Imagine you could live in a place so beautiful that your heart would burst every time you step outside. Imagine a country of sunshine, of clean sandy beaches, of free opportunities.
I never thought a place like this would exist. I thought it would only be in my dreams. But in the end I did find it.
Ever since I arrived in Australia many, many years ago I loved living on the Northern Beaches in Sydney. The area might have its flaws, but there are certain traits here that are pretty unique in all of Sydney. The Northern Beaches are very family-friendly, feel less crowded than other parts along the coast, and the locals seem pretty much down to earth.
And the beaches you will find here are actually quite beautiful: Freshwater, Dee Why and Collaroy, Narrabeen, Whale Beach, Avalon. All of these and all the rest are just wonderful to look at, mostly free of ugly buildings that you will find elsewhere around Sydney, many of them with dunes and adjoining reserves.
If you love an outdoor lifestyle then Australia is the place to be.
Someone once said that Australians master the fine art of making public outdoor spaces as comfortable as possible. There are toilets, benches, playgrounds, barbecues, dog-friendly parks, jogging paths. The beaches are actually accessible with lots of parking, many picnic options, lookout points.
Since we don’t have the safest beaches on the planet, previous generations have built concrete rockpools nearby which allow safe swimming away from rips and dangerous sea critters. And these rockpools are free, in great condition, and actively used even in winter.
There is a lot to love about Australian beaches, and the beaches on the Northern Beaches in particular.
So you might be wondering why I am telling you all this.
I am dedicating this post to my newest place of residence, the suburb of Collaroy. We have recently moved here from our house in the suburbs, and are now renting an apartment right opposite the beach. As you can imagine, this is quite a change in our lifestyle.
Last Sunday we were treated to an exceptionally good winter’s day with warm temperatures and clear blue skies. So we took the kids out for a little exploration walk from Collaroy Beach to our most favourite beach, Long Reef.
We were not the only ones out and about: families were enjoying their picnics, surfers were getting their first surfing lessons, dog owners took their dogs for a walk.
The kids loved exploring their new neighbourhood. At Long Reef they literally rolled in the sand. They asked to come back next Sunday.
We are very happy about our decision to move away from the suburbs and closer to the beach. This lifestyle will be much healthier, not just physically but also mentally. I think you have to recognise that while travel does help bring happiness to your life, it does not fix everything. As I wrote earlier, it is important to take care of the base first before you can focus on the extras.
We have done that, and I am happy to announce that we have finally arrived.