Moving somewhere new can be hard work but finally, thankfully, it’s starting to feel like we have found our tribe (thanks Seth Godin) and in the village where we live the connections are getting stronger.
Six months ago we moved from the close community of a mining town in central QLD to real world, busy, beachside northern Illawarra, NSW. For a long time it felt like we were adrift in a boat with no oars. Just lately though it’s starting to feel like the oars are in the boat and it’s coming into the harbour.
People are busier down here and it takes a bit of getting used too. Lots of couples commute two hours each way, each day to Sydney. In many families two parents work to pay for bigger mortgages and because the career opportunities are many. Coffee and play dates need to be booked in advance and there are so many extra-curricular activities to choose from it’s hard to know where to start. Which of the ten yoga teachers will you choose, should the kids play soccer or surf or guitar or gym or dancing, what school should they go to? You know that suburban city life is busier, after all you’ve lived there before regional CQ, but how quickly you forget the pace of it.
Sometimes it feels like you will never find your groove. Then one day, all of a sudden you wake up and you realise you’ve stopped rowing and started to enjoy the harbour. You get off the boat and walk into the village and it strikes you that you ARE part of the community that you felt adrift from for so many months. More than that, your tribe is making you feel welcome…..
It’s Monday and I stop off to see Yvonne at the post office. ‘Hi Nicky, here’s your parcel’ she gets out before I have a chance to say hello to her and Neil.
On my way down to the beach I park outside the fruitbarn and get the boys their fruit for the week while they chat to me from the car. Ducking across the
road I chat with Penny and Gareth and Peta while they make my skinny flat white quicker than I can finish telling them about my child-free weekend in Melbourne.
At the beachside park I run into Cathy from preschool. We realise we go to the same preschool because our children greet each other by name. Then I see Cathy walking to Bulli Beach Café and down at the shops. It’s clear we’re stalking each other even though only a week or so ago we didn’t know each others names!
The next day it’s off to the pool to visit the llama’s, horses and chickens and oh and to do some swimming with Ms Claudia and Ms Lynne in the cocoon of the warm pool. Noah wants to know what Ruben’s doing and Sam, Ilenka, Zoe and Georgie splash their hands because Max is here today.
We race over to Austi and while I slug it out boxing like Mike Tyson at fitness class with Karen, Leigh and Kelly the boys play in the sand with Daisy, Pepper and Max. I recognize Michelle and we realise that we were also at Playgroup together two days earlier. Here we chatted with Naz and Bianca and Bonnie. The sun shines, the ocean air fills our nostrils and all feels right with the world.
Then it’s off to have baby chinos with Lyn, Noah and Aidan and swim in the great Australian outdoor ocean pool while eating sand covered oranges and it’s like we’ve know each other forever.
One day a week there’s lap top time while Max chats with Jane and shows her how to hang out at the park. As we wave her good bye we jump in the car to pick up Ruben up from the daycare that (finally) Max will join and talk the ear off Mr Jordan, Ms Steph and Ms Sandra.
Weekends bring surfing and Park Run’s, soccer, dog beach walks, pizza nights, Foragers Markets, lemonades at Ryan’s, early dinner at Wombarra and cocktails at Samuel’s, more surfing and more beach swims.
As you stand on the beach and hug the great white snorer you realise the connections ARE there. You have moved from the boat, to the harbour and into the village. You have your tribe, you have lots of tribes and the connections are getting stronger. It feels good.
Five ways to find your tribe
- Talk – Introduce yourself to everyone. You never no where your life long friend will be found
- Try – everything – fitness class, playgroup, swimming, park visits, pasta making classes
- Read – everything – local paper, noticeboards, newsletters you’d be amazed the number of tribes out there
- Share – it’s amazing the connections you find when you start talking to people
- Be patient – It won’t happen overnight but it will happen