Greener pastures

Host: Yougawalla Pastoral Co.
Written by Jane Sale – Manager, Yougawalla Pastoral Co.

You have heard a few stories over the last couple of years on Central Station about people that have gone from city life to station and how much things have changed for them. But what about going back to that city life after your experiences? We have a couple of stories for you this week that will give some insight into what it’s like on the reverse side.

Kaylie’s partner Jim first came to Yougawalla as a backpacker in 2009. He has since come out for a second year and then we sponsored him as our station mechanic when he returned in 2012 with his partner Kaylie. You have met Kaylie before in our 2013 blogging season but now sadly for us Kaylie and Jim have moved back to Perth and she tells us here about going from isolation to civilisation . . .

5.1 Celebrating Jim and Kaylie’s Australian residency at Yougawalla

Celebrating Jim and Kaylie’s Australian residency at Yougawalla.

Kaylie: After 18 months of life out on Yougawalla Station it was time to relocate back to Perth. We were heading back to a life we once knew, we were trading in the ‘Big Red’ for the ‘Big Blue’. Other than the dreaded thought of packing up a house and saying goodbye to people that have been the closest thing to family since I’ve been in Australia, I was excited.

 5.2 Hard at work in Perth nowHard at work in Perth now.

DCIM100GOPROHard at work when I was back at Yougawalla.

I was excited for change. Not only was I trading the Desert for the Ocean, I was trading an eight hour round trip to the nearest supermarket for a potential ten minutes. I was trading a monster trip into Broome to hit the piss, to a simple taxi ride into town. I was trading in some serious hard yakka for a cruisy little city number.

Above all else, I was looking forward to the social scene.

A year and a half later, my thoughts are so different. When you’re ready for change, it’s so easy to romanticise and think the grass is going to be greener. Since moving back to Perth it has become very apparent that we live in a society that focuses on the the things we don’t have, as opposed to the things we do and we have a constant need for instant gratification. All this just creates ‘First World Problems’.

I once lived in an environment that faces daily battles such as the welfare of livestock and a strong dependency on weather, and a mail plane to deliver your weekly groceries. Never mind the nearest hospital being four hours away, yet everyone has the ability to get on with it and do whatever needs to be done.

I now live in an environment where if the queue is too long for a coffee, the commute to work has taken an extra ten minutes, or fast food just simply isn’t fast enough, then the toys come out of the pram and teddy goes into orbit!

Although the decision to relocate was the right one and I can meet my friends with a short taxi ride into town and I now have a 38 hour working week. However, I don’t have a sky so free of pollution that you can see the Milky Way, I don’t get to see the moon rise looking like the biggest Jaffa Cake I have ever seen, I also don’t get to hear the blissful sound of nothing and although I have thousands of people around me I don’t have that feeling of community and support. People always ask me, “wasn’t it lonely up there?” and yes at times it was but it’s also amazing how you can feel more isolated in a big city with thousands of people around you in comparison to that of a small remote community.

 DCIM100GOPROHanging out with Jane at Yougawalla.

I’m thankful for my time and experience at Yougawalla and for all it’s done to educate me about life beyond the city. I realise the huge effort by our farmers that has gone in to my evening meal, which I now drive ten minutes to buy at the supermarket. Above all else it’s taught me to appreciate ‘the little things in life’ and all I hope is that this stays with me and I remain grounded amongst the consuming hustle and bustle of city life.

 5.5 Enjoying the Social side of my relationship with the Sale's when they now come and stay with me in the 'Big Smoke'Enjoying the social side of my relationship with the Sale’s when they now come and stay with me in the ‘Big Smoke’.