So, here I am. The big three zero. I made it.
In my early teens, the age of 30 seemed so distant that I had doubts I would even reach such a mature age. I saw those in their 30s, as the ones that had it all ‘worked out’ – they had climbed the career ladder and working in a job they loved, were happily married, had purchased a big beautiful house and were thinking about starting a family, if they weren’t already nursing a newborn baby.
Well, this is certainly not the case for me. I definitely don’t have any children, not married, no house and currently no job. I also find myself on the other side of the world, living in Ireland, on a farm. Yep, that’s right.
If at the tender age of 13 someone had described this scene, I would never have believed them.
But, nevertheless here I am, sipping on tea in a quaint Irish cottage with brown cows roaming the lush green fields outside my front window.
I have only been in Ireland for four weeks. Before that, I was living in a tiny flat in the eastern suburbs of Sydney and working in a job that I really enjoyed. My partner is Irish, and after living in Australia for almost seven years, it was time for him to head home and tend to the family farm. I had a life-changing decision to make; should I stay or should I go?
After much deliberation and some convincing, it was decided, it was time to go; now or never. I knew I had to try; I had to give this new life a chance. Otherwise, it would be my biggest regret. I couldn’t live with myself, if I didn’t even try.
It was heartbreaking telling my family and friends of my big decision. I was even in tears telling my colleagues. And the reactions I received were unforgettable.
Many friends knew my big move was always a possibility; they were sad but of course delighted for me, especially at the possibility of holidaying in the Emerald Isle and immediately began planning vacations.
Some were amazed at such a big gesture, just for love. Although, this story had been lifted from the pages of a children’s fairy-tale. They had images of me churning butter, baking bread, feeding chickens, riding horses and soaking up the fresh country air.
Some, actually probably most, just thought I had completely lost my mind.
“Ireland? Why would you move so far away!” they said.
“A farm! You are going to live on a farm?! Are you mad?!”
I literally saw jaws drop. Some even mumbled, “You can always come back, if it doesn’t work out.”
Their faith in me was overwhelming.
And then, after sharing my news, I began packing up my life, one day at a time. Getting rid of possessions (and a lot of junk too), cleaning, making the most of the Sydney sunshine, appreciating the bustle of the city, savouring spicy takeaway food, and of course squeezing in as many farewells drinks and lunches as possible. And then it’s time to go.
It wasn’t until I was at the departure gate with my giant suitcase in hand that the reality of my decision actually sunk in.
What am I doing? Am I actually crazy? When will I be back? Am I doing the right thing? Is this even going to work?
We always have so many questions, and we always want to know the answers. But no one has the answers. No one knows if it will all work out, and you know what, I don’t think anyone actually has it all worked out. And why does having kids, getting married and living in a big house mean you have your life all worked out anyway?
So, here I am; thirty and taking a chance. Taking a chance on a new life, and some might say risking it all for love.
And I’m happy to take that chance. Even at 30.
Written by Rachael Brown
Rachael grew up beside the beach in Kiama on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. After completing her degree in Media and Communications at the University of Wollongong, she moved to Sydney. Here, she worked in marketing and communication roles in Public Relations agencies, in local government and the higher education sector.
Rachael recently moved with her partner to County Clare, Ireland. She is hoping to continue developing her marketing skills in the Emerald Isle, while adjusting to farm life and the temperamental Irish weather.
She loves to travel, indulge in good food, read great books, bask in the sunshine and always enjoys a glass of wine (or more) with friends. Rachael doesn’t like to over-analyse; she has been known tackle life’s difficulties with the offer of a cup of tea and the philosophy ‘it was meant to be’. She believes you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously, and that it’s important to tell it like it is, be kind and smile often.