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HOLLY WAINWRIGHT: My family 'tree-changed' one year ago. Here are 13 things we've learned.

It’s been a year. 

A year since Sydney went into a city-wide lockdown. And a year since my family packed a moving van and an all-wheel-drive with all our worldly things and drove south. A year since we left the suburb where I’d lived for over 20 years for a place we’d only been on holidays, a place where we knew precisely two people (well, five people if you included their children, oh, and six if you count their dog). 

And it’s been a year. Quite a year, really.

A year of isolation and sickness, of separation. And of reunion. And of newness. New routines. New homes. New friends. New smells and tastes. New everything.

Watch: Holly Wainwright on why superwoman is dead. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

After three months of living on the south coast of New South Wales, a couple of hours away from Sydney, I wrote a story about moving to the country in lockdown. You can read it here, but in it I said that I knew, really, you needed a full turn of the seasons to settle into anything new - whether it's a job, home or relationship.

And here we are. The seasons have turned. We are in the middle of our second country Winter, a time of crunchy ground leaves and wood smoke in the air. It’s a little bit romantic, a little bit freezing our tits off. 

So, one year in, what have we learned about being living, breathing tree-change cliches?

Every big decision is complicated

In the first months after we made our call to move, I felt lighter. Physically lighter, because for years, I'd been carrying around this big question - where was the right place to live? Action fixed that, immediately. It was freeing. And if I am asked if it was the right choice, then the answer is certainly yes. But that doesn't mean it is a perfect one. There are people we miss, there's a bit less back-up, the commute is complicated, sushi is scarce (yes, it's the big things)... But there are also wonderful positives. We chose this change, and there's a power in that. The space and air and beauty of the place makes me happier than I can express. Our son likes the quiet. Our daughter loves the outdoors. New friends have enriched us, and old friends haven't forgotten us.

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