A few months ago, my husband and I made the decision to buy an apartment at Surfers Paradise, on the Gold Coast in Queensland.
We have investment properties, on the Coast and in Brisbane, however, we wanted somewhere we could have as our haven that we could ‘run away’ to whenever we wanted.
We wanted our own home again. We have been living downstairs from my parents-in-law for 8 years. They are both 89 years old and although in reasonable health, we wanted to be nearby to keep an eye on them and for my husband to be available to take them to doctors appointments and to the bank. When their tenant moved out we moved in. We thought at the time it would only be short term however, 8 years later we are still there with no sign of moving.
This year has had some great moments and some equally sad moments. We both felt it was time to stop standing still and to enjoy our life. My concern was that our retirement years would be taken up solely with looking after parents.
Life is so short and can end unexpectedly as I’ve written before, so we plunged in, adjusted our finances and purchase our own ‘home’.Life is short and can end unexpectedly - so start living!Click To Tweet
We are like a couple of newlyweds decorating and setting up house. Of course we are only able to be here part-time at the moment, but the freedom it has given us and the happiness it brings is immeasurable.
Surfers Paradise is situated on the northern end of the Gold Coast on the Pacific Ocean. For the last 20 years we have celebrated New Year here and can’t remember a year we haven’t spent enjoying what Surfers Paradise has to offer. Beautiful white sand, long stretches of beach, great surfing beaches and nightlife. The atmosphere is one of being alive and vibrant and I’m never lonely here.
It was the original place to have a ‘beach holiday’ and the Southerners, (as we call Australians south of the Queensland border), would flock for annual holidays of surf and sand during the 60s and well into the 90s.
It was the place to be seen for locals as well as Australian and International tourists. The area of Surfers Paradise was called the Glitter Strip. During a recent upgrade to the esplanade they now have photos of the early days which provide a great history to how the area was and how it has grown.
Over the years, like many places, new areas opened up and Surfers Paradise went into decline. It didn’t help that it was the mecca for nightclubbers and for ‘schoolies’ where students let their hair down to celebrate the end of their formal schooling. It still is a place for ‘schoolies’ although now it is much more supervised with activities to keep everyone entertained (and out of trouble).
Families started to drift away and it did become seedy and the Glitter Strip became tarnished for a while, although I’ve always loved visiting and my philosophy is you can be as involved as you want or not. Again that word ‘choice’ comes into it.
Surfers Paradise has now gone through a renaissance!
Tourists are coming back in droves and families are once again enjoying the thrill of a beachside holiday. New, updated accommodation has been constructed with more to come. There is a great mix of new and older holiday apartments reminiscent of a more innocent time.
The Gold Coast will actually host the Commonwealth Games in 2018 so the area will be on the world stage which will be great for tourism.
There is so much to do here and with the introduction of the light rail link you don’t need a car! We usually park our car and then don’t use it until it is time to go home. Don’t feel like walking? You can hire motor scooters to get whiz around on.
My perfect day to spend in Surfers Paradise would go like this:-
We wake up to the sound of the waves rolling in, the smell of the clean salt air and usually the sunlight beaming into our bedroom. After we leisurely wake up we take a brisk walk along the esplanade. It is always alive with people catching a wave, walking, running, cycling, exercising, doing yoga, walking their dogs or just sitting watching the sun rise. People are out and about no matter what the weather is like. It is a very healthy lifestyle and you can fall into the feeling of being on a perpetual holiday.
Halfway through our walk we stop at the local Surf Club and enjoy a buffet breakfast overlooking the ocean. I love watching the seagulls as they try to find their next meal and squabbling over a hot potato chip some passerby has accidentally dropped.
Sometimes we sit on a bench and stare out to sea. I just love looking at the ocean, and I don’t mind what the weather is like. Being near the ocean is so soothing to me whether it is clear skies or stormy. There is always something happening on the beach. People swimming, children building sandcastles, sunbathing or playing. Everyone is always happy at the beach!
We wander through the shops and make our way back to the apartment, for an afternoon of relaxation, reading, quality time, perhaps some blogging or an afternoon nap.
Sometimes an ‘after nap’ swim in the pool to refresh ourselves.
In the late afternoon we take another more leisurely stroll along the esplanade or beach as the sun begins to descend over the hinterland. There is usually a southerly breeze which is cooling and invigorating.
We love to cook, so it is time to decide what we would like to make for dinner. Once the decision is made and we have brought our provisions we slowly walk home and enjoy a drink on the balcony before dinner.
This day might not sound exciting to you but to me it is perfect! Relaxation, Rest and Restoring the mind and body to well-being and balance.
If you want something more exciting there are always the many and varied restaurants, souvenir shops or the esplanade night markets to wander through and theme parks such as Dreamworld, Movieworld, Seaworld and Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary if the family gets bored with the beach! There is also the beautiful hinterland with rainforests to discover within an hour’s drive.
Why not come and visit I’m sure you would love my home by the sea.