Since the COVID-19 pandemic took our world by storm, it’s no wonder that more and more Australians are yearning for a simpler way of life. The desire to escape crowded city streets and bask in the wide open spaces, closer to nature, has sparked the remarkable trend of a tree change.
The recent housing affordability crisis has also made it more attractive to look for properties outside of major urban areas and capital cities. With lower prices, mortgage on rural properties often attract lower monthly repayments for bigger size premises.
Working from home has also been a major driver of tree-changes – or sea-changes, if you move to a coastal area. The possibility of being able to work anywhere with an internet connection has made the move a lot easier and people are increasingly taking advantage of this new type of freedom!
A tree change means packing up your city life and moving inland to a country town. This is to slow down the pace of life, completely immerse yourself in a tight-knit community and find a work-life balance that we all need. It also gives you the chance to reconnect with nature and lead a simpler life.
Let’s look into the captivating tree change, the advantages and possible drawbacks, as well as important considerations you need to take before making the change.
Who Can Make the Change?
In the past, a tree change was mostly known to be done by older people who want to retire. But, today, a tree change is the perfect option for just about everyone! Since the pandemic, remote and hybrid working has become the in-thing, so many are able to make the change to a rural community.
A tree change doesn’t only provide a sense of community and the great outdoors, it is also quite practical as the housing is often more affordable compared to capital cities or nearby areas, with much more air to breathe (quite literally!).
People who make the change usually include:
- Parents who want to raise their families in an open space
- Couples who want to settle down and start a family
- Those who want a change of scenery and looking for a new challenge
- Business owners who want a new business adventure and investment opportunities
- Those who make a sudden change in their career as they cannot make the current demands of their current job
- Entrepreneurs who want the freedom to travel, explore and work from anywhere
- People who want a small, intimate, and caring community
The Pros and Cons of a Tree Change
Let’s weigh out the pros and cons of doing a tree change.
- The great outdoors: This is one of the main attractions of moving to the countryside. People love the ability to integrate the natural environment into their lifestyle. Fresh air, wide open spaces, and breathtaking landscapes, the list goes on. This is refreshing compared to the congestion in bigger cities. The tree-change lifestyle also allows your children to connect with Mother Nature, which is important for growing kids.
- Affordable cost of living: A rural lifestyle provides a lower cost of living. Buying or renting a home in a regional area is cheaper than in bigger cities. Since the tree change lifestyle mostly focuses on the environment and has limited food, entertainment, and shops, saving money is easier.
- Relaxed feel and pace of life: City life is definitely draining and exhausting. There is always a constant source of noise and stimulation, making you stressed and anxious. A tree-change lifestyle gives you exactly what you need, though, a slow, calmer pace of life. You would be surrounded by the sounds of nature instead.
- You may feel isolated: Moving away from a place you know well feels isolating, which may be heightened when living remotely. You are away from people you know, and in a community you’re not used to. Sometimes, it can be hard to make friends and connect with others. This is also difficult to do if you work from home.
- Limited access to services: Living quite a distance from big cities can be an issue when you want to access some services. Education, retail, healthcare, entertainment, and some career prospects can be quite limited when making a tree change.
- Inconvenient: The bigger cities give us lots of conveniences you might miss when moving to a regional area. Things like sending and receiving mail get longer, food delivery and requesting rides are scarce, stores are not open until late at night, and general choices are limited.
How To Make a Successful Tree Change?
About 350 000 Australians a year talk about making a tree change, and 20% of that amount will actually make it happen. Of those who make it happen, 20% have regrets, but 80% are glad they made the change and wish they had done it sooner. So, how do you work out if a tree change is right for you and avoid being a part of the 20% with regrets?
Here are some tips!
Think About Your Location
Research and planning seem like a bore with this exciting change, but it is important to do. A major life change such as relocation needs the utmost planning and research, so you are 100% sure that it’s what you want to do.
Deciding which location you want to go to is hard work since there are so many beautiful options in Australia. Narrow your list down, and visit those neighbourhoods for yourself. In this way, you get to see and experience the vibe of the place, ensuring you make the right choice. This gives you a feel of the locals, how busy it gets and many more.
Lifestyle and Working
You have to also think about your lifestyle and working situation. Is remote working possible with your job? Will you earn enough to do what you need to do comfortably? Most importantly, will you still be happy and fulfilled? This is crucial in making a tree change, as regrets usually come from poor financial planning and underestimating the cost of your new lifestyle.
Another thing to consider is that moving to a regional town will often not provide the same comforts as city life. You have to be prepared to spend more for these comforts, or not have them at all.
Ask Yourself If This is What You Want
If you are moving alone, ask yourself if you are sure about it. If you have a family, have a long discussion about the move and get their opinions on the matter. Not only is this a major change in your lifestyle, it is also an emotional change.
Making a tree change means that you will be far away from your close friends and family, so you may feel scared to get to know new people. However, you have to overcome this fear and try to fit in with your new community. Even with remote work, you have to make the effort to go out and explore.
The Best Places to Make a Tree Change in Australia
Australia is filled with hidden countryside gems, which hold the key to a more fulfilling and balanced life.
Here are some attractive locations that you can make a tree change or sea change to:
- Yeppoon, Queensland
- Port Macquarie, New South Wales
- Mildura, Victoria
- Onkaparinga, South Australia
- Mandurah, Western Australia
- Mitchell Shire, Victoria
- Toowoomba, Queensland
- Townsville, Queensland
- Murray Bridge, South Australia
- Bundaberg Coast, Queensland
There’s a place for everyone in Australia!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a tree change and a sea change?
A tree change involves moving inland to live in an area by the mountains or in a country town, while a sea change is moving to a quieter and more relaxed coastal town by the sea. Both options mean you’re moving away from the business of city life.