So how did I choose Geelong? Some criteria emerged, snowballed and the decision became apparent. This is how I make most of my decisions. I start exploring something, make some discoveries which confirm the direction, and continue a little further down the path until I am too far along to be able to turn back – not that I necessarily want to! But when it comes to unpacking how the decision happened, I have to acknowledge this rather windy and not completely rational approach.
My first step was acknowledging that I really wanted a garden and a dog. Being on the first floor of an apartment block was not going to help me achieve either of these. Then I needed to consider some practical implications – namely my bank account. It was clear I would need to move to the suburbs, exactly how far out was the question. I searched online but I just couldn’t get excited about anything I saw.
The second step was more about inspiration. I worked with a few people who commuted into the city from regional areas, and this seemed more promising – space to breathe and dream. A few places were discounted for being too far from the sea or too small. This helped me discover the next set of criteria – somewhere on the coast and which had enough of services to sustain my interests and needs. High on the list was an art gallery and good cinema.
Turns out that Geelong meets all these criteria – so then it was time to get serious. I need to get to know the suburbs and streets so I could work out where I actually wanted to live. What is important to me at the street level? This shouldn’t really have been a surprise to me, but it was! I walk most places and always have, it’s how I think, mull and turn things over. After unsuccessfully looking for a house to buy – ran out of time before the settlement on my place – I found a rental.
My new location is more perfect than I could have imagined. I can walk to just about everything I need within 25 minutes – the exception being work. The greengrocer is about 5 minutes away, the cinema 10, the beach 15, the supermarket 20, the yoga studio 20, the train station 20, the gallery and library 25. It is simply delightful to walk along streets of neatly trimmed lawns and rose bushes nodding over front fences.
The hunt for a house to buy continues, admittedly in fits and starts – there just isn’t much to see right now. And the vegie garden and puppy will need to wait until a house is found. In the meantime, I have a few pots of herbs and lavender to practice my green fingers on! And I say hello to all the dogs I meet when out and about exploring my new neighbourhood, town and surrounds.