Before I start my splurge about how youthful I feel, I’d like to acknowledge that I am aware that I’m not ancient but I’m not in my twenties either. I am at the tail end of my thirties (yikes) and heading fast towards full-blown, no getting around it, ‘middle age’. Urgh – middle age! I don’t even like saying that term. But in the last few years, I can only explain my new-found enthusiasm and outgoing attitude towards life as either the sign of a mid-life crisis (laughs but totally serious) or a symptom of my amazing life down under. I really don’t mind what it’s a result of. What’s important here is how I feel, and it’s really damn good. So how has Australia helped to invigorate a sense of youthfulness in me? Here’s what I put it down to…
I moved to an area that is all about lifestyle, not about how much you earn or what car you drive. It’s an area that breeds creativity and entrepreneurialism, and so I’m surrounded by people who are building lives that revolve around their passions and purpose. I know that sounds cliché but it’s actually happening here – people aren’t just talking about it. I have friends who are doing epic things in the world, and their determination and drive is absolutely infectious. For example, one friend of mine has recently become a stunt woman at the age of 40 and now stars on film sets with some of Australia’s most well-known actresses. Another has set up the most inspiring charity that is providing safe and loving homes for children who have been sexually abused in Kenya, and whose lives are at risk from their perpetrators. These women are nothing short of amazing. Multiply them by a hundred and these are the kinds of people I’m surrounded by every day. It’s hard to not see that anything is possible when people like this are achieving so much from a small surf town on the east coast of Australia. These aren’t people who are saying ‘I wish I could’, they are people saying ‘I will’ and not letting any obstacles or challenges stand in the way; not money, not personal circumstance, not politics, and certainly not people. They just know what they want to achieve, and they are going hell to leather to get there.
The sun shines most days (except for today – it’s grey and miserable right now and reminds me why I left England). But in all seriousness, I’ve never seen so many blue skies since living here. When the sun shines on your skin your body makes vitamin D, and this lovely vitamin helps you both physically and mentally. Without a doubt the sunshine has improved my health. I am very rarely ill (or sick as they say in OZ), and when I am, the sunshine always seems to perk me up. I’m no longer hiding in a pub with a log fire, as nice as that is, but I’m outside making the most of life (usually followed by a wine or cocktail of course).
I live in a rural surf town. The beaches are pristine, the water turquoise, and the sand as white as can be. The sunrise and sunsets most days are pretty spectacular. The cliff tops provide panoramic views as the whales migrate each year and the inquisitive dolphins say hello on a daily basis. It’s hard to not be outside to witness all of this. Getting out of the house keeps us engaged with the world, and generally on the move. Just seeing these amazing sights each day fills me with happiness and gratitude – plus, these things are free! I don’t need to go and spend money to feel satisfied.
Being outdoors so much means two things: 1. I’m getting involved in outdoor sports and activities more frequently; and 2. I’m wearing a bikini or swimsuit a lot more than ever before. Number 1 helps me to keep fit, and number 2 provides a pretty good reason to at least try and stay in shape. I love feeling fit and active. Again, it is such a great way to stay mentally and physically fit, two things that I have come to realise are essential for a happy existence. In England, it felt as if people were continuously talking about being on a diet. Here I find the emphasis is on becoming strong and fit. It’s so refreshing and really positive for younger generations to witness.
Ever since arriving in Australia I have felt welcomed by people in the community. We are often with friends at the weekend, watching the kids go wild in the pool, whilst we enjoy great food, wine, and company. But it goes beyond this. I’ve noticed that in my business life too, people are very open and welcoming of new people and new ideas. It’s meant that I’ve been able to grow two businesses and work with some really talented and experienced people. Back in the UK it felt like it was all about who you knew. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of that out here, and I certainly take advantage of it myself. But to be able to pitch to international clients after only a year of being self-employed, I knew that this country was one that would help me to build both a personal and work life that would never get boring. People here welcome the new and it’s made life pretty exciting.
Back when I was a teenager I was heavily involved in sailing and windsurfing. But after taking a break from it whilst at University, I found myself struggling to get back into things. The girl I sailed with went on to win two Olympic gold medals, and ego got the better of me. I didn’t want to do it for fun, so I just stopped (what an idiot)! However, all these years later and I’m finally back into sailing and I’m looking forward to getting back on a windsurfing board shortly. Again, I’ve been welcomed onto a boat and am now going to sailing events such as Hamilton Island Race Week in the beautiful Whitsundays. I’ve even been asked to do the Sydney to Hobart race, although I’m just sussing out whether or not I’m brave enough. I think so many of us leave our passions from our youth behind, but why not pick them up again? It fills my cup each weekend and I haven’t felt this happy and excited about life in years. It’s another great reason to stay fit too. I want to get back into sailing and eventually competing, so I’m throwing myself into everything, sailing any kind of boat I can and going to the gym simply to help me improve.
I feel like I have a whole new life ahead of me. I feel fulfilled and excited about the future. It’s important to remember that we are all responsible for our own happiness. It is not the responsibility of our partners, wives, husbands, friends or children to make us feel this way. We have to take ownership of that task ourselves. By creating our own happiness we can give so much more to those around us. Coming to Australia has opened my eyes to many things, and the main one being to make the most of every single second we have on this planet. So, get planning on how you can do the same. Make sure you sign up for more tips on moving to Australia and be sure to share this article with your friends and loved ones…
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Welcome along. I’m Clare, Founder of Take Me To Australia. Having moved to Australia six years ago, I made it my mission to learn more about this epic country we now call home. As we travel across the country to unique destinations, we share with fresh eyes the most extraordinary places we are lucky enough to experience. We aim to inspire others to follow in our footsteps, live their absolute best life, explore what Australia has to offer, and even encourage people further afield to make a similar move. We’ve grown a like-minded community of over 120,000 people. Be sure to join them by signing up to receive all the latest inspo, and connecting with us on Instagram and Facebook. See you soon.