to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains at the end of the year. I promised my son who is doing is HSC that I would wait until he was finished school. And then he announces he is coming with us! Which is awesome.
I am ready for a change and for us, that means a tree change. I never thought I would move away from the coast again. I have done it at various times throughout my life and have always come back. But this is a little different.
Because I am creating a life that will hopefully feel like I am travelling. ALL THE TIME.
Thank goodness the Greece trip didn’t go ahead. How could I possibly host a group overseas with all that entails while I am trying to pack up a house? And find a new one. And establish myself in a new community.
I never thought I would be happy sacrificing travel. But I can honestly say that in these circumstances I am more than happy. I feel like I am organising a permanent holiday for myself.
And I am a total freak about moving. I love it!! Yep clearing out all the old stuff, packing boxes and setting up a new home. A new beginning! Crazy I know!
I know the novelty will wear off, eventually, but I am betting that it will take a long time. There is so much to explore, discover and experience that every weekend will be like a holiday.
Changing things up
This change, and it’s a big one, is not just about me, but about us. Nearly 4 years ago I met “the one”. Don’t choke! It sounds so corny, but it’s true. I’m not going to go on about how wonderful our relationship is. I don’t want to you to gag.
Dan comes from the Macarthur area, and I’m from Wollongong. Which is where we currently live. And it’s great, but we wanted to set up a life that we both had a hand in choosing. We searched all over the Illawarra and nothing seemed to fit with what we wanted. We are big on gut feelings and nothing really felt right. A lot of places were ok, but not quite it. And we explored further afield, Lake Macquarie, Port Macquarie. We even contemplated Tasmania.
And then we did the old forehead slap. Of course, The Blue Mountains. We both adore the mountains.
So we started visiting. And exploring. And talking to people. And visiting some more. And each and every time we drive away we feel the pull become stronger.
It’s not only a move. It’s a new beginning for us. It will entail us setting up a home together for the first time. Dan moved into my place in Wollongong and I don’t think he has ever really settled. It has never really become “his” place and I think that’s important.
We both work from home so our place has to meet all our needs and allow us not only to grow as a couple but nurture our individuality as well, as well as cater to the businesses. And I have grand plans for my travel business in the mountains. Watch this space!
People keep talking about the cold. I’m worried. How can people that live in Leura and Wentworth Falls say that Blackheath is so much colder!? It’s not that far! I really want to know how much colder!!
I don’t mind the cold. I have lived in Goulburn and Dubbo and the Southern Highlands through winters. But it was a long time ago. I think I have blocked it out.
One of the local ladies told me if we can get through two winters we will be fine. Oh boy! It is going to be an adjustment. For now, whenever I think of the cold I am going to think of winter nights in front of the fire with a glass of red. That will make everything OK in my book. And cheese and crackers. Yep warm fire, cheese and crackers and red wine. How hard can winter be?
That Gut Feeling
You know you are making the right decision when everything just falls into place along the way.
Since making the decision to move, the business ideas have gone crazy. I mean I always have them but they are coming thick and fast and I have so many dreams and plans to implement that I don’t know where I will even begin.
I’m nervous though too. Starting a new life, in a new community. Being a total introvert and meeting new people does tend to freak me out a little.
Come along for the ride
But I am so excited. I am like a small child waiting for Christmas. And I make no apologies for it. So often in this life, things seem like a chore, something we need to do. And it’s not often that as adults we can feel like this.
So we have a lot to do. And like I do when I travel, I am creating plans.
For now though here’s what we are going to do to prepare for the big move:
- Visit as often as possible
- Connect with people. Not hard when we love visiting cafes and chatting to store owners
- Become familiar with local facilities and places of interest
- Learn about the community and area
- Participate in community events like the monthly Growers Market
- Join the local Chamber of Commerce and attend meetings
Just so we’re clear, I won’t be sacrificing travel forever. Not by any means. In fact, I am heading to Holland and France in June next year.
But how nice to be living a life that feels like a holiday. That is the plan. AND I am excited for friends and family to come and stay with us. It will give me a chance to play tour guide.
We can go to the Hydro Majestic for drinks or even a High Tea. Explore the shops in Leura and stop in at my favourite cafe there, The Red Door Cafe. There are Art Galleries we can visit, all the Lookouts and particularly my favourite, Govetts Leap. Go down to the Megalong Valley and stop in at the Megalong TeaRooms, head out to the Jenolan Caves and ... I think you get the idea. Plenty to see and do.
And I want to invite you on our journey as we move to a new life at a different pace and discover new places. And maybe by joining me on our journey, you will want to discover it the Blue Mountains for yourself and come on a holiday. Make sure you look us up if you do.
And secretly I will try not to feel sad about my travel plans being shelved. Because it would be nice to have it all.
Cindy Reid is the founder of Travel Charm. Cindy has travelled extensively both personally and with her groups. She has now combined her love of art, food and travel and hosts Painting Trips to Europe and continues to explore and roam in Australia.