Since moving up north in January, I have to admit that I had mixed feelings about the prospect of this being our new home. Well, at least for the next few years. While I’ve never thought of myself as someone who gets homesick, I have definitely felt that way in recent times. It hasn’t been so much as an overwhelming feeling, rather, a more subtle one. In fact, most of the times I have felt truly homesick it has been late at night when I’ve been overthinking instead of sleeping.
As the months have passed though, I can happily say that I’m finally starting to enjoy living here. The reality of service life is; you will move, you won’t necessarily have a huge choice on where and you may not like it. That’s what I’ve always known so I have made a conscious effort to have an optimistic attitude towards those facts. I would never choose to live in Townsville, if not by force, so having the opportunity to live in a remote part of Australia – with lots of quintessentially Australian features like snakes, cane toads and large bugs – is one I am continually trying to enjoy.
Something I didn’t fully consider when we first moved here is how differently I would feel about Townsville after having a baby. When we first arrived I was mid-way through my pregnancy, my career as a visual merchandiser was effectively over and I was very, very hot. After Evelyn was born it took me a while to adjust back to normal – or should I say my new normal – but I never put any pressure on myself to speed up this process. I think that’s a big part of why I am feeling so comfortable with where I’m at now, I allowed myself as much time as possible to settle into my new role as a mum. As a result, I had ample time to really settle into Townsville life, without even realising it.
Starting a family in Townsville has been great, the weather is certainly a lot more manageable when it comes to last-minute outfit changes (for Evie, not me) and there are so many child-friendly activities and amenities available. As much as I miss the chilliness of Victoria, I am starting to understand the benefits of living in a warm climate. But man that sun is burning hot. My skin definitely has a lot more colour now but it’s a fine line between sunkissed and skin cancer in Townsville. Slip, slop, slap, people, that’s the best advice I can give you if you’re planning on moving up north.
After being here for nearly 12 months, it’s nice that we have already made so many new friends. We have met a lot of families and couples through our church but I have also enjoyed getting to know Jordan’s workmates and partners. We have a BBQ crew, which is essential for Queensland living and have been blessed to have met some really kind and caring people. I have got a great support network of mums which has really been really helpful as well as some lovely girlfriends. In addition to this, as a result of moving, I have actually found that I have grown closer to my friends and family back home. Long phone conversations with old friends while I take Evie out for a walk is now one of my new favourite pastimes. It just goes to show that distance really doesn’t have a hold over strong relationships, which has been warming to my heart.
Speaking of strolls, The Strand is somewhere I find myself strolling quite often. Ok, so I know the beaches here aren’t quite as pristine as Torquay (you can only swim here for a few months of the year) but it is nice to look at! I love coming down to the waterfront with friends for a walk, a coffee or both. It’s nice to live so close to everything in Townsville and parking isn’t really ever an issue, which is a real treat. Coming from 1-2 hour commutes back home, it has been a nice change not having to deal with traffic here.
As for our home, I have really nested here. I always enjoyed cooking but obviously have a lot more time to experiment with it now which has been fun. I’ve also been coming up with different ways to style and organise our house and am always thinking of ways to make it feel more our own.
Our days usually end with a family evening stroll through the ‘burbs, it’s part of our routine and a nice way to unwind from the day. The simplicity of it only adds to the settled feeling I now have, it’s something we’ve done since we moved here and something I hope we can continue doing for years to come.
Life up north ain’t so bad at all!