Strahan – 12 weeks in a remote village on Tasmania’s wild West Coast
I spent my last 12 weeks in Australia in a small village called Strahan located at the West Coast of Tasmania. Living in Melbourne I looked for jobs in the surroundings and found this summer job on gumtree.com.au. A full-time job in the middle of nowhere on this special island Tasmania, I felt really lucky that I got the job!
I liked the work – housekeeping and reception for a nice little family accommodation. Strahan was sunny in February, so I discovered all the little places like the waterfall, the harbour, the beaches, the sand dunes and the forest. I have never lived in a remote place like this before – slow wi-fi and phone reception, only one little (expensive) supermarket and the next bigger one more than 200km away. After two weeks I wasn’t sure anymore if I would enjoy hanging out here for another 10 weeks… But with the days passing my mind slowly quieted down. I found a lot of routines to fill my days and live cheap, for example I started cooking big pots so I could eat for a few days. I ate my dinner always before 6pm so I could allow some intermediate fasting for my digestive system. My meditation and Yoga practice was never as strong as here, I didn’t miss one morning of one hour deep meditation and breath work.
The nature here in and around Strahan is different from the hot, tropical, beachy landscape I had experienced before in Australia. The weather is crazy and there can be many strong showers of rain every week, even in summer. Often there are not many people around, I experienced the river and harbour beaches, the wet rainforest with its streams and waterfalls, the impressive sand dunes growing into the forest and the huge, wild and empty beaches often on my own. My boss invited my to join tours with the West Coast Wilderness Railway and the River Cruise with World Heritage Cruises and both was a deeply impressive experience. The incredible wild and beautiful nature and the way people built their lives here in the last 200 years is just out of the world for me!
My life never felt as boring as here, but slowly I felt content and relaxed about this. I had so much time although I worked more than full time. I deeply realised how it can make me happy (or content) to just be and live my routines, not doing and planning too much. Although I had been there 3 times before, I enjoyed walked to the waterfall even more when I did it the 4th time. I think it can be very healing to live in small places, not having a car and not having too much internet. I started to bake a lot of cakes and went out to pick blackberries and apples in town several times a week. Around Easter I suddenly had a strong intuition to do some fasting. So I practiced the Yogic bowel cleanse Shanka Prakshalana and decided to eat only brown rice (and a little turmeric, black pepper and eventually some oats and barley) for the next 10 days (I made only 9 in the end).
The days got shorter in April, it rained nearly every day, mushrooms started to grow everywhere and the wind got quite fresh. Autumn arrived in Strahan, I deeply soaked in every moment of sunshine we got. When I caught my second cold here and had to slow down even more, I could appreciate so much how great I normally feel in life. I went for short bike rides and worked out at the little free open air gym at the harbour and practiced deep breathing.
My days in Strahan were over, I know I will look back to the quiet and beautiful days down here and miss it. For now I can’t wait to leave this place after being in the same little village for 80 days!0