Going rural has always been on my wish list, having grown up in the country and having a job that is easily transferable to anywhere, I have long thought that we should make the move to country Victoria. Mr Good is not so sure. He was born and raised in the city, his family is here and his job is one which really only exists in a metropolitan area – or perhaps a larger regional city. It’s been an ongoing ten year debate about whether, at some point in the future, it might be feasible to move the family out of the city. On the plus side we would both like a little piece of land, room for the kids to run wild, a bigger, more organised vegie patch (in full sun given that we wouldn’t have the fences and building to contend with so much), some fruit trees and so on. Being able to afford a slightly larger house without an insanely big mortgage is also a big draw card. And for me the sense of community is very appealing.
Here is where we differ though. I think a move to the country should be a complete shift. New jobs in the town, girls going to a local school and focusing our everyday lives within the local community. Mr Good is really only considering a move to a town still close enough to the city to commute to work in his current position. This worries me. The commute is already significantly eating into our family time. Mr Good leaves early and isn’t home until just before (or sometimes just after) the girls go to bed. Miss Three is up early and spends an hour or so with Mr Good then – talking and singing his ear off . At the other end of the day, he usually arrives home sometime during or after bath time, so gets a quick cuddle with one and does the bed time routine with the other.
Considering we are on slightly different pages on this one, I thought it would be worthwhile checking out the Regional Living Expo which took place this weekend. Mr Good was a little reluctant and not so open-minded as I would have liked, but it was a very interesting afternoon and we came away with lots to think about. Representatives from every local council manned booths ‘selling’ the best qualities of each area. There was a lovely, vibrant atmosphere and I could have been swayed but many of the locations. The woman from Clunes was particularly persuasive, and if you’re interested they’re having a book festival this coming weekend. The cultural performances were also wonderful and helped illustrate just how diverse and active country towns can be. We enjoyed a Ghanaian drum group from Gippsland and the steel drum band Pans on Fire from Marysville. Did you know Marysville is home to FOUR steel drum bands and will host an international steel drum festival next April? Now that’s what I call community passion.
While Mr Good and I do have slightly different ideas about the tree/sea change idea we did come away from this expo with a little bit of insight and a few ideas about what might be possible for our future. We both liked the idea of Geelong/Ballerine Peninsular from both a live style and employment perspective. Ballarat also had some potential employment opportunities for Mr Good, but he wasn’t so keen to move to such a cold place. Ballarat is also much closer to my family so it appealed to me. If we were to go down the move and commute route then Bacchus Marsh seemed to fit our criteria, and according to the people at the v-line stand the commute would actually be about the same time-wise, simply because the train doesn’t stop until it reaches the city. To me, none of these places are really ‘the country’, but I think I might need to accept the fact that an IT professional is never going to find a fulfilling career in a small country town.
All of this is still a pipe dream and not something we will look seriously into for at least another 6-12 months, but I was heartened by the fact that Mr Good was willing to consider it all a bit more seriously and that there were some things we could agree on.
What about you, is it country or city living you dream of (or even better actually live)? What do you love about where you live?