Tag: treechanging

Treechanging Update also What The Fuck

Pursuant to my earlier post about my Treechange, here’s an update.

As I wrote that earlier post, it was the night before viewing a rather nice three bedroom place in the village of Harrietville, at the foot of Mount Hotham. As it turns out, I liked the place. I liked the place a lot. But I wasn’t the only applicant and as it turned out, they didn’t offer me the place.

So my search resumed, and I broadened my target territory somewhat to embrace towns like Beechworth and Myrtleford – neither were exactly where I wanted to be, but both had plenty going for them.

Then I circled back to a house I’d looked at previously and discounted. A four-bedroom new build in Porepunkah, 6km from the centre of Bright. At the time I figured it was too big, too pristine – I like eclectic places –¬†and a little too expensive.

Turns out on reflection it was worth extending the budget a little, because one Facetime call later, I’d inspected the place, seen the view from the master bedroom onto Mount Buffalo and decided I was having it.

So I’m moving. I’m officially moving.

That was about a week ago and it’s been a rollercoaster. I’m moving interstate on the 9th October and I’m leaving my mad bohemian warehouse conversion in Urban Sydney for a big block of land and quiet mountain roads in the Ovens Valley. I’m having semi-regular panic attacks about whether this is an utterly stupid idea, and occasionally going through¬†bouts of irrational grief over abandoning my home city of the last 17 years, my house of the last two years, all the trappings of the pampered Inner West lifestyle and all my friends and family.

Some of the fear is healthy, some is definitely not. Either way, this will be an adventure. Which kind of adventure remains to be seen. Most of all, it hasn’t yet solidified into a reality for me. It all seems a bit of a surreal thing that’s happening to someone else. The day I drive away in a truck with all my belongings packed might be a different thing.

More to come later…

Go South, Old Man

So anyway, here I sit, in the taproom of the Bright Brewery in the town of the same name, Bright, in High Country Victoria, miles from anything of consequence to the sophisticated digerati of Old Sydney Town.

Bright, in winter, is a ski town. Just round the corner there are a bunch of skifields – Hotham/Dinner Plain and Falls Creek being the main suspects. In summer, the place is packed with food and wine tourists, cyclists, paragliders and other sundry fly-bys. The town, in large part, lives on the leisure dollar and is in fine fettle for it. We’re at the end of ski time right now, and approaching the great influx of mountain bikers and their ilk.

So, aside from being a gentleman of leisure, why am I, of all people, here?

Well, it’s like this. Sydney is not really pushing my buttons any more. Which is to say it is pushing my buttons, but in the wrong order, and with a surliness that borders on aggression.

Some time ago I declared an ambition to move away from Sydney’s bright lights and instead buy a place in the country, where I could become a hermit and just ride my bike all day. At the time, this seemed like an absurd idea. I’m a software engineer. A shambolic software engineer but one nonetheless. There are no jobs in small country towns for software engineers. And so it remained a pipedream. A touchstone with which to keep myself sane. Don’t let it get to you I’d tell myself. Soon you’ll be able to buy a small boutique hotel in the countryside from which you’ll be able to conduct cycling tours and write increasingly irrelevant blog posts about stuff like firewood and feral deer control and growing chillies in a cold climate and rescuing idiots who can’t install snow chains.

And then I got a job – and absolute corker of a job – at a company that embraces the concept of remote working.

Wait what?

Yes, my current job, within some constraints of sanity, lets us work from wherever we happen to be right now, as long as:

a) We get the things done we’re meant to do
b) we’re contactable over the usual channels and
c) We can travel to a major city hub in a reasonable manner and
d) we’re not manning an Antarctic research station or a lighthouse in the Sunda Strait or in a capsule bound for Mars or anything crazy like that.

So now I can move to the country

And so, we return to the taproom of the Bright Brewery, Ovens Valley, High Country Victoria.

I’m here to look at a house.

It’s a rental. I’m not buying – yet. I’m heading down for probably a year, to see if I can cope with it. As a man who has chucked his toys out of the pram during a weekend in the country because he couldn’t find his favoured crossword, I am treating this with due caution. I may go insane, I may love it, I may find it workable yet insufficiently stimulating. Either way, this is what I’m doing and this is the first blog post in hopefully a series of blog posts outlining how this project goes. I might even do a mini podcast. A treecast, if you will, documenting the process of shifting a long-term city dweller to a small country town in Victoria.

Who knows, it may even be fun.