If I had to live anywhere in Australia, this area around Northern New South Wales and the beaches would be it. My brother lives here in Pottsville with his German girlfriend. She grew up in Berlin where it's grey and cold most of the year and she can’t quite believe this is her life now. She walks out her front sliding screen door, barefoot, dressed in a swimsuit and hat, steps onto the grass, goes through the bushes, checking for snakes of course, and onto the sand, into the water. She comes home and showers in their outdoor shower in the sunshine. She's right, this is a pretty incredible version of real life that they’ve created here. And so many young people have made the decision to ‘retire early’ and live a slower life in these parts of Australia, working online (there's lots of co-working spaces around here) or locally, but always with a focus on living slow and good. It's that working to live not living to work vibe.
For me, it supports the idea that there is no ‘reality’ or ‘real world’, just the world you accept and create, the life you allow yourself to have and live. My brother works for himself and can go out with his best mate surfing whenever he wants, weather and work commitments permitting. His girlfriend works a mix of remote freelance work and a night job she quite enjoys. She makes her art and jewellery during the spare time she has in the days. Visits to see these two and immerse myself in their world for a few days at a time have been positive and perspective shifting for me. It’s made me question how I really want to be spending my time if any kind of life, any kind of dream, is actually possible.
My days here with them are spent cooking good food at home, we've been trying out lots of ayurvedic recipes together. On Wednesday nights we go to yoga classes down the road with the amazing Kerri, who's also given me an amazing reiki session. We go to the beach for swims or at sunset we might go for a run on the beach, always struggling to run back home against the strong winds. I've been making the half hour trip in to Byron often too to work from The Corner Palm co-working space, I meet my brother for lunch across the road at Santos Organics. At night, the stars are so clear in the sky you can see what looks like other solar systems.
Here are some photos I've collected over my visits to see them...by me, Louise McKnoulty and Marlena Curlis.