Voice of Real Australia: Dreams are become reality for many Australians escaping the big cities

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A friend sent me a picture on the weekend. Sitting in her backyard in Sydney, she was looking through the property section in the weekend paper as her daughter made a farm with her toys.

Following on from the news that the snap lockdown of Sydney was to be extended from the eastern beaches to all of Greater Sydney, and from one week to two, this was the closest the family was going to get to Echuca where they were supposed to be headed on a farmstay.

Yes, as I predicted last week, another school holidays, another lockdown. This time it's Sydney, not Melbourne, shutting down whilst the rest of the country slams borders shut.

Two weeks is certainly bearable, and it's nothing compared to what Melbourne went through last year, but nonetheless it's just one of the many reasons that we've seen a huge up swell in interest in regional areas from people in the major cities and it's not just fantasy.

Whilst my friend and I may have indulged in the classic Aussie pastime of talking property as we traded links of some of the stunning properties for sale across Australia, we also chatted about friends who've made the move from big city to small, or even gone full country buying a farm and changing their whole lifestyle.

Our friends are not the only ones. There are plenty of areas where the issue isn't booming property prices, it's a complete lack of anything for sale.

It's not just the rollercoaster of emotions brought on by lockdowns that's driving this interest. Many people were considering the move and the recent restrictions on travel, both overseas and interstate have crystalised the idea of what people want. And unsurprisingly what people want is not traffic jams, lockdowns and

Why stay somewhere where you're always dreaming of somewhere else when you can relocate permanently to the place of your dreams.

Of course it's not always so simple, nor is so idyllic once you settle into your new home and discover that you've swapped traffic jams for slow internet or intermittent mobile reception.

However a recent survey by the Regional Australia Institute showed that up to 20% of urban Australians were considering the move which suggests its not just a dream but reality for many.

Whilst we celebrate the benefits brought with increased populations in regional areas, whether it be increased childcare or school options or maybe your local footy team or volunteer group has seen an influx of new members we also acknowledge that the increase in demand for housing has seen others locked out of the market.

So wherever you may be in Australia, we hope you will join the conversation as we explore the good, the bad and the unexpected impact of #RacetotheRegions

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