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Sea Change Life Interview with Lucy and Matt van der Riet

Sea Change Life Interview with Lucy and Matt van der Riet

Tell us about that moment your dream move became a reality? What got you over the line?

Lucy: We always had a desire to move to a more subtropical, cruisy, beach location. Every time I was in this environment I felt my insides saying “this feels like home.” As we faced another Melbourne lockdown (yep we are one of those people) our desire to make a change skyrocketed. I was on realestate.com on the daily. I saw a house in the Gold Coast, not too far from the beach, surrounded by a forest, called the agent, organised Matt to fly up and two days later we bought it. We had no plan, just a very long to-do list that started with; sell our house, find new school for kids, tell our parents we were leaving, tell our kids, avoid Hotel Quarantine 

Matt: We took a leap of faith, without a safety net…. The fu*k it principle. I’ve always wanted to be one of those people that live where people go on holidays, a perma-vacationer. Driving up to Queensland with our eldest daughter Stella, it really hit me how big this change was, and I was scared, excited, anxious and happy all at the same time. The first morning we woke up in our new home in Tallebudgera that back onto a native forest I knew we had made the right move.

What does Sea Change mean to you?

Lucy: The Sea Change Life is available to us all. It can be a physical move to beach life or a metaphoric change to a life that feels more like you own it. We are all so sh*t scared of change but the scariest thing to me is not ever giving something you wish a go.

Matt: Sea Change Life is a phrase that represents whatever you want it to. For us it was quite literally moving to a warmer climate by the ocean. For me it’s about having the guts to make change. For Lucy, the kids and I to be bold enough to take that leap gives me more power and purpose for the future. Lucy and I are both spontaneous, sometimes to a fault, but you only get one crack at life, and may as well take some risks. As the author Robin Sharma said “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life”

What were the things holding you back from making your sea change sooner?

Lucy: Family and friends. Melbourne was full of people we adore, and leaving them was a hard call. Also as a parent, moving our kids away from the only life they had ever known weighed heavy. I was so afraid I’d create trauma and fu*k them up. But I kept reminding myself the greatest burden on a child is the unlived dreams of a parent. It was by no means an easy transition for our kids (or us). I’m not going to lie. It stretched us as parents and there were days I cried for hours after I dropped them off at their new school. I felt indescribable guilt. But I had to shine the light on the “why” we moved. Fast forward two years and watching the three of them surf and walk barefoot to the shops I know in my heart our decision has blessed them.

Matt: Change is hard, and every time we flirted with the idea of moving, we had a shitload of reasons to talk ourselves out of it. And it was tough leaving Melbourne, but now we have two homes. But down there I can’t get away with going to the shops barefoot and sporting a Will & Bear wide brim hat. My market-person vibe only works up here. We’re careful to not lose perspective of what we’ve created. Waking up to the sound of kookaburras every morning, seeing the kids thrive in the surf or just the fact that we get to experience a new way of life is something we are immensely proud of. 

What’s your favourite thing about your new town?

Lucy: The chill factor. The ripple effect of this is huge. People are generally more relaxed, which impacts every interaction in my day. But my favourite thing is shedding my weather anxiety. I was obsessed with the weather forecast in Melbourne, I’d refresh BOM constantly. It had a huge impact on life. Here I’ll just assume it’s going to be mid to high 20s most days and this makes my heart happy.

Matt: Proximity to all the incredible camping and holiday spots. The best real estate in this state and much of Northern NSW are caravan parks and campgrounds. Some of us are more comfortable with this form of recreation than others however. My lovely wife is more of a Resort kinda lady. 

What has been the most surprising positive outcome your change has created?

Lucy: Our new business, which will be launched for Summer, was born from our lifestyle here. Being in an environment that is aligned with our values and passions has had a really potent impact on my creativity. The move also shifted the goal posts on what is possible. Expanding our capacity for what we can make happen.

Matt: I’m really proud about how brave our kids are, how they have embraced a new town and school and they are smashing it. They’ve made some amazing friends, they love competitive sport, love surfing and they spend soooo much time outdoors. I moved a lot when I was a kid, so I know how hard it can be. They inspire me every day. 

If you could rotate between 3 different living locations for the rest of your life, where would they be? 

Lucy: What he said.

Matt: Where we live now (Tallebudgera QLD), Oia Greece, Tuscany Italy

What makes your home feel like you’re "home"? 

Lucy: It’s the people, the beach, the slightly humid salt air, the intangible feeling in the environment that my body recognises as home.

Matt: The ocean has always been a sanctuary for me, and this climate is bloody awesome. Plus we have met some of the nicest people in the world since moving, new friends for life.

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