Real Life: From Scotland to Mosman
LEAVING HER HOME IN THE SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS FOR THE BLUE SKIES AND BEACHES OF SYDNEY WAS SOMETHING LISA HECTOR HAD NEVER CONTEMPLATED. BUT RECENTLY THE YOUNG MUM, ALONG WITH HUSBAND GREGG AND TWO CHILDREN DID JUST THAT - MAKING A PERMANENT MOVE FROM THEIR TINY, ISOLATED VILLAGE - TO A NEW LIFE IN MOSMAN.
It was the phone call that would change our lives forever.
“Are you sitting down?” my husband Gregg nervously asked, when he rang me from the car one morning last July.
I immediately thought he’d been involved in some type of road accident, en-route from our isolated Scottish cottage, to Aberdeen where he worked.
Thankfully I was wrong, but what came next completely knocked the wind out of my sails.
“I’ve been offered a job,” he said.
“In Edinburgh?,” I curiously replied.
“No, it’s a little bit further than that,” my husband told me.
“We’re moving to Sydney.”
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that relocating to Australia was on the cards. Born-and-bred in the country, I had never even lived in a city before - let alone a huge metropolis at the other end of the earth.
Leaving the comfort and security of our dream home was a bolt out of the blue. We’d spent 12 painstaking years restoring it, and the historic residence was the only home our young children had ever known.
“How on earth do we break the news to Stella and Charlie?” I asked Gregg.
“What will they think?
“And what’s going to happen to the dogs? The cats? Can we move them Down Under?”
Every question led to yet another as I continued to pepper my poor husband for information about this life changing move.
“What will we do with the chickens?
“The ducks and the geese?
“What about the fruit trees? The vegetable garden?
“Does this mean we have to sell the house?
“Will they like us down there in Australia?”
I guess moving lock, stock and barrel to the other side of the world was never going to be easy. Packing up your family and possessions, with full knowledge that you won't return home for years isn’t just mentally and physically exhausting, it’s utterly heart breaking. For everyone.
"NEVER IN MY WILDEST DREAMS DID I THINK THAT RELOCATING TO AUSTRALIA WAS ON THE CARDS"
- Lisa Hector
Then there’s the tearful goodbyes that go on. And on. And on.
Parents, siblings, friends, neighbours and school teachers all need to be farewelled. It's an emotional roller coaster that continues for weeks, at boozy lunches and posh dinner parties that seem to inevitably end in floods of tears.
By the time we finally reach the departure gates in Glasgow I am a blubbering, inconsolable mess - caused in equal parts by sheer exhaustion, fear of the unknown - and concern for our young kids.
Fast forward two months – and we’re slowly easing into Sydney life. We’ve made our home in Mosman because it reminds us of the stunning Scottish town (Bridge of Allan) where my husband grew up.
It’s great having Military Rd on our doorstep, with lots of little shops and trendy cafes (back in Scotland I had to drive for an hour just to get to the supermarket!) - and people here seem to have permanent smiles on their faces. My kids have even commented that pets look happier in Australia - and when we see a dog on the street, or down at the beach they truly do look overjoyed!
The community in Mosman has been incredibly welcoming and generally positive - and another bonus since we've moved is that we’re now spending much more time together as a family.
The beautiful climate in Sydney lends itself daily outdoor activities (even in winter!), which is such a change from the long, dark, bleak months we're used to.
As for our kids, aged seven and two, they couldn’t be happier. The same goes for Gregg, who no longer has a three-hour round trip commute each day!
We are very much looking forward to our first fun filled summer holiday down at Balmoral. Maybe we’ll see you down there!