Now that our nest is empty and we have no permanent home, the world is our oyster. As part of our current travels, we are keeping a look out for our version of Utopia to settle down.
I have a vision in my head of what my ‘forever’ place looks like. Let me share my vision with you.
It’s a simple cottage with a huge patio overlooking the ocean. The patio extends around one side, sheltered by a vine-covered trellis. A large picnic table sits underneath, allowing us to enjoy evening meals and the morning’s coffee with the soothing sounds of the ocean for background music.
Nestled near a cluster of trees, not far from the house, is my studio. The place I will write or draw or read. It’s a little room that includes running water and a toilet–my space.
We will have 2, maybe 3, self-contained guest cabins that we rent out. Breakfast will be provided to our guests and they will have complete privacy from us and other cabins. From our property, guests will be able to take the provided beach towels and boogie boards and walk to the beach below.
Best of all, each cabin will have its own library with books and board games and puzzles – and a table large enough to play on. The lounge area will have comfy overstuffed chairs with a quaint fireplace. Of course, all the conveniences will be provided, including wifi, but the point is for guests to get away and reconnect.
This forever house of ours will be accessible to an airport. It can be a smaller airport that connects to a larger one for international travel. It will be close-ish to town so that quality provisions ca be easily purchased.
So, with that forever property in mind, we’re on the scout for an area.
We’re not looking to buy a specific property at this point. We’re just looking at areas that might suit us.
Before we began our full-time journey, starting with our 10 month Australian Road Trip, Hobart and Seattle were on our “possible settle” list. That was it. Two areas. Since we’ve travelled a bit, those are the two places that have made our hearts sing. We have eliminated many, many others over the years.
We’ve now added to that exclusive list: a little town called Merimbula.
Nestled on the Sapphire Coast on the south end of N.S.W., sits what we consider to be close nirvana. We both felt taken with the community for the short time we stayed. It has an airport that connects to larger cities. It has small town charm with big town shopping convenience. It has amazing beaches to swim, surf, snorkel, paddle board, and kayak. Oh, and there’s fishing too, although we’re not into fishing at all. But our guests may be?
Only a few minutes from Merimbula and you are in the middle of farmland. It’s the land of fat dairy cows and luscious green rolling hills. It’s breathtakingly beautiful.
Scenic drives are abundant from the area but one of our favourites is the Whale Trail.
The name of the Whale Trail has an interesting origin. In the era of whale hunting, Orcas and the local fisherman made for an unusual team in this particular area. The killer whales would ‘round up’ the smaller whales and bring them into the coves, for the whalers to slaughter.
As a reward, the whalers would ‘toss’ the killer whales the leftovers they would not use, such as the tongues and entrails. It’s the only place in the world that there is record of this happening, where the whales and the fisherman would work together. The skeleton of one of those killer whales, “old Tom” sits in the Whale Museum in Eden.
So, there is now the Whale Trail to commemorate this unusual relationship between man and the sea. It begins in Eden, just south of Merimbula. Points of interest take you from scenic lookouts, to old slaughter houses, and even to an historic Inn that’s rumoured to be cursed.
Okay, cursed may be a little extreme, but that’s my personal take.
You see, the founder of the Inn wanted to build an entire community in the quaint bay where the Inn resides, but he failed to sell any land around it – even to this day. Some plots have been for sale for over 30 years. That screams curse to me, especially since it’s a really beautiful spot. It’s situated near a large bay with tranquil waters that are great for snorkelling. Long stretches of sand are protected from the elements and it sits adjacent to a National Park. So why then has the land not sold when it’s primed for the taking?! One word: cursed!
Unlike most beach communities where shops are lined up on top of each other right alongside of the shore, Merimbula is spread out. There’s a respectable distance for the shops well away from the beach areas, giving beachgoers and shoppers the space they want. (Don’t worry shoppers, you still get great views of the water!)
There really is such a variety of outdoor living here. It’s on a bay, or an inlet, where you can watch the tide come and go throughout the day. Where oyster farms lie on one side of the inlet and a river meanders on the other. Where on the opposite side of one headland is a brilliant beach with rock pools to explore and on the opposite headland, the fish are abundant, waiting to be caught from the pier. Further round, quaint restaurants offer simple fare with picnic benches so diners can admire the views. And further still, a boardwalk that takes you out over the water and through an estuary so you can see the little fishes feeding in the current.
Merimbula is amazing. And leaving was a difficult thing to do. But I will return. Whether it will be forever or for an extended stay, I don’t know. But I will return.