20 things I’ve learnt from our sea-change

On this date last year I waved goodbye to our movers truck as it left Sydney to head to the Sunshine Coast and our sea-change.

The following day I flew to the Sunshine Coast to join my family – who had moved up six weeks before. That day we settled on the purchase of our home up here, and the day after that our movers arrived. Four days later we flew back to Sydney and out to Vietnam for two weeks – and ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie blew in…but that’s another story entirely.

A year on and I’m grateful for the chaotically perfect storm of circumstances that prompted our sea-change. Sure there are things that I miss – family, friends, decent dumplings, the money we were earning. I certainly don’t miss the daily commute to earn it.

There’s so much more to love up here. I love our house, I love where we live, I love the coast, I love the hinterland, I love the way that we live more simply and more seasonally. I love our life.

A year on from our sea-change, I’ve also learnt a lot about Queensland and the Sunny Coast…

1.Being a #queenslander is a thing.

2. U-turns at traffic lights are ok and indicators are optional extras.

3. The 24-7 Snakecatcher has a very active Facebook page.  Instead of those “baby on board” stickers, his vehicle has a warning about snakes being inside. How do I know that bit? My daughter parked next to one at Coles the other day.

4. When it rains, it RAINS. None of this wimpy dribbly stuff that the rest of Australia gets. We get real RAIN.

5. There really are a lot of cane toads and they really are that ugly.

6. The bugs are bigger in Queensland. Adventure Spaniel was kept out of her kennel the other night by the biggest stag beetle she’d ever seen – and it was looking at her.

7. Activewear is appropriate for most social occasions.

8. So are thongs (flip-flops or jandals…)

9. The parking is actually free. Yes, really. That means you don’t pay for it. In most places.

10. Nearly everyone came here from somewhere else. Apparently, we’re all imports – with most of us coming from Sydney, Melbourne or Auckland.

11. This state is huge and I want to see so much more of it.

12. You don’t need to leave for the airport three hours before your flight.

13. Seeing the sunrise from a Sunshine Coast beach is the best possible way to start a day.

14. Aside from the ones doing school pick-ups at those schools, 4WDs actually seem to go off-road – and have the accessories to match.

15. As well as having more acai bowls than anywhere else, the Sunshine Coast has more mobility scooters per head of population than anywhere else in Australia*. There are even designated scooter parking areas outside Woolworths.

16. Nudibranchs are a type of colourful sea-slug. Truly.

17. On the Sunshine Coast, wherever you are, you’re rarely more than 30 minutes from either the coast or the country. We can be in Mooloolaba in 10-15 minutes, or in Woombye in the same amount of time. It’s the perfect sea-change and tree-change in one.

18. I still haven’t found great dumplings. the yum cha at Maroochydore is okay, and XO at Sunshine Beach is nice, but neither do a truly great xiao long bao.

19. Dumplings are not a good reason to stay in Sydney.

20. I don’t want to live anywhere else. Of course, I still want to travel – a lot – but I travel now for different reasons.  And I look forward to coming home – to here.

*There are no real studies or statistics to support this assertion.

It’s Lovin’ Life Linky time…

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishSeize the Day ProjectWrite of the Middle50 Shades of Age,  and, of course, me.


36 Replies to “20 things I’ve learnt from our sea-change”

  1. So much there – firstly, it’s great that you love it – it’s a costly risk if moving is a mistake. Now the snake guy, what happened do you think that made him put those stickers up? Did someone break in to steal the van and get bitten??? As for the bao – pay for the 2 owners/chef of those restaurants to go to Din Tai Fung…(Fat Dumpling in Brisbane is pretty good)

  2. What a great post for me to read as we are just a day away from beginning our journey to our new home on the Sunshine Coast. You sound really settled after a relatively short period, and are obviously making the most of it.

    1. Jan, we were driven to the decision earlier than we would have liked for financial reasons when my husband lost his job. Now I’m so glad that happened as I don’t think the time ever would have been quite right otherwise. I’m more content than I’ve been ever.

  3. You sound so contented Jo and you are right with #1 – Queenslander is being a thing. I’ve lived here half of my life having moved to Brisbane in 1988 however, I am only just being accepted as a Queenslander and don’t bristle quite so much now when NSW get smashed at State of Origin LOL:) There is certainly much to be positive about with a sea change and although the down side is leaving family and friends there are many more positives. Apparently there is a great dumpling place in Fortitude Valley but you would have to come to Brisbane and visit with me to experience that! Have a great week!

    1. Visiting you would be such a hardship…not! It’s the best of both worlds isn’t it – with Brissie just an hour or so away.

  4. It sounds like you made a very good seachange. I love the Sunshine Coast and could move there any day, except I have family here and maybe some grandchildren soon on the Gold Coast. We’re actually doing the seachange thing to Kingscliff, just over the border into NSW sometime this year. I hope you eventually find some good dumplings!

    1. Lol re the shoes…When I have serious cravings there’s always a day trip to Brisbane or a work trip to Sydney or Melbourne 🙂 The BEST dumplings are in Melbourne…

    1. That’s pretty much how it works – either a day trip to Brisbane or a work trip to Sydney or Melbourne 🙂 The BEST dumplings are in Melbourne

    1. It’s funny, but it’s something we were forced by circumstances to do much earlier than we’d planned & as it has turned out, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect…as these things often are in hindsight

  5. sounds li8ke your sea change has agreed with you. I can’t imagine moving from here as my son and his family live close by, but I do hanker for a simpler life in a small country or seaside town. Enjoy your seas change and have a fabulous weekend ahead. I am joining you today from the Lovin’ Life linky.

    1. To be honest, although we always said we’d come here, I’m not sure I would have embraced it as well if our daughter didn’t come – which she did. For that reason, as much as the timing was forced on us by a job loss, it couldn’t have been more perfect.

  6. I am another ‘import’ but currently living in Brisbane, but when the time is right, hopefully soon I will be moving up to the Sunshine Coast. Such a beautiful spot and my parents retired to Perigien Springs, so being a bit closer to them will be nice.

  7. Oh I love this and that you’re loving being at the Sunny Coast. Hervey Bay is similar in many ways: lots of people are from elsewhere; and it’s very casual.

    Like you I don’t regret my seachange at all. Other than friends and perhaps the odd restaurant or two there’s little I miss about the city.

    I think it’s great you’ve done so much exploring and settled in well. I know people who make little effort and moan for years about not fitting in etc… xx

  8. So pleased to hear you love where you live and the move has been a positive one. We relocated from Sydney 27 years ago and have absolutely no regrets. For the first few years, we missed a few things, but we’ve long forgotten about them and we can get a fix of most things during a return visit 🙂

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