I’ve lived in Perth, the capital of Western Australia, for just over three years. This city has been entirely generous to me and I can’t quite believe that in just one week I’ll be saying my farewells, jumping in the car with Andrew, driving the 4000-ish kms across Australia and leaving Perth.
I have moments of thinking I’m crazy for wanting to go! Perth is a paradise in so many ways: an easy stroll to the most beautiful coastline in Australia, lush green parks and tall Norfolk Island pine trees that line the wide, hot streets. Actually, the ‘green’ surprised me the most when I arrived here four years ago! Plonked in a sea of desert, at the edge of the Indian Ocean, Perth stretches out before you, a never-ending horizon. That first trip (and the second trip) were just to visit; it was the third time that my feet touched Western Australian soil that Perth became ‘home’.
I’ve had a really, really good few years here.
I’ve also lived through the most awful hours of my life in Perth; days that I wonder if I could withstand again, if I had to. It’s only when we drive past the hospital that I remember why Perth became home in the first place. Grief is a funny and fluid thing. Perth has shown me that pain and pleasure are equal teachers.
As new homes often promise, I truly started afresh in Perth. I stopped binge drinking and trashing my body. I built my business. I returned to study. I’ve formed friendships here that will last forever. I became a fur Mama and a yogini and not only did I fall in love with Andrew, but I fell in love with myself! After years and years of self-criticism and body / weight / food obsession, I am leaving this city with a deep sense of respect and love for the skin I am in and the soul that I am.
I learnt how it feels to be truly expansive here. To do things my way, to do what I love, and to not apologise for that. I learnt how to create a life that is an expression of my soul, of who I am and what I really want.
I have adored living within walking distance to Cottesloe and a swift six-minute train trip to Fremantle Station. I am always glued to the train’s window as we glide over the bridge, the shimmering blue of the ocean, the dark orange cranes of the dock. Perth is stunning, in every sense of the word. I’ve never seen sky quite as big or quite as blue.
Why am I leaving?
For all the space and room to move here, I have felt an increasing sense of being ‘trapped’ in Perth over the past year. There is no city of comparable size anywhere in the world that is as remote as Perth. It is incredibly isolated. There’s no jumping in the car spontaneously to visit my family (really, it’s a 3 – 4 hours drive to get anywhere) and while the cheap flights to Bali have been a tasty highlight of living here (not to mention Perth is in the same time zone as Indonesia), I have often felt detached from the rest of Australia.
Even with my thrifty nature, Perth is also a very expensive city to live. I love eating out and this has definitely been something I have missed about Melbourne – cheap, delicious dinners and brunches! It’s difficult living here without a car and this has probably added to the ‘trapped’ sensation from time to time.
In hindsight, I’ve never quite put my roots down. I always knew that I was going to leave Perth. I didn’t bring all of my books, belongings or pieces of art from my walls. So much of my life is still in boxes, waiting for my return. I’ve already sold or given away the majority of what I’ve accumulated here too. Things just borrowed, for a little while. I like that.
But oh my, there are FAR MORE things that I will miss about this city! Mostly, the people – not being an 10-minute walk from my friend Em (and her beautiful family) in particular is going to prove tough – the female friendships I’ve formed here are GOLD. Goddesses!
Also, everyone seems to look at me with a little disbelief when I tell them I’m leaving the ocean. Being by the sea has changed my life. Every single time we drive over the rise near the Ocean Beach Hotel in Cott, I take in a big breath of awe as the wide, deep blue expanse of the sea greets us, glinting and glimmering in the hot sun. I’ve never seen anything like it! I’ll miss the salt water and the waves and the sunsets and the days when the ocean is clear and flat and that exquisite feeling of floating on the skin of the world, but you know… Missing things is OK. I lived the first 26 years of my life without the ocean close by. I’ll be alright. 🙂
I also love cities! And history! And language! And travel!
And I can’t shake this insatiable curiosity that I feel only Europe can quench at this point in my life. Oh yeah, have I mentioned that part yet? We’re moving to LONDON!! I want to know everything about everything and I can’t wait to jump on a train to Paris for the weekend or fly to Portugal or Prague or Berlin. Remember how I said I wanted to spend more time in Europe in 2016? Well, here we go…
I have always dreamt of living in another country and finally, the time feels really right.
I’m ready to stretch my wings, I’m thirsty for new and fresh experiences and adventures and to expand my concept of what is possible for my life. Living in London with my love feels exciting, a little scary and entirely awesome. Our current plan is to head home to NSW / Melbourne for a couple of months, spend time with family and friends and then make our way to the UK in late-April.
I’ll still be coaching and writing and blogging and hosting workshops and I can’t wait to share it all with you. I know my business will evolve with this transition and I’m really excited and curious about what that might look like!
Of course, there are a million reasons why we could stay in Perth and have a beautiful, lovely and fulfilling life. This part of the world is magic and I am sad to leave. Perth has been healing and encouraging. Space, sunshine, possibilities, friendships, love and growth. I have become more of myself here – all parts honoured – and felt free to be me.
But I am devoted to following my desires and curiosities. And right now, they’re pointing elsewhere. It’s difficult and dangerous to ignore our desires. I’m not interested in complacency or ‘settling’. While being here for the past few years has made all the difference to my life, whether it’s a way of being, a relationship, a job or a city, we must always know when it’s time to leave.
Perth – you hot, open, dry, spacious, BEAUTIFUL city – that time is now. Thank you for everything.
Let’s hear it in the comments – have you ever moved to another country? I’d love your tips / stories / advice! Are you in LONDON? Can we be friends?! 🙂 xo