Oh, right. Why Tasmania? I guess I didn’t actually mention that in my first post, even after giving it that title. I’ll explain my reasons—there are a lot of them, and some have more weight than others, but they’re all important enough to mention.
I think it’s probably a good idea to have a lot of reasons, or at least a couple of pretty big reasons, before you do something huge like move to the other end of the country, away from all your friends and basically the entire life you’ve known. I’m a couple of months shy of turning 29 (I’m not afraid so don’t sass me) and up until a week ago, I’d only ever lived in Queensland. A born and bred northerner, I was born in Emerald (don’t remember that bit), spent a couple of years in Longreach (don’t remember those), went from there to Browns Plains (memory kicks in around here), to Beaudesert, to Rockhampton, back to Beaudesert, and then into Brisbane not long after I turned 18. I’ve spent the last ten years jumping around the suburbs of Brisbane, with a number of interstate travels for work and play, and a couple of big play trips overseas, but nothing permanent. Because change is scary.
But sometimes scary is good.
It had probably been building subconsciously for a while, but I still remember the moment I thought, “I’m going to move to Hobart”. From that moment, it was a done deal. I’d been to Tasmania in the winter of 2011 for a holiday, but even back then, my friend and I declared that Tasmania would be somewhere perfect to retire. It wasn’t until that moment earlier this year that I realised I didn’t need to wait until retirement; Tasmania was perfect for me right now.
And with that… here are my answers to “Why Tasmania?”.
Current temp: 12.3°, apparent temp: 8.8°
That is literally the temperature in Hobart as I type this post. The sun’s almost set but it hasn’t been much hotter than that all day. I hear Brisbane’s been enjoying 30°+ weather for the past few days. I’m sorry, this is a very un-Queenslanderish thing to say but I HATE THE HEAT. And you know what they say, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the sunshine state.
What? You guys haven’t met?
Eventually everyone you know in Brisbane knows everyone else in Brisbane. It’s this buzzing hive of relationships where the girl you befriended at a gig went to school with the guy who works at the awesome Italian cafe in the city with a guy who gives your best friend healthy discounts because for a while he was going there so often that he became friends with the staff. This is actually a true story of mine, except that I don’t think Hamish was working at Verve when I first met Kylie. It was still a nice surprise to see him there. Whatever. I got to the point where I felt a bit like I’d met everyone I needed to meet in Brisbane.
Stuck in a professional rut.
I spent almost nine years working in a corporate environment for a company I wasn’t really passionate about, because I was scared of change. I (officially) worked three different jobs there. I didn’t love any of them. Of the three of them, I probably overall enjoyed the first one the most, but you can’t really move backwards or you’d be a dummy. I met a number of wonderful people there and I was given some great opportunities in the context of that company but I went through so many ups and downs over the years that I had to face reality and accept that it wasn’t where I wanted to be for the rest of my life. I couldn’t have just quit my job (or had my role made redundant) and stayed in Brisbane, because I might have ended up back there within a year. I knew so much about that department that if I couldn’t answer someone’s question, at the least I’d know who to ask to get the answer. I was like a walking encyclopaedia for it and yet I didn’t really have much passion for it at all. So I had to get away and keep going.
For years I’d actually wanted to move to Melbourne. Just like everyone else from Brisbane, right? One of my best friends and I used to talk about it when we were still in high school, even. Melbourne is beautiful, it’s electric, it’s alive, and it doesn’t have Brisbane’s stinking humidity. But by the time I was finally ready to jump, my priorities had changed. I didn’t want somewhere even busier than Brisbane. I’ll admit it: I was tired. I suffered from FOMO—”fear of missing out”—so I went to everything I could with everyone I knew and I found it really hard to say no to any event big or small, and on the odd occasions when I did say no, I was bummed out. So I’ve moved down here to give myself a break—I took myself right out of Brisbane’s equation.
A me-sized roof over just my head.
One of the things that was on my Must Have list was affordable solo living only a short distance from the city. It’s not really possible in Brisbane and it’s even less possible in Melbourne, but somewhere it is possible? Hobart. Plus, when I first saw Hobart’s buildings in person a bit more than a year ago, a lot of them reminded me of Melbourne—even if I was no longer interested in Melbourne’s pace, I was still in love with its architecture. To be honest, I’ve only been here for just over a week now and I have to admit I was a bit wrong. Melbourne has its own architectural vibe, and so does Hobart. And I love it. You should see my new rental property. Actually, you will—eventually. In a few posts, maybe.
Look around you. Just look around you.
Good grief, you guys, have you even seen the views around this end of the world? I can’t stop grinning. Hobart is hugged by glorious mountains and as it’s spring now, everything is so ridiculously green. I love cloudgazing and the sky is always full of them. I somehow amazingly managed to score a rental property with a beautiful view out over Hobart. Mt Wellington’s behind me and I can’t see it with Knocklofty in the way but it doesn’t even matter, I can walk twenty minutes down to Salamanca and get the tourist view, or heck—I could just drive up if I want. (I haven’t done that yet; I’m excited to.) It’s not even just Hobart; this whole island is stunning. I hope I don’t ever lose the joy I have found in just looking out a window.
Gate to plate = great.
I really love food. Drinking is also something I enjoy. Do you know what they do well in Tasmania? Producing a lot of food and drink. I knew about the seafood (if you’ve ever eaten salmon in Australia there’s a very high chance it’s come from Tasmania) and the wine (I wish I had more of a taste for Pinot noir) and the cheese (just you wait for the cheese post on here), but there is so much going on down here, and so much that Tasmanians are proud of. There are farmers markets coming out the wazoo, stocked full of fresh fruit and vegetables. Did you know there are about as many different types of potato as there are types of apple down here? I haven’t bought any potatoes yet because I am a little overwhelmed by the selection. THAT IS A TRUE FACT. The range of fresh food down here is also helping me to resist buying Big Brand offerings, which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. All part of the change. Speaking of change…
It was the right time for a big adventure. I was terrified, for sure, but things kept just weirdly falling into place. Some of it took a fair amount of determination but it was a bit like a snowball—the more things added to the Tasmania pile, the more determined I was to succeed. Then there’s that stupid quote that everyone loves, “I do not regret the things I’ve done, but those I did not do”. Or not, because that direct quote is actually from Empire Records, but that’s the general feeling of it. I had to do this, or I would have lived to regret it, and that’s no way to live.
And that’s it.
That’s it, in a nutshell. Maybe a coconut shell, because I think that’s the biggest kind of nut you can get. (I know it’s a fruit, shut up.) I think that’s it, anyway. Every time I go to finish off this post I think of another one of the reasons I’ve given someone. I think I may have finally gotten to the bottom of it, though.
Oh, and of course there’s the fact that I’m adding another last name to the phone directory, AMIRITE? (I’m sorry, Tasmania, but some state stigmas die hard.)