I am an owner of a tatty old beach cottage in a beautiful seaside town in Australia, mother of three, wife to one, seaside taxi driver…But I haven’t always lived here, for nearly my whole life I resided in the same, very pretty village in England. Life was quite comfortable, filled with country pubs, cricket on the village green, walks in the woods, lots of drizzle and warm beer. Our children went to a good school, we had a good income, nice holidays, and some cash floating around for a nice life.
Something was missing though, and I was beginning to wonder what life was all about.. and as we flew into London in 2005, after a Christmas holiday we embarked on a mission to find a new life by the sea. We ummed and ahhhed on where we would go, re-locate to the coast of Britain or warmer climes - Europe, France, Florida, Australia?
We knew absolutely nothing about Australia, apart from that it was a long, long way from home, it had sun & beaches that were part of everyday life and an old friend of ours had sent us pictures of his commute to work on a very nice ferry and his life on a very nice beach.
So we put the feelers out Down Under and we started hatching plans, long late phone calls in the middle of the freezing English winter nights, extended internet searches on Australian cities, reams of reading, heaps of books and strange conversations on ex-pat forums about life the Aussie way.
Six months later and things were moving on, we had built connections and networked with enough business contacts to make our new life in the sun dream a reality.
So in the middle of the English Summer we came to Sydney for a holiday. We’d told not a single soul of our late night Down Under dealings, so the whole covert operation was shrouded in secrecy, a kinda clandestine excitement circled the whole devious thing. But the funny thing was that the moment we landed in Australia, I felt like I’d come home.
After two weeks of shaking our heads in wonder at the wonderful Aussie lifestyle (& this people was WINTER), we flew home to London, overflowing with the amazing lucky country that is Australia and absolutely desperate for a visa and a new life by the sea.
A few weeks later & we got an offer we liked the look of and shortly after started the visa application process, including attending medicals and filling in forms, forms and forms. Surprisingly, two months later and much quicker than we had anticipated the big fat envelope from the Australian Department of Immigration arrived, our visas granted.
Oh. My. Goodness. We could go.
We quickly decided we wanted to get out here before Christmas, so what followed was a total frenzied operation to get our English house rented out, our belongings shipped, our life sorted out and to say goodbye to our friends.
It was a manic time, but on the second December we arrived, 5 suitcases, a holiday apartment, brimming with anticipation and one job in hand.
My days are now spent dealing with the same old things family life brings – but a little differently than before. And it’s a pretty nice way to live. I only wish I came here sooner.
The move though has brought a few other changes, ones I didn’t expect. Not everything turned out as we thought it would and the inevitable challenges of emmigrating and has meant making do, in more ways than one, in lots of areas of life.
It did lead us to this sad old cottage, that has needed bundles of love and attention to get it feeling good.
And led me to start logging it all in my blog A Beach Cottage.
I write about my escapades in finding things for our cottage, chronicle the makeovers and remodeling projects we take on ourselves, that don’t always turn out so good…oh and living by the sea
You’ll find it here on this site, I hope you enjoy surfing through my antics in this old place…
you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org