Prologue - Desert Change
If you would have told me a month ago, I’d be moving to the Outback to live and work, I never would have believed you.
But here I am, booking a one-way ticket to Alice Springs, packing up my corporate life and preparing to go bush.
While I reserve my accommodation, a local hostel in Alice Springs, which is an alarming $28 a night (I couldn’t get a manicure in the city for that amount!), I’m leaving behind my Eastern suburbs address, the stability of a full-time government job and the warmth of family and friends.
The inspiration for this adventure only occurred to me less than four weeks ago. And yet already, I’ve planned to change my life.
My name is Leah Greengarten and this is my journey, From the Office to the Outback. My Red Centre adventure is written as it happens and in real time. It’s my honest account of my ‘desert change’.
To give you the back story, on a whim, I booked a 10-day trip to the Northern Territory. I was looking for a vacation that would fuel my soul, recharge my 'spirit' batteries and give me lasting memories. Looking for meaning in a hectic city life leaves no space for creating the connected existence I want.
Little did I know, the holiday would become the catalyst of a life changing journey and take me down a route I never imagined possible. It was a 10-day holiday and the prologue to my next chapter in life.
Seizing the day
When I returned to Sydney, I was a changed woman. Full of new enthusiasm for the bush and love of the land, I handed in my notice to a job I had been in for three years, working in Sydney’s CBD and started to prepare to go From the Office to the Outback.
I’ve been “adulting” for 15 years. I have a mortgage, bills to pay, a stable job and real responsibilities. But when all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place after my resignation, the weight of all these obligations lifted. I found someone to lease my apartment and a friend to rent my car.
For the next few months, I’ll be reacquainting myself with the great outdoors. I plan to spend my days adventuring and exploring a country I love so much. I hope it inspires you to seize the day and follow your hearts yearnings (if you can).
Just a couple of days ago, I got a job!
I’ve never been good at sitting still, so an office job has always been hard for me. But that comes with corporate life, right?
Growing up in a Jewish family, hosting and catering for large groups is built into our DNA. All those Friday nights preparing, cooking and planning would come in use and give me the confidence to cook for tour groups that come from all around the world to experience the Outback.
Leaving in style
If there is something I believe in, then it's exiting stage left in style.
So in one of my last lunch hours, I dashed to R.M Williams and spent a small fortune on my new 100% Australian leather craftsman’s boots.
I hope they will last me a life time, but more importantly they have become a symbol of my impending trip.
Take the leap, think about what’s really worth investing in and then go for it.
[This image is of young men in the Pipalyatjara Community. The photo shoot was done for Thread Together]