My family and I are back in the real world again after 18 months of living in a bubble. We had a free house in the outback town of Karratha, with most of our house hold expenses paid for. It is seen as an arduous post. The gas and mining companies have to entice and persuade people to give it a go.
It didn’t take much to lure us. We were intrigued to experience The Pilbara.
Many people can’t hack it. It is barren, blistering hot and set in a solitary corner of North West Australia. Cyclone Alley to be exact. There are people who leave abruptly, then there are people who try to appreciate it and of course there are some people who love it. Some people enjoy the isolation, take up fishing and enjoy a mostly tranquil life style. Some people are frustrated and bored in this desolate desert.
Most people thought we were insane to go.
‘Are you insane? It’s in the middle of no where, you do know that right?’
If you can move past the worries, fear, and exasperation (Is this it?), most people are able to make the most of this tempestuous, wild region. It does have social problems, it is scalding hot and it is secluded. But there are good people determined to make it their abode, despite the unreasonable habitat where going out for a short walk to the car can result in excessive water loss.
I remember the first time I jumped back into my car after doing a weekly grocery shop. I thought my skin was going to melt to the steering wheel. The zeal of the UV rays is excessive. I was struggling to breathe due to the extreme and concentrated heat. The humidity is about 90 per cent, the temperatures regularly top 48 degrees Celsius. I am Scottish, this was pretty unusual conditions for me. I was willing the air conditioner to snap into full swing!
After some time, you become animated when some distant cloud passes by.
‘Oh look! Cloud! I hope it hangs around,’ I would yearn. Anything to break up the relentless daggers of the fierce sun.
We decided life and all the rich experiences come down to perspective. We decided to treat the exploit as an adventure. It would be challenging to adapt to the harsh climate and the remoteness.
There is something pleasing about being able to live in a town that is secluded from the rest of the world. There is something exciting about living in an immeasurable desert.
I want to say to you that you should consider trying a new city, a new country, a new job posting. It may seem frightening but it could be rewarding and life changing. Just think about me – a Scottish woman who was content enough in the hot and dusty Pilbara. Don’t let apprehension and fear stand in your way.
And so after 18 months of arid wilderness we are back in a brand new city. It’s another adventure and another jolt to the system. We are back to having options. We are back to traffic. We are back to the real world with all the beauty and stresses that brings.
We have just bought a new house. We are enthusiastic to start our life, to find a good school for our children. Sadly we will have to pay all our household bills now. Bummer.
So what’s the theme here? We keep pushing fear to the side. Go on, give it a try.
Alana Munro is an author who has recently published her debut book, Women Behaving Badly. Simply go to Alana’s website to find out more. http://alanamunroauthor.com/
This article was written for Steel Magazine.