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Today we’re very excited to kickstart the first of our guest post, where we will hear how people from all over the world live and what a beautiful life means to them. This first guest post is by Chloe, who is my little sister. I love how she writes, and having moved to Australia almost four years ago, her post was a perfect match for our series. Enjoy!
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To love where you live… It has been over three years since my lovely husband and I moved to Australia. Three years!!! The reasons for the move are complex in some ways, but mainly, Mark and I like to give life a go without overthinking it. So when he started looking at work opportunities all over the world, I knew we’d make the adventure happen wherever it took us.
It all started with a series of unfortunate events that led my lovely husband to find a PHD scholarship in a magical place called “the Sunshine Coast”. We had never heard of or seen the place, but if you’re going to be bold enough to name somewhere after the sun, then you’ve gotta be pretty confident that it’ll deliver right?! Fast forward a couple of weeks, application sent, interview done, and here lands an offer for Mark to go do a three year PHD down under, complete with scholarship and three year visa. Obviously he accepted . And obviously, I was going with him.
I can’t say there was much planning involved to be honest, we sold everything we owned (and it wasn’t much), googled Sunshine Coast to have a rough idea where it was, bought plane tickets, packed a suitcase each and three months later: we were there!
Was it easy? Nope!!! When I landed in Australia, the overwhelming feeling was emptiness. I had left behind a career that was going well and had no job prospects, I had left friends behind and didn’t know anyone yet, we were in the weirdest share home, I had no income, and I had left behind my family that is intrinsically part of who I am. I cried a lot, and the tears would harden when I thought about my niece and nephew growing up so quickly. For a while, I lost my identity- without my family, my friends and my work…who was I? I remember dropping CVs everywhere, and tearing up when a café owner looked me up and down and said “I don’t take travellers”.
After three months of sitting in McDonald’s for free wifi to send job applications in the morning and after crying in front of the biggest loser in the afternoon (the irony wasn’t lost on me), I got a job!!! And a good job too. A job that is similar to what I was doing in the UK! With the job came a car and an income, and a bit more freedom. And so began our adventures. We started exploring the Sunshine Coast, and our love affair began.
The plan had been simple, Mark would do his PhD while I would pick up any work I could find and enjoy the journey. Then we would come back home, I would finish my qualifications to become a clinical psychologist and we would have babies. But there is a reason I don’t like to plan things: they never turn out how you expect them to. It is over three years since we moved to the Sunshine Coast and it has taken our hearts.
We are living a life we had dreamt of, full of adventures, exploring and playing outside. Mark and I both love being active, and love the outdoors. Since moving out here our dependence on technologies and things has lessened, preferring instead to go out for a walk, watch out for wildlife and marine life. Australian fauna and flora hasn’t fully bowed down to humans and it is incredibly humbling when you can be amongst it and appreciate it. Other worries appear trivial. Out here it is easy to get lost in nature, with no phone signal. It forces us to slow down and reconnect. It reminds me of my childhood growing up in the French alps in small communities, and I love it.
Over those small three years, we have met friends who share our lifestyle and plenty of people who moved to the Sunshine Coast and stayed there for the same reasons as us. To appreciate it and enjoy it. Yes we miss our families and friends, heart wrenchingly so. Sometimes I think it would be enough to make me want to move back.
Then I remember all the time I spent daydreaming of beautiful beaches, of running on challenging but stunning trails, of living a simpler life in the sun. They say you should live a life you don’t need a holiday from, and three years in, I think I am living it.
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So there we are, we went to visit Chloe & Mark for our honeymoon, back in 2015 and it was absolutely clear that they truly are living a beautiful life. Have you been to the Sunshine Coast before?
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Chloe lives in the Sunshine Coast, Australia, with her husband Mark and her two fur babies: Sammy & Harry (and a few huntsmen spiders which apparently don’t count as pets!). Chloe famously started running when her now husband asked her to go running with him early on in their relationship, promising her dinner in exchange. This worked and many years later she now runs 50km trails in the jungle for fun! She loves good coffee, her cats and the whales she gets to see along the Sunshine Coast.
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