Why moving to Canberra was the best decision I have made

Moving to the ACT was something I had considered for years, there was something that had always held me back though. It wasn’t the infamous icy weather stopping me, nor the distance from the ocean. It was the culture, the soul and the fun that I believed Canberra was missing.

When I would visit friends and family in the ACT, everything seemed so new and shiny. Where was the grit that I was used to seeing in the inner west of Sydney? The character of terrace houses and coble stone streets, or the melting pot of different cultures that I had become so used to experiencing in Sydney?

What I didn’t realise was Canberra had it’s own soul, whilst different to Sydney’s, still beautiful and enriching in it’s own way.

Firstly, there’s the beautiful produce that Canberra offers. Every Saturday morning the Capital Region Farmers Markets is open. It’s a sizable market filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, preserved goods and a variety of culinary delights. We buy freshly made gyoza, salted butter banana crepes, cannoli and coffee and sit in sit with the sun warming our backs and stuffing our faces.

Secondly, getting around is so easy. Traffic is a word you rarely hear in Canberra, and if you do experience it, it would still be considered a ‘clear run’ for Sydneysiders. There’s this magic where everywhere seems to take 20 minutes to drive to no matter what the location. Traffic is now a variable I no longer consider when managing time, which is the most liberating thing!

Thirdly, Canberra does have a rich multicultural fabric that underpins so much of this territory. For me this is most evident in the food. I’ve enjoyed some truly delicious food originating from continents across the world whilst in Canberra. The mixture of different cultures in Canberra brings so much colour and diversity, enriching Canberra’s social ecosystem. Some great places to try are Bistro Nguyen in the city, The Polish White Eagle Club in O’Connor and Dosa Hut in the city.
Fourthly, there’s the fun. There is no lack of cool café’s, restaurants and bars in Sydney, but when Friday and Saturday rolled around I always found myself so tried from the rigmarole of the week. Being stuck in traffic, keeping up with the costs and the hustle and bustle of the city. I often utilised my weekend for sleeping and convinced myself I was over going out. Little did I know that I just need to relocate to a more liveable city to do some more living. Some of our favourite spots are Paranormal Wines in Campbell, Bar Rochford in Ainslie and Dear Prudence in the city.

And then finally, there’s the incredible natural environment that Canberra has to offer. It’s winter here now and it’s glorious. The mornings are frosty and foggy and the days are the most vibrant blue. I’ve seen some beautiful sunsets here, the sky swirling with peach, blush and lavender. Canberra is surround by mountains and intercepted by glassy lakes. Sunday mornings are spent climbing to the top of mount Ainslie, which is promptly followed by coffee and a warm meal from Intra in Campbell.

Canberran’s know how to live. The culture here is very much centred in living a good life. I love Sydney, I always have and always will. But living in Sydney whilst also trying to meditate, eat vegetables, get to work on time, get enough sleep, drink enough water etc was hard for me. I still get to enjoy Sydney as a tourist, experiencing all the joy that it has to offer. Then I drive three hours south and come home to the mountains and lakes, the roundabouts and big sky, and the peace.

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