Opportunities meet lifestyle in Orange
Relocating to Orange in early 2015 after growing tired of the daily grind of Sydney living, Daniel Masters and his wife Elise quickly discovered that they could live the lifestyle they wanted, without sacrificing their career opportunities.
"During peak hour in Sydney, my commute took an hour and ten minutes each way, which meant that if I finished work at 7.30pm, by the time I got home it was 8.30pm and once I'd had a shower and unwound it was 9.00pm, the night's over.
"My commute has now gone down to ten minutes – door-to-door," Daniel said.
Daniel and his wife Elise have also discovered that being close to work has other benefits.
"Elise and I are able to enjoy the simple things, like meeting for a picnic during my lunch break - and for us things like that are really what work-life balance is about," he added.
Professionally, the transition for Daniel has been smooth and he sees future career opportunities available.
"One of my Department's main offices is in Orange, which means that my career progression is the same as it was in Sydney."
One of Daniel's personal ambitions had been to undertake postgraduate study, something which was unattainable in Sydney due to the constraints on his time.
"I've actually got that time to study my postgraduate degree in mathematics, as I'm not losing two and a half hours each day to travel," he said.
Despite the distance from Sydney, Daniel believes that they're spending more quality time than ever with their families.
"It's about quality – not quantity," he explains. "When we were in Sydney we'd pop in to visit family for an hour or two, but now we're in Orange, our family and friends come and stay for the weekend."
Daniel and Elise's families were not surprised by their decision to move, as they'd been disappearing from Sydney to unwind every weekend for the past couple of years.
"My family was surprisingly supportive and really quite excited for us because they knew Orange was only two and a half hours away – it's not Perth, it's not Adelaide, it's not a 12 hour flight away," Daniel said.
The couple now spend much of their free time hiking, mountain biking and appreciating the great outdoors.
However, Daniel says one of the best things that he and Elise have been able to enjoy with their newly discovered spare time is having the time to wind down at the end of a busy week.
"Actually disconnecting from the stresses of everyday life – enjoying a leisurely coffee and brunch at a café on Sunday morning – it's just that luxury of time."
And Daniel's advice for Sydney residents considering a move to regional NSW?
"Just take the plunge."