Like the age-old sea change that many Australians seek, becoming more and more popular is the idea of a tree change – an escape to the countryside. Swapping noisy, busy city streets for fresh air and green rolling paddocks, stretching out on bigger land sizes, in idyllic country cottages where expenses are less and expectations are fewer – bliss.
While the perks and joys of a tree-lined life may seem obvious, is a tree change right for you?
How will you know if shifting the holiday life into your everyday reality is the right move, and if you do decide to make a tree change, how do you do it?
Room to grow
Many couples decide on a tree change when children come onto the scene. It’s easy to see why rural living would suit small children: room to run, room to grow, space for extra bedrooms and big backyards and pets. But on the flip side, consider the available education sources in the area. Many country towns do not have their own high schools, so it is important to do this research early on to ensure there is a good schooling option for your kids.
Not just a problem solver
If your problems with your city life stem from lack of space and sky high property prices, then a move to the countryside will solve them. But running to the trees isn’t a magic fix-all for everything. Consider what the change in location will mean for your social lives, for your connection to family and for your ability to find work. If living in the country means no traffic around home but a big commute to work, is it the right choice for you? Finding local work in small communities can be at best challenging, it’s important to consider hurdles that may arise from your change in postcode.
Rural homes can be disparate, sprawling places to live, sometimes with kilometers separating you from your nearest neighbour. It’s easy to feel isolated in these communities, so it is important to make an effort to meet people as soon as you can. Join clubs, enrol your kids in sporting programs and get involved in the community life. One of the best things about country towns is the way that communities stick together and support each other. With your city friends no longer in close proximity, step outside your comfort zone and grow your friendship circle.
Do your research
Understand the dynamics of the area you are looking to move to. Do some research on the facilities, schools, hospitals and transport. Assess all of your everyday comforts in the city. Then choose which of those you will want to have access to in your new neighbourhood.
Live off the land
Regional areas are booming in local produce and the homegrown lifestyle. Turn your hand to farming, find that greenthumb hidden deep within you and reap the benefits of an organic life. Food will never taste better!
Peace and quiet will work wonders for a stressed and agitated mind. And living in the country will afford you with bountiful fresh air and a world of relaxation. A tree change will give you the zen you’ve been searching for and recharge your tired psyche and reignite your creativity.
Take it slow
The best way to know if something is right for you is to test it first. Before making the decision to uproot your life and head for the trees, take a slow and steady approach. Consider renting in the area for a few months to see if the lifestyle feels right, and if it does, then you can take the plunge and look to buy knowing you’ve made the right decision. Slow and steady wins the race after all!