Tree change headlines abound with people questioning the benefits of living in metropolitan areas. Considering a tree change in Australia? It seems you are not alone.
Some reports say there is an increase in tree changers due to Covid19.
Wanting to escape the grime, pollution and traffic snarls – the lure of country living may be irresistible. For many a tree change is a chance to get away from the noise and hassles: ‘It seems like I spend half my Saturday in the car to go shopping’, one exasperated man said.
Take a look through real estate pages of the so called tree change ‘hot spots’, ‘best places’ or ‘liveable places’. The phrases used in advertisements may be tempting to hustled and bustled city slickers:
*trees brimming with bird life
*a warm and rustic feel
*surrounded with nature
*a quiet and peaceful life
*a dream come true
*take in the lush vistas
*stunning valley views
*idyllic country retreat
*it’s practically a no-brainer’.
But, beyond the gloss……before you consider a tree change
*have you made a list of why you are considering a tree change?
*considered what your needs and wants are?
*and, if you have a partner, will you both like the new area?
Remember: It can be a costly exercise to move again, should you not like the new location.
Will You Be Accepted In Your Tree Change?
Will you ‘fit into’ the new area?
‘You’re a local if there are 4 generations of your family buried in the local cemetery’, a resident in a tree change town told me.
I hoped she was joking.
A farmer, let’s call him Jeff, told me he invited a new couple who had just moved from the city along to the next wine and cheese night he was running.
The newcomer said ‘No thanks, that’s exactly why we bought this get away – to get away from it all’.
No one had ever said ‘no’ to an invitation to attend his wine and cheese group. The newcomer and his wife were to be prize inclusions in the group. He only invited people he thought were ‘worthy’ in the small district.
‘They don’t know that they are expected to contribute to the area’, Jeff commented.
‘There’s the rural fire brigade to join and the hall cleaning roster for a start’, he mused.
Working out if you will ‘fit in’ can be difficult.
Visiting the area often before relocating, and in all seasons, plus talking to locals may well be a good start.
One of the last words goes to Todd Alexander, ‘You’ve Got To Be Kidding: A Shedload Of Wine & A Farm Full Of Goats‘ ,
(Herald Sun): ‘I liken it to travelling to Paris and refusing to say a word of French — when you move to the country if you show the locals you’re willing to work bloody hard, they’ll show you so much kindness it sometimes brings a tear to a not-quite-butch farmer’s eye (speaking from experience)’.
‘Author Todd Alexander did it — and he has some words of advice as he releases his second book on the experience, You’ve Got To Be Kidding: A Shedload Of Wine & A Farm Full Of Goats‘.
So, if you are considering a tree change in Australia, do your research, meet the locals and you may enjoy Tood’s book.