This is a long post written late at night but it's been on my mind to try and write it, so here goes.... My father bought his first car at the age of 14, re-painted it, re-upholstered it and re-built the engine by the age of 16 and sold it before he got his license. In his early twenties he went back to high school, then went to uni and followed the family business of accounting. He did this because he enjoys “tweaking” things and it does not matter if it is a business or a car or a boat and it was a better income than a spray painter, it was his choiceand he still enjoys it. My uncle on the other hand was pushed straight into the family business and after 40 plus years i think he still hates it, I think he would have made a good fisherman or something. My wife and I have been trying to get out of the rat race for a few years and me a bit more than her. Getting out, relocating and changing your kids life is such a huge change and i never want to push them into a life that they did not want so i put a lot of thought into it over the last 4 years or so. But you know what they say about the best laid plans... What did/do we want – i want to spend more time at home and know where most of my food comes from, my wife wants to be self-sufficient as much as practical and our kids just want a big backyard. Both of us however are a bit addicted to suburbia – the kids need good schools, hospitals, etc. I need to work a bit and my wife still likes to visit the shops from time to time. So we planned to buy a block close to the city, with good soil and a nice view – now a good outlook may not seem to important but if you turn your life upside down, try to grow most of your own food, etc then we expected there would be some bad days so being able to have a cuppa and enjoy the serenity would be good for morale. Being off the grid would have been great but since batteries are expensive and not so great for the environment we figured a grid feed system would be better if we built close to the mains. So we thought we had considered most things but here is went wrong or at least the circumstances that are sending us home (for a now). LEAVING Originally i wanted to buy the block first and get some sort of planning permission for a house before we moved as this could have left us in limbo. We had both been looking after my wife’s uncle for a few years, this went from mowing the lawns once a month and taking him shopping , to explaining that his air con remote did not work the television, to talking with the nursing home people about large doses of morphine. During this time we got a sister in law to move in to his house and look after it and also sold our own. After he passed away we all moved into his house.... This was a mistake! We thought it would work for a while but our two children and 3 nocturnal teenagers in a 3 bedroom house it drove us nuts! So we basically ran for the door, we already had an offer accepted on a block so we went. BLOCK #1 This was a done deal or so we thought. 7 acres on top of a hill, close to town, power close by, just needed the road widened for final approval on the 5 block subdivision, council agreed to sell a small amount of land to widen the road – but then we all found out that the council did not own the land, the university did and they did not need any more light pollution near their observatory. We had put a 6 month clause on the issue of title so we had an out - HIGHLY RECCOMENDED with any offer on an incomplete sub division, a year later and these blocks are still for sale and title has not been issued. RENTING IN TASMANIA This is a very expensive exercise – to be near Hobart in an ok but old 3 bedroom we are paying more than what we would be if we were in a 5 bedroom brand new place 20 minutes from Perth. Then add the cost of heating – i estimate about $75 a week on diesel (oil heaters appear to rule the rental market, eastern shore in Hobart means bottled gas or heat pumps (RC air con) which are still rare). Plus power and its costing us about $525 a week to wait for land to settle. BLOCK #2 Much better soil, 5 acres, axe handle block, 1 seep and awesome views and still cheap by most standards.... Well firstly the owners did not try to get their mortgage discharged for the sub division till the last minute, then the new road went on to another sub division so they had to get their mortgage done too, then part of the council built new road went a metre on to someone else’s land and they were not to fussed on getting their land subdivided and mortgage changed – i think title has just been issued but we are only here for another 3 weeks or so. THE LOCALS We thought it was best if we rented close to school and the shops as this was where our kids would go to school and the shops, town pool, etc we would be using. Now both my wife and i had lived in the north of Tas for a few years so we thought we knew what to expect (nice people who were friendly as long as you don’t try to tell them that anything on the “Mainland” is better (mostly true anyhow)). Down south though you really have to be a fourth generation convict to be accepted as part of the community, it took my dad 7 years to get to know his neighbours and my friends from Devonport working down here have generally given up on trying to be social – they have met others from up north and all “hang out” on the weekend. GOD BLESS THE BOGANS I don’t know if anyone uses the phrase “bogan” any more but here they are still teenage mums, kids smoking, people with too many tattoos but they are talkative, helpful if asked and although i’m not about to get into grunge rock music they are pretty ok. The more “normal” dick and janes spend at least an hour in front of the mirror before they drop their kids off at school, stop their group discussions when a non local walks past and pretend not to hear you if you ask the time. THE RESULT There were a few more reasons why we left Perth but they aren’t my story, needless to say they have changed and we were facing one problem after another with the blocks we got serious on and being treated like proverbial lepers by this community. We went back to Perth for a wedding and i got into a huge conversation at the hairdressers with a complete stranger (this doesn’t really happen in Hobart). After a lot of long discussions and more than a few tears we thought “shag it” the cost of another six months renting is the same as loading up our sea container (the best way to move long distance) to here and back. It's just too expensive and we are not happy (i have not even started on the problems we had with building - the stage 2 kit home promised at $130k came in at $394K... somehow.) TRY AGAIN? It has been a great experience and i still love Tassie and yes we would try again because it’s a lifestyle we still believe in, and although this is a bloody long post i thought if it helps someone else do a better job then its a good thing. If you made it to the end thanks for reading.