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move to simplicity

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    Hi Everyone,

    I guess I’m looking for some reassurance and advice from people with a similar mindset to myself.

    I’m in my early thirties, have always lived in melbourne, about to finish my PhD and launch a career in academia, and have decided that as soon as I submit my thesis (in march) to turn my back on it all and move back in with my parents on their rural property in east gippsland.

    I will still look for work locally (hopefully part time) so that I can spend more time growing our own food, preserving it, we are looking at runnung a small flock of sheep so we can put a couple of lambs in the freezer each year etc. I also love doing craft and hope to spend more time doing that and possibly even sell at local markets down there.

    I am a firm believer in climate change and peak oil, and the security of being able to produce a lot of your own food is really important to me. As well as just the personal enjoyment and satisfaction that I get from doing that sort of stuff. I love gardening.

    Currently I live in a rented house in the inner suburbs of melbourne with no garden, no time for my crafts, no family nearby, and I am positively miserable. Yes I could probably earn more money staying in the city, but my living expenses would be so much more.

    Am I crazy for wanting a different life? A better life? Am I making the right decision to turn my back on and effectively not use my PhD after all these years working to get it?


    Hi G G

    You will love it when you return to the country. I have a few months left of my 3 year Uni degree in Nursing and will quite happily toss it in and return to the country, hopefully Tasmania or Albany in WA and live a simple life,growing my own meat and veg, work my be a necessary evil, and if I have to work I have I will have a degree that will provide me with an income whenever I need it.So finish what you have started (thats always good for the soul) and see what happens when you can move to the country. I don’t think you will ever look back.


    aka (Nurse Ratchet)


    Yes, have to say I agree as well. I do not think you are crazy at all, but rather think that you are following your heart and being more sensible than many. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    HT, hope you come back to Tassie :D:


    Follow your heart, too many of us let our head interfere and live to regret it. Of course it’s never to late but as we age our physical capacity, in many cases, declines.



    Thank you all.

    You are all right, I should follow my heart. I do feel excited at the opertunity to do this now in my life while I am still young. My parents had to wait until they retired and were in their 60’s before making the move. I can do it 30 years sooner than them.

    And if I finish my Phd I will always have my education behind me if I need it. Now I just need to muster up some focus for the short term and get it done and out of the way. (I have been studying for a long time and am well and truly over it).

    Thanks again. I knew this was the right place to come. :hug:


    Thanks Mauzi

    I have someone in my life who is currently pushing all the right buttons for a return to Taz,ha ha its not even the Friday nightman…. best you keep growing your goats,pigs and bun buns cuz I may need some at xmas time. I am sooh wanting to be at your place tomorrow, tomorrow for the get together, I hope you have a wonderful day.



    Hi garden_girl,

    Just something to think about – if you decide later that your professional life

    is calling you again, it is so much easier to secure employment with qualifications

    AND experience. The experience will give you contacts, referees, and the ability

    to speak to interview questions. If the energy is still there for you possibly even

    just 1 year of employment to add to your credentials might be worthwhile.

    If the call to the ‘other life’ is unstoppable then the above won’t be of interest.




    Ooh, HT, you have an interesting life…not the Friday nightman…:lol: Wish you could make it tomorrow as well, but maybe next year’s GTG. Thanks for the well wishes. Looking forward to tomorrow. Might see you at Xmas then :D:

    garden_girl, good luck with finishing your PhD, good to have it as a backup, as you say and you are close.


    Even work the year and SAVE as much as you can, will give you a great start to farming life, buying fruit trees, seeds, sheepies etc!


    are you able to earn income online?

    not saying that going rural is particularly simple, you need to try and grow enough we are 50’s-65 and not real good health but this is it, putting our best foot forward.

    anyone who makes these decisions we applaud although we may make them for various reason, we are 200k north of brissy and between 2 major centres equally.

    the heart can lead wrong develop a criteria check our land baron essay might be a hint in there? the head is the best tool.



    Hey, nothing says you cant change your mind later on and move back to the city… Im all for making yourself happy… Our house is falling apart around us, our yard is over run by weeds, were always pretty broke cos DH quit his job last year and started a home business, now hes back to work 3 days a week (which i hate)… The point is, we do what makes US happy! We just were both happy raising the kids, so we both do it. I love to garden, so i do it. Neither of us really like mowing the lawn, so we dont do it much… I like to cook, so i do all the cooking, DH likes to have take away so he does. Its all about doing what makes you happy at the time. and its always ok to change your mind! Just never give up, changing your mind isnt giving up. Giving up is when you stop doing things that make you happy!!


    As someone who went for the simple life, not just once but twice already and returned to the city both times let me chime in. I left following my heart with every intention of making it work. It didn’t. It just wasn’t the right time for me then. I was just 30 the first time and 35 the second time. I found rural life unsatisfying at that time and after a brief homeymoon period (about 6 months) realised that there was not much for me there. I returned to the metropolis and began a new career, this time one that I enjoyed. I still love living in the city for the amenities it provides and social interaction.

    Although I want to reduce my footprint and live a meaningful life I’m not entirely against large cities either. They do serve a purpose and they provide easy employment for many, many people. If you’ve never moved into a rural community it can shock you just how hard employment is to find. It can also shock you as a younger person to find they may be devoid of similarly aged peers, as many of those people have moved to the city to pursue careers. If you are young and single and hope to have a family one day you may (although not necessarily) feel the lack of a suitable partner in a rural area.

    So saying all that I’m a big believer in heeding the call of the wild. If you feel you should go then really you must. Even if only to clarify what’s important to you in life. You’ll either discover it’s exactly where you need to be or formulate a new plan. I believe there is no such thing as a mistake, only the gaining of clarity. 😉 I would not hand my time in Tasmania or Queensland back, I learnt important things about myself and life direction in both. :tup:

    I am planning yet another move back out of the metropolis. But armed with what I know about myself I also know exactly how far from here I can go and still have quality of life. I’m more aware of what amenities I must have and which don’t matter and I won’t go unless I can take my own job with me. 😛

    In the meantime I’m making the best with what I have and enjoying it.


    Hi Garden_girl

    just adding my two cents – I am an academic, with a PhD and have spent the last 15 years struggling with balancing work with my desire to be out in the garden, growing food, preserving, making things. I’m hoping to finally make my move out of academia in a year, so I would say go for it! But yes, finish that PhD – for yourself, if nothing else.

    The comments about experience are indeed correct, however there is a lot of work available teaching online – especially through Open University Australia, which could be a good compromise, if this suits your area.

    Go for it! and let us know how it pans out

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