We received our Citizenship in May 2019 after waiting for nearly 18 months from application. It was a marvellous and surreal experience and I felt extremely grateful and blessed to have been given the honour of citizenship. In July 2019 we made a very quick decision to do a major move to the Blue Mountains (about an hour out of Sydney's outer suburbs). We have family here, and my son was struggling with bullies in his school. We also were squeezed tight into our little townhouse with our surprise edition Aussie baby...so we needed to upgrade. Of course property prices in Sydney are ridiculous and we just could not get past paying so much for a complete reno project - for which we did not have time or money.
So one night we just decided, let's just start fresh. Move further from the city, more country life, more space, less traffic, better house for your buck and closer to our family. 3 weeks later we were living in Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains ( once you have moved continents, moving towns is hardly a decision haha). In those 3 weeks we packed up the house, found the perfect rental almost next door to our family! Perfect house with a pool and a big garden and oodles of space. We put our townhouse on the market and finished the last few reno bits and pieces to get it ready to sell. Signed up the kids for their new school and wham bam...we were living in the blue mountains.
I never thought I would want to move away from the beach, however...I have hardly had time to miss it being spoilt with the most incredible mountain and canyon bushwalks. It has had an immense impact on our stress levels and our children and our life as a whole to have more space, more outside time, more nature. The school is a third of the size of the old school but it about 5 times bigger as far as land and playground goes. The children are very happy there and I have found it to be such a different vibe in a "country" school as opposed to a suburban city school.
Of course the Fires in NSW were one of the unprecedented events in the last few months, and I have never been so stressed since moving to Australia. Having just moved to the mountains, and not being from Australia from birth...bushfires are not just part of life for us. A bushfire plan is not something we have ever had to have. So it has been a baptism of fire so to speak. Our rental is in a "vegetation buffer" for the Blue Mountains National park. Which means, fire at our doorstep would be really bad. I was so grateful that we don't own this house....because worrying about losing your home that you own is different and not something I wish to experience. It was a terrible terrible thing that happened to the bush, the animals, the people, the businesses...in the mountains we are all still recovering after such a lengthly period of stress. Followed shortly by the floods which smashed what was left of the National Parks and ruined walks that were still open after the fires.
And then just as we started to come out of that...Coronavirus arrived.
Here and now daily life feels like a movie that is playing out in real life. It seems unimaginable that something could hit so fast and so quickly. It is such a shocking realization of how quickly life as you know it can change. As business owners, we along with many millions of Australians are in a precarious position with the threat of lockdowns and recessions etc. It really has brought into the light what the priority should be and what we have control of...and what we do not have control over.
The sun continues to rise and set, the world continues to turn. One way or another this too shall pass and lessons shall be learnt.
We are doing everything we can to protect the vulnerable and compromised as per the government guidelines, to protect our employees and our family and to make the best decisions with the information available.
I am grateful that we are not living through a war with the threat of bombs dropping on our heads, violent bloody death and uncertainty and rationing going on for years and years. The things people went through and continue to go through in war torn countries, we can't begin to think that this is the greatest challenge we will face. It has been worse in the past and life went on. So ultimately, we are doing our best to remain calm and circumspect under the circumstances.
Thoughts and prayers are with you all as we all worldwide navigate through this newest of challenges.