Jannine had longed to leave the hustle and bustle of Melbourne behind.
So earlier this year, Jannine and her husband packed up and relocated to Gippsland.
“My husband accepted a job in Gippsland over 2 years ago, so he was commuting a lot,” says Jannine.
“It was in our 5-year plan to make the move.”
After purchasing a home with acreage, the couple are “absolutely loving” their tree change.
“(The move) has been a big help for our mental health. We are much more relaxed,” says Jannine.
“When you walk down the street, people smile and say hello. The people are so lovely.”
The couple’s 24-year-old daughter still lives in Melbourne and travels to Gippsland every 2 weeks.
“She calls it her happy place,” says Jannine.
“She comes down to relax and recharge. It’s really helping with her studies.”
Jannine has worked for Uniting for 12 years, supporting vulnerable families experiencing alcohol and other drug, mental health and family violence challenges.
“I was able to transfer from Melbourne to Gippsland, which was really handy for me. That’s what I like about Uniting, you have the opportunity to base yourself in different locations.”
“It’s been exciting to meet and work with new people and understand the community connections they have.
“Even though I’m doing the same job, it feels like it has slowed down a bit.
“And one of the big bonuses for me is car parking. I was paying $10 a day in Melbourne. Here, it’s free. And there is always plenty of parking available.”
Jannine encourages others considering a tree change to take the leap of faith.
“If your circumstances are right, I would say do it.”
While Jannine and her husband have spent a significant amount of time in lockdowns since relocating, they are looking forward to exploring their new community.
“I’m keen to join the local rock and roll dancing group,” says Jannine.
“We’re planning to get some sheep and alpacas.
“It’s a different lifestyle than we’re used to, but we love it.
“Everything is so close. The traffic isn’t as congested. And it’s still only 2 and a half hours from Melbourne on the freeway.
“It’s been a great move for us.”
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