You grew up where?

My Austinmer

Do I know how lucky I am?

I guess I do…but sometimes I need a little reminder.

I got one of those yesterday, in text form, from a friend travelling South for the Queens Birthday Long Weekend.

Her husband had decided to detour off the Princess Highway, and take the South Coast road. Sure, it would add extra time to their road trip with their young family but throwing caution the to wind, he veered of the multi lane highway into single lane territory.

And what they encountered as they drove along the a road that hugged the coastal escarpment, was a panorama of ocean blue, stretching as far as the eye could see. It was a life changing moment, there would be no turning back, life could be divided into two distinct chapters- pre & post South Coast encounter.

My friend had stumbled upon a secret, my secret. That just 1 hour South of Sydney is a true paradise. Lush green bush land, uninhabited beaches and homes with back yards.

‘ Driving through Austinmer — it’s amazing. Scarborough too. I want to live here’

My Austinmer

I laughed and smiled upon reading this. My friend had FINALLY discovered my true home. For the first 22 years of my life ‘ Austi ‘ was my entire world. And even when I did voluntarily leave this safe haven for Europe, upon return, settling in Sydney, I return ‘ home’ often, I am forever in need of a good dose of sand, salt and sea.

Having lived in Sydney for 12 years, when questions about where I grew up have arisen I have all but given up trying to explain my coastal origins.

‘ Have you heard of Stanwell Park?’

‘ No’

‘ Bulli?’

‘ No’

‘ Wollongong?’

‘ Yes, is that near Cronulla?’

‘ No’

‘ Oh….well I grew up in a beachside suburb of Wollongong’

Try as I might to educate folk of benefits of coastal life outside of Sydney’s Northern & Eastern beach strips… I conclude after years of trying, there is no point.
Austinmer stopped being mentioned in conversation. I was the girl from Wollongong.

But change is in the air as that text I received yesterday suggests. The subtle messages I have spread of the joy that is the leisure Coast has had a slow ripple effect.

It is promoting cars to veer of highways and plummet into the boundless beauty of blue, green and gold- forever changing people. What next, cheque books flapping in the breeze, as’ out of towners’ scramble to get into the competitive real estate market? Already happening.

Austinmer was and always will be home. If asked to recall what my childhood was like living there , words such as idyllic, blessed, privileged & charmed come to mind.

What is spoken to Sydney folk is quiet different ‘ I grew up I Wollongong’
But to those who are my long-standing Sydney mates, they are listening and I am ready to share my Austinmer with you.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Di Talty
    Jun 12, 2016 @ 08:35:35

    We are so blessed to live in paradise, a place we’ve had to ourselves for a long time. Yes, Austi and the surrounding suburbs have been discovered, sadly our little village is changing rapidly. However the natural beauty and strong sense of community of us “long timers” won’t change. No matter where I’ve travelled in this amazing world there isn’t anything that compares to the beauty of this place we are blessed to call “home”

    Loved this blog Kate


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