For a long time I’ve kept my design business and my country, ‘outback’ lifestyle separate. Every now and then on my social media my ‘rural’ life creeps in and I’m not really sure why I haven’t featured it more regularly. I think when you’re building a brand it’s really important to stay true to who you are and share the parts that make us unique and that’s what I intend to do going forward with The Darling Design Co.
For those who know me personally, it’s no surprise I enjoy living regionally. I’ve grown up in a remote country town and spent a large part of my life on our family property which I’ve always really loved. I think living out here in upper north west NSW has made me who I am. It’s made me the business person I am and helped me create this business that I love. For a while I often stayed away from sharing bits and pieces of my life out here in the ‘bush’. I’m not really sure why but I think it had something to do with me thinking people might be put off by working with someone located so ‘remotely’.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t currently live on our family property, I live in a small town in a beautiful home Trav and I bought together just over a year ago where we have great phone coverage and wifi internet at the ready, so I am by no means hindered because of my location. I think I had a feeling that people would think I’m a bit ‘disconnected’ from the world because I live in the outback. It’s not hard to see why people would think that. A lot of city people might think anything past the Blue Mountains is the end of the earth! This kind of stigma about living out here motivates me to educate others that this is so not the case!
Living in the country is such a beautiful thing. It’s a completely different lifestyle to living in the city (which I have done in previous years) and it sure has its pros and cons, like anything. I want people to start to recognise that living out here doesn’t mean you can’t achieve great things, or have a great career or life. This is why I plan to show more about my life in outback Australia and I want to start sharing with people more about what it’s like to live and work out here. Particularly what it’s like to build a business out here (which, to be honest, is much like building a business anywhere – as long as I have wifi my freelance design business can function!)
A HUGE part of why I love living out here is getting to spend time with my parents on our family property ‘Budda’ at Tilpa. The property is a special place for all of us and I always love visiting. Trav and I visited two weeks ago and spent two nights at ‘Budda’ (pronounced ‘Bud-Dar’) and we try to visit as much as we can which is usually at least once a month if life and work commitments allow it. It’s where my horse Splash lives (she often features on my social media pages – she is such a gorgeous, feisty gal) and I’ve slowly been bringing her out of retirement and riding her as much as I can.
Horse riding is another big love of mine and I am always dreaming about the day when I can live on a farm of our own and ride every day! Trav even had a riding lesson with me this particular weekend – it was the first time he had ever been on a horse! I was so proud of him for giving it a go for me. It can be so daunting for people who aren’t used to riding so I completely understand his trepidation when climbing up to sit atop a powerful animal!
Part of living in the country is understanding what it means to be in drought. We are certainly in drought at the moment and the property is looking dry and dusty. While at Budda we helped my dad hand feed the cattle which are due to calve any day now. It’s so hard to watch the herd dwindle and lose weight despite trying our best to keep them healthy and full with supplementary feed as the paddocks become bare.
I think drought is something a lot of people don’t fully understand. I often see people on social media who aren’t familiar with the rural way of life making negative comments about farmers and how surely by now we would know how to deal with drought. It makes me angry to see how misunderstood the agricultural industry can be. What a lot of people don’t see is how vastly the different the seasons can be out here. Just two years ago to the date exactly, my parent’s paddocks were lush and green, and today they are bare and dry. We experienced amazing rainfall in the winter of 2015 which made for a great season, but unfortunately not every year will be that promising.
All we can do for now is hope and pray for much needed rain, and continue to hand feed and hang on to the livestock we do have in the hope that we’ll see a better season soon. This is a part of my life I don’t often share through my business, but I think it’s important to show this side to my life as it’s a huge part of who I am, and why I started working in rural communities and wanted to promote them.
This past week has also seen me send another issue of my magazine, Far West Living, off to print! It’s always so exciting at this time and I love the anticipation of sharing another issue with my friends and followers. It’s going to be an amazing, bright and fun issue which is due out on September 1. You can read more about the magazine and order a copy by visiting the website here.
Next weekend Travis and I are heading back to Budda to look after the property for a few days while my parents and our caretakers are away in Queensland! I can’t wait to share with you our daily jobs and give you a glimpse at full-time life on an station out west! Be sure to head over to my instagram account and keep an eye on my insta-stories as I’ll be sharing some footage over there!
Until our next catch up.
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