The Sunshine Coast is a tourist area about an hours drive north of Brisbane. Many families come here for a short vacation due to the amazing year-round weather. One of the attractions is going to see Humpback whales that are readily seen off the coast.
I chatted with a few people on the boat – the first, a local businessman who had previously worked abroad in Europe and who chose to move to the area a few years ago with his family when he was living in Sydney.
‘Sometimes life [here on the Sunshine Coast] is too perfect. Australians focus on the quality of life more. Cities are too busy. I lived in Melbourne, which was fun when I was younger. I also lived in France and Italy. Italy was amazing.’
‘My advice? Have fun. Enjoy it. Don’t worry too much about the future – it’ll sort itself out. Not as much pressure here on kids as there is in places like Asia but I think that’s changing.’
The second person I spoke to was born in India, and then moved to Uganda before finally settling in Australia, where she now lived in Melbourne.
‘What would I tell my 16 year old self? I’d tell myself how lucky I’ve been. I’ve had such a fortunate life because of the things I’ve done. Value your education and what it brings.’
I also spoke to the boat’s skipper. In peak tourist season he takes the boat out twice daily. Originally from New Zealand, he had worked in the boating industry in Sydney, where there were regularly 19 different whale watching companies, before moving to the Sunshine Coast where they were the only outfit. He too raved about the quality of life offered by moving to the Sunshine Coast from a big city.
‘I love living here. It’s much better than Sydney where I was before. Not as busy.’