LESLEY Hudson grew up in Wollongong and moved to Sydney when she was 15, living in the inner-western suburbs for around 20 years.
"I suppose I would classify my life then as living in the fast lane," said Lesley. "I certainly partied hard and I had big, stressful jobs and lived at a fast speed. I was a real road rager as well.
"My desire to move up here was based on wanting a quieter, healthier life. I'd been here for holidays, but it's a big scary thing to move, when you think of yourself as a real city chick. But somehow, the universe opened the way.
"I work for Australia Post and I had put in the paperwork for a transfer. I expected it to take a couple of years at least - but it happened overnight, literally. The very same night, I got a phone call from work with a position up here. To me that's a universal shove.
"To be fortunate enough to be transferred here in a government job and at the same time, my partner being into natural therapies and wanting to live here, I was so lucky. I work in middle management, between Ballina, Byron Bay and Mullumbimby. I've also worked in Murwillumbah and Moree from here.
"Sydney's fast ... and the mail volume is massive, but here, it's less stressful and the people are more friendly, probably because they have the time. As a postie, I'm always meeting people and they're always friendlier here, saying hello on the street, not in the city.
"Compared to how I was living then, I'm now living at a semi-retired pace. First of all we moved to Bangalow and lived there for a year, but we weren't close enough to the sea. The next stop was Lennox Head - a great little town. And now I'm living in Brunswick Heads.
"This is now my fifth year up here. The relationship I moved up here with ended and a lot of my friends thought I would go back to Sydney, but it didn't even enter my mind. It's so far from what I wanted. I like the close vicinity to the river and the beaches and the pace of life here.
"I also love the culture here, all the entertainment we have access to here is amazing. There are so many music festivals, there's always something going on; I was at the ballet the other night. And the people here; there are so many great people in this region. I have also joined the Rural Fire Service, which I really love. It's a great way to meet people and to give back to community."
- Make the most of the healthy lifestyle here, for instance go to the Farmers Market; I still go to the Bangalow markets every Saturday.
- Try canoeing or any of the water sports, this is the place to do it.
- Do the lighthouse walk - it's a great way to keep fit and socialise at the same time.
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