Dear News Of The Area,
AS a resident of Karuah for the last 5 years, I am often asked, by both locals and others – why Karuah? For the last 5 years I have had to fight the urge to reply – Why not!! On reflection though, it’s an interesting exercise to reflect on at what stage of their lives people choose where they are going to live and why do people choose to live where they do?
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The when turns out to be relatively simple? The when is generally associated with 2 different stages of people’s life.
The first stage usually corresponds with the early stages of family life, while the second is often later and at the time when the family’s kids have moved out and looming retirement removes the need to work each day.
The “Where” for the first stage is also relatively simple and usually comes down to being where people grew up, where they work, of where they want their kids to go to school.
The “Where” for the later stage is far more complex and where decisions get far more interesting and far more significant.
For many couples, it’s when they contemplate retirement and the absence of dependant kids and they realise that they can, all of a sudden, live wherever they want. While for many, living close to an aging Mum and Dad, the Grand kids, the inertial of where they grew up, or just where they used to go on holidays every year are the deciders. Many others though are faced with what can be a daunting decision – where in Australia do they want to live out the next stages of their life?
We come back then to the question that started all this, “Why do people choose to live where they do”, over any of the other multiple options available? When approached logically, as opposed to emotionally the answer will come back to applying a list of “has to have” criteria to different locations. These criteria will depend on the couple making the decision. While emotion will always play some role in the decision, I am convinced that a reliance on emotion only in making the decision leads to later regrets and often to changed minds causing disappointment. So, what criteria play a part? These of course will always have to be discussed, agreed on and over time prioritised by the couple concerned. For us, when we started to look at “must haves” we ended up with a list of criteria, which during the process grew to include 16 different things. For us, this included things like, Town Water, Sewerage and Electricity being connected.
It included close access to a quality level 1 hospital (in case one of us got sick), a major highway (so we could easily visit family), a decent airport (so we could travel) and the coast (so I could fish). We wanted somewhere that didn’t have cyclones (we had had enough of those!), floods, fires or earthquakes. We also wanted access to shops (close corner store and retail outlets within 30 minutes), didn’t want to live with major city traffic, but wanted a community orientated place with a diverse, integrated local population that were friendly and we wanted somewhere where we could watch and play sport. Our final criteria was that where ever we settled had to have more than 1 way/road in and out! Missing any of these things, we felt could cause us problems.
Starts to get pretty exhaustive doesn’t it, 16 criteria? When you then consider these up against a map of Australia a quick check starts to rule out a lot of places, an awful lot!
Interestingly enough, for us Karuah was one of the very few places that ticked all the boxes, all of them! So when I get asked now, “Why Karuah”? I answer”How long have you got”? If they have long enough, I tell them. Funny thing is, afterwards, they are often very hard put to explain why they live where they do.
Whether you fish, bowl, train greyhounds, or just sit on your veranda, the “where” you do it is vital to your overall happiness. Don’t just rely on luck or emotion; pick your spot carefully and with nous! See you at Karuah.
Karuah Working Together Forum