Where there’s no challenge, there’s no change.

Well it’s almost been a month since I packed up my house, shed too many tears and drove 1200km to my new home in Alpha.

Alpha, where the hell is that?

Somewhere along the Capricorn Highway in Outback Queensland. 450km from the East Coast (Rockhampton) and 170km to the nearest supermarket. Look it up on Google Maps… Then zoom in, but don’t blink or you’ll miss it.

Why did you leave? Noosa is the dream!?
I get that question a lot, from both Noosa and Alpha people (and everyone in between). Noosa isn’t going anywhere, I can always go back. And the beauty of working hard for four years with a wonderful company is that I have been assured I will always have a job within the group if I decide to come back. That offer is humbling and reassuring, it’s kind of like having travel insurance. You wouldn’t want to travel without it and you hope you won’t need it… But it gives peace of mind and allows you to take risks and enjoy the journey.

You didn’t answer the question, why did you leave?

Unless you know me well you might find it hard to understand but here goes… I love feeling challenged, I like working hard and for a purpose, but I also like to feel I’m contributing to society or helping people. Cliche I know, but that’s why I became a pharmacist. Whilst I had a dreamy roster in Noosa (4 days on, 3 days off) and had the best colleagues I could imagine, I just felt like there was more to life… But I wasn’t sure what. So I’m going in search!
Whilst it may seem to the outsider as a rash decision, this has been a while coming. I’m know I’m good at what I do, but I’ve spent hours brainstorming possible career changes, year abroad (cycling through vineyards in Tuscany anyone?), thought about hospital pharmacy and even enrolled in a digital design course (that was not for me)! I wasn’t content or satisfied any of those were what I wanted, then this opportunity came along.

Sole pharmacist (sole staff member actually) in a town of 500 people, hundreds of kilometres from anywhere. Oh yep, sounds thrilling I can hear you say sarcastically.

Before I flew to Alpha to check it out I had spoken extensively with one of the owners and was sitting on the fence. It sounded appealing, like a hiatus from real life. Save money, boost my resume, challenge myself and possibly make a difference to a tiny town. On the other side of the fence was a perfectly good job I already had in one of the most beautiful places in the world with heaps of awesome friends.

It wasn’t until I was reflecting on the flight home from Alpha that I knew it was what I had been looking for. It would have its challenges but I could see so much potential for greatness… Plus the town had a pool (definite prerequisite)!

One of the other questions I’ve been asked… Will you still do triathlons out there?

Of course! I responded with a roll of my eyes and smile. It’s what I love. That was before I got here. A week after arriving I was questioning that… The pool is closed for winter, I nearly died of thirst and boredom running a 15km dirt road to nowhere and there’s the constant worry of road trucks whilst riding (or the boredom factor of wind training) not to mention missing my training buddies. I was like seriously? Do I actually love this?

Then instead of riding indoors as planned, the next day I got on my bike and hit the road for some hard efforts. The road surface was rough, I crossed 6 cattle grids, I got off the road at least 8 times for trucks (it was a narrow and usually quiet road) I had to turn around early because some rogue cattle were on the road… But I loved every minute of it and had the best day afterwards. Yep I sure do love this sport and the crazy things that come with it.
It’s not going to be easy, nothing worth having ever is. I’ve only been here 3.5 weeks and have already questioned the decision to move.

I miss my friends and family like crazy.

I miss the convenience of changing your mind about what to have for dinner and stopping at Coles (or Indian takeaway) after work. 

I miss arriving at the pool half asleep at 5am to be greeted by the smiliest faces. 

I miss the hugs, high fives and rubber bands being flicked at me at work. 

I miss Thursday afternoon gym sessions (ok chill, chat and a wee bit of strength work). 

I had a really bad ride last weekend and all I wanted to do was meet for a coffee with my buddy Sue and debrief. But she’s not here, neither are any coffee shops.

So yes I miss Noosa, despite running and riding the same roads week in week out for four years the beauty was never lost on me. To live in such a glorious part of the world was great, but it’s the people that make the place and I miss them the most but already know Alpha’s got some wonderful people too.

I know it probably sounds like I’m rambling but if you take one thing from this I reckon it would be… If you aren’t over the moon happy with your life, change it. One of the sole things that increases happiness is having a purpose. What’s yours? Maybe you already know and don’t have to move cross country like me. But don’t be afraid, take a risk, try something new, upskill, hell just start to research what you might like to do with the ONE life we have.

So if you’re thinking of a career change, moving overseas, starting a business, trying online dating, registering for an Ironman or whatever it is that scares you… just do it. What’s the worst that could happen?

Until next time remember, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Chloe x

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