Saturday, 28 January 2012

Our Move over to Kalgoorlie (the desert mining town in the middle of nowhere)

We arrived in late October so have been here just on 3 months now and I can honestly say I am so pleasantly surprised and happy here!
We packed up our whole life in a month and drove over from Melbourne. We had a big farewell / engagement party at our old place 2 days before we made the epic drive over here.  This was mistake number one. What were we thinking? It was one of those ideas that seem like a great idea at the planning stage and then hind sight is a beautiful thing.  Turned into too much to do with not enough time and cleaning the house up and moving out the day after your engagement party means you don’t enjoy the party the night before.  My recommendation is don’t hold big life events so close to each other give them each the time they deserve.

Thank god my best friend came over from Adelaide for the week to help us.  He just makes me laugh the whole time when he is around. So instead of the stress spiralling out of control and being exhausted he kept us happy and distracted. Not to mention all the man power he supplied with the actual lifting of furniture. That's a true friend one that will help you move house. My best friend drove 12 hours and took a week off work to come help me out.

We had made the choice to keep our belongings in a storage unit in Melbourne until we decided if we had made the right decision.  As mentioned we had so many people telling us we were making a mistake that kind of negativity can get very draining and cause doubt and fear. So we thought it was a rather mature decision at the time. Another mistake let’s call it number 50. I recommend trusting your instincts don’t listen to others especially those that have never actually done it. Do your own research and follow your own dreams that way even if you make mistakes there won’t be regret or resentment.

So on the Wednesday before the party we moved most of our belongings to a storage unit. I did have a massive clean out and had to make cut throat choices whether to bring things or not. I tried to sell some on eBay and to friends but strangely was not very successful which baffles me to this day. Our furniture was all very nice so we couldn’t work out why people didn’t want it. Especially since we would have taken any token amount of money because taking it to the tip is very expensive in Melbourne we did so many tip runs I lost count and spent over $150 a pop for each tray load. So we just needed people to take it off our hands to be honest. I think that we lived so far from most people in Melbourne no one wanted to make the effort to come so far.  

 (Me with my best friend Dion)

I did pack 2 of my friends cars Dion had driven over from Adelaide for that very reason. I donated over 17 bags to charity bins and the op shop my mum works at. We gave a huge amount to Geoff’s family as well. It’s about here in the story you will realise I have a shopping problem.  So we stored just the most important things to us and in hind sight should have got rid of most of that too as the removalist cost over $6000 to truck over to us. Add to that the petrol costs of over $2500 for us to drive our cars here it’s a lot of money that we could have used to just purchase it all new again. So much of it arrived after being trucked here, just looking worst for wear.  With nicks and scratches and dints and a couple of items completely broken, the insurance excess isn’t worth paying for those items alone. See it’s all a massive catch 22.  My recommendation to anyone making a cross country move is if your moving costs are higher than $2000 then don’t move it buy it again from there.

(Our dog Bam Bam packed snug in the car amongst all our clothes and bedding)

As my partner Geoff had lost his licence I had to do the entire drive alone, which I was quite nervous about to say the least. Mistake number 3 was not taking his car which is a big Hilux instead because I don’t know how to drive manual and felt more comfortable in my car we packed up some clothes, dog , our bedding  and a few items to help get us through the first few months. All this was put into my tiny Holden Astra and driven 3000 kilometres across Australia. Lesson learned I should have just learned to drive manual. I do recommend driving as you can bring more with you than the limited luggage restrictions airlines have. Also shipping cars is very expensive and you can’t have anything inside the car that means NOTHING only floor mats are permitted. Another great thing about driving is it’s an amazing experience that you have together. We saw the most amazing sunrises and saw sights that are once in a life time. We took quite a leisurely pace and gave ourselves plenty of time had lots of little pit stops to let our dog stretch as well.

So we left on the Monday morning stopping off in Adelaide first for a night with my best friend Dion who cooked us a lovely meal after 12 hours of driving even gave up his own bed for us. Then we drove for 10 hours the second day and stopped for the night in Ceduna where we snuck our dog into the cabin in one of our bags and left early in the morning so he couldn’t be detected.

 (Stunning view of sunrise on morning 3 of road trip)

The 3rd and 4th day the driving was truly breathtaking along the Great Australian Bight and then heading inland to our final destination Kalgoorlie. Other than my arms giving me a little trouble (I suffer from RSI in my arms) and the roadhouse we stayed in on the last night being horrible (like out of a horror movie kind of horrible). It was a truck stop in the middle of nowhere I had driven for 12 hours that day and the next nearest pit stop was another 5 hour drive so there wasn’t much choice in the matter. I basically didn’t let any part of my bare skin on my body touch anything in the room. At about 3am I couldn’t take it anymore and sleep wasn’t likely so I woke Geoff up and we headed off again. I drove really slowly as we didn’t want to hit any wild life in most cases the damage to our car and us would be worse than the psychological damage of killing an animal. We did however kill millions of bugs and had a near miss with a giant eagle that gave us a fright. 
 (My car front full of bugs)

Having made us leave at 3am we reach Kalgoorlie on Thursday morning at 9am. We went and checked into a caravan park and had to put Bam Bam our dog into a kennel. The lady at the kennels told us it took her 8 weeks to find a place to rent and that rentals we at less than 1% vacancy and competition was really high for places to live. Our hearts sank to say the least. We found we were unable to apply for places before we arrived online as Western Australia has a rule that we must have inspected the place before we apply. Also a strange Western Australian rule is you can only apply for one place at a time per real estate agency and to regulate this they charge you one week’s rent to submit the application. We couldn’t afford to not rent a home for very long the caravan park, were charging $550 per week! We later found out that Geoff’s work would pay for our first 2 weeks accommodation. We also didn’t want Bam Bam to be in a kennel for that long. 
 (Geoff my partner posing on the open road in Western Australia)

So we were in a slightly panicked state of mind when we approached the real estate’s looking for a home to rent.  We were accepted for the first one we applied for though and it ended up being a complete non- issue.  We moved in exactly one week after arriving in town. We only had a car load worth of possessions so I just did this myself and it gave me a chance to clean the house like a maniac while Geoff was at work. We slept on an air mattress for 3 nights until we bought a bed. So then we had a bed so I bought us a couple of bean bags so we could sit and watch telly, play on our laptops and eat etc. I learned that bean bags are not as fun as I remembered, my body ached and Geoff must have felt the same way because as soon as his first pay came in we were off to buy a lounge suite and he got one with 4 recliners so he must have really hated those bean bags!  

As you might have gathered we decided really quickly to have our things shipped over which means that we are staying here for a while at least and giving this new life a fair chance.Loving every minute of it so far!

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