So, a Central Coast seachange was the perfect compromise for us. We could keep our jobs while having a better quality (and more affordable!) lifestyle!
What do you enjoy the most about living on the Coast?
It is far more friendly, accessible and affordable than Sydney. And oh, the beaches… Far less crowded, far more car parks AND no need to have to pay for the privilege, especially at some of the many little gems hidden along this gorgeous coastline! It’s great too that we are still relatively close to Sydney so if you require it for work, or play, its manageable to make the trip.
And the least?
It can be isolating at times. So many people who live here have done so their entire life so it can be hard to break into well-established groups of friends. And having a husband that commutes does eat into precious family time.
Plus, where are all the jobs?! 350 people apply for the same position – very hard to differentiate yourself unless you “know” the right people (or so it feels!)
As your husband still commutes to Sydney, how do you deal with him leaving early/coming home late?
When we first relocated we were both commuting, albeit it on different days of the week. It did work well - I was only part-time and my husband could work from home the days I was required at work. But once my husband received a promotion and no longer had the flexibility to be on hand when I was in Sydney I had to leave my position.
Some weeks it feels like we never see him – he is gone early, home late and has at least one overnighter a week in Sydney due to his demanding job. I am also conscious of the long commute and always a bit nervous about him driving so much – we all know the state of the F3!!
Do you think there are any misconceptions about leaving the city and having a seachange?
In reality it is not as romantic a notion as you might believe. Packing up your life as you know it and moving away from your social and family connections to a place where you basically do not know a soul can be so confronting. Sure change is great, but don’t do it just for the sake of change. I think it took me at least a year to start to feel like I was “at home”.
As a writer, do you feel that the Coast offers you professional opportunities? eg the ability to connect with local writers, networking groups, does it inspire you to write?
As someone still “starting out” in the writing game, I don’t think it matters where you reside – it’s hard in any location! Perhaps I haven’t looked too much into this though because the online realm offers so much. Social media sure makes the world a smaller place!
As a mother, do you find that there are enough activities on the Coast to keep your children engaged?
I’ve been very impressed with the activities on the Coast. My son has done classes with Kindy Gym, and Little Kickers, as well as Swimming lessons, all of which burn his excess energy nicely! There are some great parks as well, for the times when some free activities are a must!
What advice would you give to someone thinking about having a seachange?
A seachange requires serious thought – it is not a decision to be made lightly! It really depends on your stage of life and the priorities you have; ie are you willing to forgo your city creature comforts, your urban exciting lifestyle for a quieter, calmer, condensed lifestyle? Will you be able to handle the commute? Or will you be financially able to survive if you want to start the job search after you relocate? (Sadly it seems jobs are a bit scarce on the seachange front, after you are used to the plethora of employment options the city offers!)
If you have family in the location you are “seachanging” to, I’m sure it’s not nearly so hard, but if like us, you know but one person on the entire peninsula, be prepared for bouts of isolation to battle. You have to really persevere to make new, meaningful friendships.
What is your perfect Central Coast weekend?
When the weather is a balmy 25 degrees, the cobalt sky above is cloudless, and there is zero breeze, you will find us happiest when hanging out at our local little beach. The canvas that greets us is spectacular – an expanse of golden sand, rugged rockpools to explore, and mostly calm waters of the bay to splash and play in. Plus, its NEVER overcrowded, nor do you have to park a kilometre away just to get there It is a little slice of coastal paradise!