I was about 15 when I discovered Grass Roots Magazine. It really appealed to my burgeoning inner hippie and over the last 20 years of reading it – I have learnt all matter of things pertaining to living a self sufficient lifestyle. Everything from keeping chooks and growing veggies to composting, cooking and building using alternative materials like straw bales. I am torn you see – between the life I live in the city and the romantic life I dream of in the country.
When I was 19 I took myself off with my dreadlocked surfer dude boyfriend to live down near Warnambool for a year. Thirty km from the nearest shop – we lived very simply in a small house on 5 acres of bush land with no electricity or running water. I spent most of my time tending my large veggie garden, restoring antique furniture for myself and others and making beaded jewellery which I sold at a couple of shops in town. We ate eggs from the chooks and veggies from the garden and made all our own bread.
I have such fond memories of this year – I was young, idealistic and full to the brim with enthusiasm. My few years of reading Grass Roots had given me the basics of living a simple wholesome life and here was my opportunity to have a good go. As it turns out the year went quickly and the reality of my life journey ahead meant that I had to return to the city to begin my studies in Interior Design and well my story just goes on from there really.
I have lived in the city ever since and have often thought of a move back to a lovely country town. I don’t think I would choose to live without running water and electricity again (especially not with children) but I have thought that a move to the country would bring about a simpler and somewhat less stressful lifestyle. Having said that though – I totally love living in the city and the opportunities that come with that. Perhaps as they say ‘the grass is always greener’ and I should just try to be happy with where I am right now.