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A friend recently said how much she had enjoyed my First Friday series when I was selling my property and moving on to a new life, and the changes and challenges that presented. She also said that it gave her an insight into my life and doings AND “why not start it up again”? The last “First Friday – Change & Challenge” can be seen here

My new town, great coffee shops.

My new town, great coffee shops.

Move forward a year and here I am settled into a small retirement village on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. A huge change from 600+ acres of Australian bush with the nearest neighbours over 1.5km (one mile) away. After 15 years restoring and regenerating my property it was time to move as arthritis in my hands and ankle were becoming more troublesome. I do still miss the walk from the house to the front gate every morning at or before dawn. There is nothing quite like walking in the Australian bush at day break.

The Glasshouse Mountains are close by

The Glasshouse Mountains are close by

It took me nearly 4 months to settle into retirement village life which meant Flair, my dog, didn’t settle either. Moving interstate in Australia has it’s pluses and minuses. The number of items to be changed from addresses for businesses and government, to registering the dog, to a complete change of car, trailer and caravan registration and then finding new doctor, optometrist and dentist. It all takes time and not a little frustration. New people, rules! and a new town to learn. Now I’m happily relocated and settled with a happy dog. The trick I found, was to take off with my little caravan (called The Little House), drive and stop where I liked the look of a place for a few days. I just need to get away by myself at times. The ease of leaving my new home knowing it will be looked after and maintained in my absence is a great relief and one of the biggest pluses for moving.

Gardners Falls are close by as are numerous other waterfalls, most much larger than this.

Gardeners’ Falls are close by as are numerous other waterfalls, most much larger than this.

Life is for living, and I feel most alive when travelling, whether overseas or in The Little House to a local lake or beach. I managed quite a few trips away this year. Early in the year I managed 4 short trips away before a three week trip to Russia in April/May. Late May to early July (six weeks) saw me travel to Melbourne via the inland route through Qld., NSW and Vic and then back home via the east coast of the same States. Very cold as it was mid winter here but the caravan parks were nearly empty of people as were the beaches. Flair and I had a wonderful, if cold time.

Sand on her nose, Flair loves the beach.

Sand on her nose, Flair loves the beach.

July/Aug I had two weeks at a photography workshop in SW Rocks ( a coastal town) and late Sept into Oct I had two weeks in the Greek Islands, Santorini and Mykonos. AND I’m just back (30 Oct) from a week in New Zealand ( only a 4 hour flight away). So, much travelling with and without Flair and I hope to continue doing so while I am still fit and able.

My travel will slow down from now until March 2019 as these are our hottest months and also our long school break when everyone who can, holidays on the coast somewhere. A chaotic time with so many people holidaying and moving around. Though, if the weather is good I’ll probably spend some time in Nov. sussing out the beaches about 3 hours north of here for future adventures. Having moved States I now have vast new areas of country to explore that I know nothing about and Nov. is generally fairly quiet while school and tertiary exams are held. And not TOO hot!

Sunset across the hills from my new home.

Sunset across the hills from my new home.

I’ll be back the first Friday in December with another account of what I’ve done and what I may do in the future. Any comments are welcome as are any suggestions of places to travel both in Australia and overseas. You may, if you’ve followed this Blog for a while, realise I don’t do big cities or the normal tourist sights, unless on an organised photo tour! I much prefer the beaches, the bush and natural places.

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