Before the Sea-change I was living in Auckland with my 16yo daughter, a rabbit and a ginger cat. We were over two years into a semi-lockdown type life. We both have a range of medical conditions putting us at higher risk of long-Covid. The Covid consequences, especially for my daughters for whom everyday life is already a huge struggle, would be rough.
As much as contact with others, we were missing adventure and were certainly not about to risk international travel. Our ground hog life, was better than many and in ways we were happy enough. But, something was missing. Something that was in both our values circumplexes, something a Covid world made difficult to obtain.
Why are we here?
Come early Autumn 2022 our stunning Pohutakawa tree was removed by the neighbours for health and safety reasons. We went and sat on our balcony surveying our once private view, more than a little heartbroken. Listening to the silence, that was once filled with the Tuis’ chatter. Then it occurred to us, why are we here?
My work was increasingly online, especially coaching and my daughter was schooling online for her health.
So then, what about a life that was slower, with lower expenses (heck maybe even mortgage free)?
What about working smarter but less?
What about freedom? (another of my core values).
We jumped online and entered a search of half a million (New Zealand Dollars) for a 3 bed house, laughing as surely this didn’t really exist (FYI NZ house prices are insane). But it did exist, not in many places, not even in some very remote ones. There was one thrilling anomaly, one place prices were out of sink with the rest of the country, despite a property boom happening and that place was Dunedin (Ōtepoti). Dunedin is a small city, that was modelled on Edinburgh towards the bottom of the South Island of NZ. Dunedin has lovely architecture, amazing wildlife (penguins, seals etc) and lovely cold weather (cold is better for our health).
Love and third site
I had only been twice to Dunedin and seen little more than the inside of a student flat and the Mitre10 store (where I ran a workshop). We flew down, fell in love and on our second trip bought a humble but tidy 1950s ex state house, with views to die for (see featured image this is taken from my office), all day sun, double glazing and a large (virgin) garden.
And here we are, our new life, our very own Sea Change, full of freedom and adventure. It’s not all plain sailing as we spent the first 8 weeks with bugs and a rabbit living in the laundry, we came knowing only one person, and replacing our team of health professionals isn’t ever easy. Hence, I am drawing on lots of the KAN PLAN content myself for the challenges.
I still feel like I am on an adventure, every day is something new to see and do. Meeting people is easier in a smaller place and watching the sun rise and set without leaving the house is really something. We have even been blessed twice with spring snow.
Sometimes we (humans) don’t notice or consider other options, we are stuck in the rinse and repeat. What we thought was a tragedy i.e. the removal of the tree, became our turning point for a different life, so far a much better life! Not because Auckland is horrible (it isn’t) but because we can create much more for much less here and a big change is thrilling. And as you see the Cat is #livinghisbestlife.
You can look around our new home town here https://www.dunedinnz.com/