The New Seachange

The concept of a Seachange has always been to throw in your job and move to the coast.  But what if you loved your job? Can you still work in the city and live on the coast?

We were living in Hoppers Crossing, which is one of the fastest-growing areas in Australia. Where its local hospital alone produces 83 babies a week, plus a new estate seems to open each week and full of houses very soon after.

My career has been a bit of a whirlwind working for QBE/Elders Insurance over 35 years. I’ve been through numerous evolutions of the company, and I’m now primarily a franchise manager and love what I do, working with a great bunch of owner-operators around Victoria and Tassie.

With about ten years or so to retirement and after 20 years on the West Gate freeway to the Bourke st office, I just had to make a change.   By taking advantage of property prices, the time was right to make either a seachange or a tree change.

Our property search was on and off for around two years we finally found one of the remaining little coastal towns that are slow on the development uptake.  I mean, you couldn’t get more of a seachange to St Leonard’s on the Bellarine Peninsula.  It was part of the original seachange  TV series, and we live in the seachange estate just past Diver Dan lane, and our street is just off Pearl Bay passage.

We are a few blocks from the water, the town is so so quiet and peaceful, and once I got used to the local IGA closing at 8 pm, we settled in.  I continuously remind myself this is not a holiday; this is life now.

Initially, the seachange wasn’t going to work as the drive would have been 2+ hours in peak traffic until we discovered a little secret about this area; they have been hiding from us all.  It was the final piece of the puzzle.

The Bellarine Express

It’s the absolute privilege that I am one of the very few that commute to Melbourne by boat. (of the 1.7 Million other commuters into Melbourne every day) Catching the ferry from Portarlington to the Docklands and initially a short walk to Bourke st, but hey, the company decided to move its office to the Docklands as a new bonus.   While ferries are popular in other capital cities for some reason, they are not a big thing in Melbourne, and I do not know why?

I can balance the commute with working from home and being on the road throughout Victoria and Tassie.  On the 75 – 80 Minute cruise I can get a coffee in the morning and a beer or wine on the way home, with WIFI onboard and every seat has a pull-down table I can catch up with emails, write a report, watch Netflicks or the odd snooze.  Unlike train travel, people know each other, and there is a lot more chatter around.

For me, the best part of the trip is the cruise out of the Docklands standing out on the back deck with the odd Shiraz in hand and by the time you go under the Bolte bridge you switch off the city and work before the ferry heads out of Williamstown and barks up the motors.

It’s now 12 months since we moved. The benefits I’ve noticed, have been I’m happier, more engaged, creative, better focused on people and conversations, and seem to be better at getting stuff done.

I get to see, no more than that, I notice the sunset and the sunrise’s, light and colour, my photography skills have grown, and my friends on Facebook either love or hate me for the photos I post most days.

You could say, ” I do believe in ferries.”

Noel Moody – Game Changer !