Photo: Nathan Cowley

Front photo: Nathan Cowley

Trudy*, a single woman in her late 50s, had a full schedule working in a Sydney digital media company.  She said that she often ‘hardly saw the sunlight’.  She started to lose interest in putting in the lengthy hours.  Trudy yearned for fresh air and a change of scenery. 

Photo: Ben Mack

Weekends were spent driving north of Sydney in search of a potential new home. She eventually came across a charming coastal village. She had hoped that a new location would be where she would retire.

She also learned that a nearby company was looking for a person with her qualifications.


Trudy moved about 4 hours north of Sydney, not long after selling her house.

She rented a unit for twelve months, with the intention of buying a property after that time.

Despite the lovely setting and less demanding profession, she discovered that it was incredibly challenging to ‘blend in’ as a single person.

‘I was considered a ‘city person’ by others.  I was not a native of the town, nor had I spent a significant amount of time there.

Despite working in the town, participating in community courses and attending local events, ‘my social life was limited’. People with partners predominated in this town. I didn’t often get invited to dinners or other social events,” she remarked.

‘I had to keep reminding myself that I had moved out of the rat race for the lifestyle’.

Photo: Nothing Ahead

Another Move

Trudy didn’t stay in the community for long before relocating closer to Sydney.

‘Perhaps I should have stayed longer, but I just couldn’t see myself settling in,’ she said.   

Making friends is beneficial for more than just socialising.  Additionally, it can be useful when a crisis arises or you simply need an extra pair of hands.

Trudy found it ironic that although she had a lot more free time on her hands, she didn’t have many activities to enjoy with the free time.

Photo: Nathan Cowley

Unexpected Challenges

Moving to a new location alone may present a number of challenges for a single person.

Making a list of all the things you value about the place you live now is a worthy endeavour.

Then, make a list of all the difficulties you face in your current location.

What would you miss? 

Are the activities that you now enjoy that are also offered at the new place you propose?

What are your options?

It’s a wise move to do the research before taking the plunge.

*Name has been changed

Jill Weeks is the author of 21 Ways To Retire and co-author of Where To Retire In Australia and Retire Bizzi. She is a regular contributor to radio.

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