After 31 years in Monbulk, Victoria and 41 years in the Hills of the beautiful Dandenong Ranges on Wurundjeri country it was time for a change.
I’d moved in to the house in Monbulk as a rental as part of a government funded Community Housing option, then had the chance to buy it 16 years later (2007). Having a steady secure place to reside and grow my family meant I felt more able to grow my Naturopathic practice as well.
It was a pleasant house – but not overly large. Plenty of garden, though a fair slope to manage around. I furthered my love for a permaculture style garden, growing and developing a myriad of herbal medicinal teas, testing out bush tucker foods, growing comfrey for compost, using and identifying the numerous ‘weeds’ and raising various types of chooks.
With John’s help we landscaped more efficiency and aesthetic on the 1/4 acre block, adding in plenty of local and Australian bird and insect attracting plants. I ran workshops to engage folk in the wonders of the home garden plant world as well as further afield in local bush and urban scapes to identify wild food plants.
But Monbulk is cold in winter and for much of the year and a LONG way from the seaside. AND I was running out of garden space! “NO MORE plants please that grow more than 50 cm high”, was the catch cry!
John and I decided a few years ago that it was time for a change – to somewhere warmer and MUCH closer to the ocean we both love. That decision was definitely reinforced by weeks without power after the 2021 storms.
We got ourselves a caravan and – just prior and in between COVID lockdowns – went hunting Australia’s eastern seaboard for a new community.
We found an area of Queensland – Hervey Bay, Badtjala country. It’s on the Fraser Coast opposite Fraser Island (now renamed K’gari). Some has been returned to the original custodians, the Badtjala people. Not only was the place beautiful – we also met some wonderful, helpful people there. Finding that place and those people reinforced that we really DID want to move.
Wow was moving a process!
Selling the Monbulk house, packing up, storing some stuff, letting other things go….
But we got through it one step at a time – and even found some house-sitting gigs near our new home so we weren’t caravan-bound indefinitely.
A journey northward
In August 2022 we left Melbourne and journeyed northward…
We took a predominantly coastal route, exploring along the way. Lots of beautiful beaches, lakes and especially sunsets.
We didn’t escape COVID
We got COVID on the journey north – VERY interesting when you’re in a caravan. At least we were far enough north that the weather wasn’t too cold.
Housesitting and exploring
So we got to our new home territory, and started learning how to live there. In between house sits, we explored our new region – and I’ve got a whole new set of plants and wildlife to learn about.
We found a new home – AND in time for Christmas, too. So a lot of our Christmas “break” was moving in and getting ready to start a new year in our new home.
New Year, New Beginning
So January is all about settling in and setting up – (and adapting to summer in our new, subtropical climate).
It’s a new beginning – and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2023 brings my way and what I may bring to her.
Learning, connecting, exploring and above all now is time to make time to BE! I’m allowing staring at passing clouds, watching the Willy Wagtails, listening to new frog and gecko chirps and the mandatory meditation/nap during the day’s heat.
One thing it’s brought me this week is Lillypilly Jam – because we’ve got a whole hedge full of trees.
Practicing in a new place and space
Clinic is setting up well here at our more spacious new home – one with 2 rooms to see people: one for Naturopathic Consultations, the other for Remedial Massage. It’s such a serene spot.
People are starting to make enquiries already – with some consults having been done ‘on the road’ in the caravan en route. It’s exciting…
I also still regularly do phone consults and some ZOOM consults with my Melbourne client base.
It’s depended on the state of connectivity which has been highly variable.
Reliable Internet is on our list of things to get sorted now that we’ve moved into our own place.