What makes a thirty-something corporate executive and former consultant with one of the top international consulting firms decide one day to buy a working farm? Because that’s what happened to me two-and-a-half years ago. Almost out of the blue I got a burning desire to buy a plot of land, away from the hussle-n-bussle. My own little piece of dirt.
Was it a desire for more space? Maybe. A wish of escaping the suburban jungle? Sort of. A love of animals and the countryside? Definitely. Or the rubber band theory? Absolutely!
“The rubber band theory… w.t.f?” I hear you say. Well the rubber band theory is an idea I have, that humans are incredibly adaptable and resilient and they’re able to learn new skills and thrive in almost any environment. So much so, that many of us end with careers, partners, lifestyles and friends who we’ve adapted to over time without ever having set out to achieve that ending.
But I reckon it’s also possible that the older we get, or perhaps when we get tired and worn down, we yearn for the familiarity of our formative years or a comfortable existence that is where we truly “belong”. It’s like we work hard, play the politics, pay the mortgage and stay friends with all those people we should have let go of long ago. To a point. But after that tipping point, we snap back – like a rubber band – to what feels most comfortable, familiar or what really makes our heart dance.
Has that ever happened to you? Well, that’s what I call the rubber band theory. And it’s why I ended up buying a farm right smack bang in the middle of the worst drought in Australian history.
You see I grew up in a little country town on the coast of South Australia. In my home town, when you stand on the beach and look out to the ocean, the first thing you’d see – if the earth was flat and you could see that far – would be Antarctica. There’s nothing between Victor Harbour and Antarctica except the Southern Ocean. And it’s a peaceful and pretty place to grow up. But like most small country towns, the opportunities for young people and for careers are limited. So I left when I was 17 to go to University and begin a career in business.
Wind forward 15 years and I’m living in Sydney, happily married to a Sydney-sider, career running full steam ahead. But all of a sudden I felt the pull of the rubber band, dragging me back to my roots. And so, with my husband, we decided to buy a farm within driving distance of Sydney. And that’s how we ended up buying this place:
Except it didn’t quite stay green like this for long… And before long we were learning how to survive in the drought; how to keep our naughty beagles from going on kangaroo benders, why you don’t want to wage a war with a wombat and what – if indeed anything – can survive in this countryside (all will be revealed, in good time!).
I just can’t wait to share all my adventures and misadventures with you!