Goodbye autumn, hello winter. The last week of Autumn 2018 also marked one-month anniversary of our life in Tasmania. Over the last two weeks the temperature dropped quite dramatically too; ranging between 10-15°C maximum and 3-5°C minimum. Most of the golden autumn leaves have been either blown away or flooded away. It really looks and feels like winter in Tasmania. The mountains (especially Mt. Wellington) surrounding the Hobart area get extra misty in the morning, not to mention the smokes from chimneys of the houses probably from the extra usage of fireplaces to keep the house warm. We also bought a big bulk of firewood for our fireplace too (enough to fill the boot of the car) with a strong desire to survive our first winter in Tasmania (i.e. the closest island to Antarctica).
I didn’t post an update on Week 4 earlier because we had two seperate family member visits over the last fortnight that kept us busier than usual, you know, showing them around now we are the Tassie locals. One thing we were a little concerned about leaving Sydney was being too far away thus not being able to spend as much time with our family. However we have noticed that the time we spend with them is becoming more about “quality” than quantity. Both family members came here from Sydney to stay with us for the weekend (which sounds too short) but they were extra engaged and “in the moment” (especially with our children), making each moment count. We also find ourselves making the most of their company while they are around and appreciate their presence in our life more than ever. So even though we are physically further away from them, we feel closer to them mentally and emotionally. (Regular FaceTime sessions also helps!)
Now that we have been here for one good month, a good sense of rhythm, routine and structure (both daily and weekly) has started developing, too. For example, when we wake up in the morning, my partner takes our baby daughter for a walk (just before or after the sunrise) while my 2-year-old son and I make breakfast for the family. And we all sit around the table and eat breakfast together, which is a really nice way to start the day. We have recurring, weekly activities on specific days like going to the local library on Wednesday mornings (for a musical program for children as well as borrowing/returning books), having my ‘me time’ (i.e. my alone time which I usually spend on writing in cafes with good coffee) on Thursday mornings and attending the local playgroup on Friday mornings. On the weekends, we love going the local markets (including the Salamanca Market, Huon Farmer’s Market and Kingston Beach Handmade Market) to get fresh produce and connect with local businesses/communities. All of these regular activities together acts as a bone structure to our week which helps us stay grounded and create a balanced lifestyle in line with our values. Ironically, having a structure means we can let ourselves enjoy those spontaneous moments when they come in between these activities.
The love of live music (especially jazz) my partner and I share means we actively look for places (restaurants, bars, markets, you name it!) that offer live music everywhere we go. And we found this awesome weekly live music event in Hobart called Rektango that’s on every Friday night in the intimate courtyard space of Salamanca Arts Centre. Apparently it’s been going for 15 years! We arrived there about 5pm just as the band was setting up. By 5:30pm the band started playing very funky, soulful and jazzy tunes. The space started getting filled quickly with people of all age groups: small children (including ours), big children, teenagers, young and old adults as well as seniors… dancing, laughing or just enjoying the music. What a scene. Surrounded by old, heritage sandstone buildings, the space had such a unique and eclectic vibe. The little bar in the corner was serving mulled wine, perfect for the chilly evening. We absolutely loved everything about Rektango. It’s definitely something we’ll be going to regularly as a family. Salty Dog is another great venue/restaurant that offers live music every Sunday afternoon in Kingston Beach (near where we live). It has a courtyard that has a sandpit for children to play in and roaring outdoor fire with bean bags to sit/lie on… plus they have really good food!
A sense of community has begun to develop as well, which is very important to us when it comes to our emotional well-being (as all human beings need to have a sense of belonging in order to thrive!). We have recently met quite a few families with small children in the local library and playgroup. Despite the differences in our cultural and professional background, we all have one thing in common: having moved to Tasmania (all the way from Denmark, Chile as well as other states of Australia) with the intention to create a slower, more balanced life for ourselves as well as our children. Given the share intention, we naturally connected with each other and had a lot to talk about. Every family we have met so far seems very happy with the quality of life Tasmania has to offer. We are looking forward developing quality friendships with some of them over time – slowly and naturally.
So far so good 🙂