I can hear those living in the Eastern States scoffing right now – yeah right Adelaide is not rad. It is quaint and quiet and narrow minded and lacking in diversity. It is small and too many conversations start with: “What school did you go to?”.
I have been a big dismisser of Adelaide for years, I still am at times. It is a tad homogenous, particularly when you’re looking for a great dress or pair of shoes. Sometimes it’s a struggle to find enough quirky pockets to hang out in which provide a buzz. And there are whole suburbs where the only racial difference would be if you put salt on your fried dim sims or not.
I’ve since worked out any feelings of claustrophobia can be easily combated by a trip away. When I am craving something different I just fly to Sydney or Melbourne. When I am craving being surrounded by throngs of people and being stuck in traffic I go there. It gives me the thrill I need to snap me out my blissful domesticity.
We even moved to Melbourne for a few years to escape the safe, smothering nature of this town. We loved it and would move back in a flash, but we would both have to work full time jobs to pay the mortgage. Life would be one big rush. One big tag team. Fine we’d live in a fabulous city, but we would never have the time or the money to enjoy it.
Since having kids I’ve definitely become more an Adelaide supporter – and I was born here. I’ve worked out that it’s more important to reside in a small, liveable city and party in a big city. Same goes for the country, the cold and fog is much more romantic on a weekend away, rather then years of being subjected to long, drawn out, dark winters. Been there, done that.
In Adelaide, we can afford to live in an inner city suburb. It takes us 10 minutes to walk the kids to school, 15 minutes to ride our bike to the Adelaide Central Markets, 40 minutes to walk into Rundle St and have a pint of Pale Ale at the Exeter. I am within spitting distance of a fabulous independent bottle shop, clothes shops, supermarket, coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants and a weekly farmer’s market. I can take a few steps out my front door and jump on a tram to either the beach or the city or the Entertainment Centre. Our suburb is vibrant, culturally and ethnically diverse, it’s filled with families, university students, older people who sit on their front pooch and watch the world go by. It is not only a bit hip, but pockets are a bit posh and large slabs have the necessary grunge element to keep it fun. A little bit like Adelaide itself.
Adelaide is home to the Fringe, the Festival, the Cabaret Festival, WOMAD, Tour Down Under, Clipsal and a whole host of other events. We have some some of the best wineries in the world and some of the best beaches. We are spoilt for weekends away. And seeing that so many of our friends live elsewhere we always have somewhere to bunk for the night.
Adelaide does have a disproportionate amount of bogans, there is also generations of poverty, murders are many and the suburban sprawl is leading to a higher then normal number of Commodore purchases. There is much small-mindedness and bigotry. There are parts I fear to walk in the day and wouldn’t drive through in the night. But these social disparities are in every city. These are problems facing every community. They are not unique to Adelaide.
What is unique to Adelaide is the ease in which we live. Adelaide is small, it is quaint, it is quiet, but man, it’s a damn fine place to live. It’s little wonder it was named the fifth best city in the world to live.
What do you love about where you live?
You’re so right B! I’ve spent a fair share of my career talking up Adelaide too and think that it’s a brilliant place to live and host events of all kinds cos of all the reasons you say. No way could we afford to live less than 2 blocks from the beach in the Eastern states!! I love that Melbs topped the list as I love it there but my heart and family will always be here in Adelaide. I really hate how people talk about Adelaide like it is a total backwater. It isn’t any more so than any other pocket of suburbs in any major city. X
I love where I live, apart from the expense x
I love Melbourne, I live in an old suburb and cycled into the city on the weekend, the costs are higher but I like squeezy old homes with a backyard and trams and milk bars and grocers nearby. I love Adelaide too but my family keeps me here and my job. I love Perth as well but just to far from family. Sydney, here we go… is always good for a visit!
I moved from a little beach town in northern NSW to a little bush/hills town in WA 5.5 years ago. MASSIVE change. It took me almost 3 years to stop calling the east coast ” home”. Im 45 mins out of Perth & close enough to everything I need. Perth is a big country town. It lacks A LOT but for some reason I still love it. The weather kills me, too much sun not enough rain, but I still love it. It’s filled with a mix of people from all over the world & all economic levels. It’s expensive but the opportunities this place has to offer is amazing.
I don’t know if this will be our final stop but it’s doing us very nicely for now.
I could swap ‘Brisbane’ with ‘Adelaide’ at many points in your post. Similarly, I crave a big city fix from time to time, but since having children the tranquil, walking-distance and community-oriented aspects of Brisbane have a whole new appeal. One of the great things about having children is being able to appreciate your environment in a different way. When a weirdly shaped leaf or a truck with extra big wheels provides fodder for an hour long conversation you know that your nightclubbing days are probably over for the time being! I am grateful for my outer-suburban, safe, clean neighbourhood we are living in right now. Brisbane does have some fantastic cultural offerings, of course, but I have less time to enjoy them. I still appreciate all things fast and fashionable, but I access them in much smaller doses these days!
I have a constant love/hate relationship with where I live, on the rural mid-north coast of NSW. Sometimes it fills me with delight, sometimes with disgust. Mostly the people, to be honest, rather than conveniences such as shops or public transport, of which there are none within a half an hour drive. The landscape and sheer physical beauty of the place sustains me when nothing else does.
Great post Bianca. I’m often thinking about where we live and your points have given me a new perspective to apply. Thanks!
The other day I saw a poster on FB that was along the lines of “Adelaide an amazing place said no one ever” it made me titter but I was quite interested in the feedback from the Radelaidians. Very passionate.
I’m an SA west coaster who went to school and lived in Adelaide for a long time (btw, where did you go to school?) but I felt after 10 yrs away I couldn’t move back for many of the reasons you state.
I love visiting but Melbs is now home (where we can’t afford a house and live miles away from family) but SA gets under your skin as there are no better beaches, wine, food…………etc around x
I love Adelaide, went to uni there but I am a native Territorian (yes that northern part of Australia that most people forget about!). I live in a very remote coast town in Arnhemland where all supplies are barged in. Our fruit and veg actually comes from Adl by road to Darwin and then by barge to us! This is a great little family town, very safe for our kids to grow and the scenery is amazing. I am looking forward to many boating and camping trips! Great post B!
I love Adelaide too, for all the same reasons you have listed . I moved to Adelaide 15 years ago and feel like I really found my home. It really is a city you need to live in to appreciate, to find all the hidden gems x