One thing I have noticed after 10 years living in Melbourne and four years back in my hometown in rural Victoria is the importance of celebrating and appreciating where you live.
Sure, there are plenty of challenges we face living in a rural area – access to services, distance, the struggle to find a decent coffee (the struggle is REAL) but ultimately there are some amazing things about living were I do.
I often tell the story of when I left my hometown at the age of 18. I was out of there. NEVER coming back. I was off to have a fabulous life in the city and I was not looking back.
Now, over ten years later I am back in that same little town that I couldn’t wait to leave. The biggest surprise, to myself most of all, is that I love it. It feels like home in a way that only the place you grew up can. I have my family close by and I have developed an amazing support network friends.
Living where I do has also given me the opportunity to start my own business and purchase my own home. Two big achievements that just would not have been feasible for me at this point in my life if I still lived in the city.
Sure, I miss 24h Kmart, living five minutes from Chadstone, amazing brunches and my city friends… But I know they are only a 4-hour drive away (Yes! When you live in a remote area a 4-hour drive really does not seem like a big deal) and I appreciate those experiences so much more now.
There is a slower pace to life here. No commute. More freedom for a five year old to be independent. Perfect for me at this stage of my life as a mum with a young son and owner of a start-up business.
It is often too easy to complain or see the negative. I prefer to see the positives and the opportunities. In my hometown there is always someone to offer a hand, pitch in and fundraise or offer expertise. Often living in a small rural community means we have to band together or work hard to access services that others may take for granted, but the community always come together to make things happen.
That is why I love where I live.