A TikToker Picked Up And Moved To The Australian Outback & Here's How It Changed Her Life
Peaceful and scary at the same time!
While you may have been to the big cities in Australia like Sydney or Melbourne, have you ever wondered what it's like to visit the most remote parts of the country?
Through her videos, TikToker Sally Millar shows her followers how her life has changed since she moved from Sydney to East Kimberly in Western Australia, near the Northern Territory border, two years ago.
Millar and her now-husband were looking for a change when they went on an adventure in their camper van. Eventually, it brought them to their current community of less than 30 people.
Why would you want to live in one of the most remote parts of Australia?! This is a question I get asked all the time and it’s kinda funny to me because I’m always like you have seen where I live right??!! Maybe I’m biased but it’s a pretty incredible place to live 🥰 and sure it doesn’t have all of the things a bit city has, but I wouldn’t change a thing! This video was filmed on Mirrawong, Jaru and Gija Country and I want to acknowledge the Aboriginal peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land. #remoteliving #remoteaustralia #ruralliving #australianoutback #ruralaustralia
While there are aspects she adores about her new lifestyle in the most rugged parts of Australia, the 31-year-old tells Narcity that there are challenges she and her husband, Ed, have had to adjust to.
However, even with certain difficulties like accessing healthcare and long trips to the grocery store, the early childhood educator says she doesn't see herself moving back to a big city anytime soon.
Here are the biggest things she shared about what it's like to live in the Australian outback.
Grocery shopping can take an entire day
It’s time for another monthly grocery shopping haul! Ok guys so I’m not going to lie to you… this really wasn’t a super successful monthly shop! A little while ago we realised that there is a small supermarket about an hour and a half from here, which is was closer than coles!! We were really excited to check it out because usually grocery shopping takes us all day. Sadly the supermarket was small and really really REALLY expensive! That meant that we didn’t end up getting anywhere near enough food for the month and the we will probably have to go again in a couple of weeks 🥲 at least it was fun to explore a new supermarket! #comegroceryshoppingwithme #groceryhaulcheck #groceryshoppinghaul #ruralfood #ruralliving
We all need to eat so grocery shopping is a must, but Millar says her shopping schedule has definitely changed since it can take up to four hours one way!
Millar says she goes to a big grocery store once a month and stocks up on items like rice, pasta and frozen vegetables.
There are smaller grocery stores that are closer if needed, but they will also cost you more.
In one of her videos she shows some of the outrageous prices, including AUD$12 (US $8) for a quarter of a watermelon, AUD$18 (US $12) for a tub of ice cream and AUD$17 (US $11.3) for a kilogram of red bell peppers.
A can of tuna or baked beans will also set you back by around US $4 and a chocolate bar can cost around US $8, Millar tells Narcity.
There's also no guarantee that the shelves will be stocked once you get to the store.
"Quite often up north it's affected by flooding so sometimes you'll go to the grocery store, but there won't be any fresh fruits and vegetables because no trucks have been able to get in," she says.
Mail is only delivered once a week
3 things that ANNOY me the most abiut living in one of the most remote parts of Australia 😅 although I absolutely love loving here… sometimes i do get annoyed by a couple of things. Living here still beats livung in a city any day though! #remoteliving #ruralaustralia #ruralliving #thingsthatannoyme
Millar lists mail delivery as one of three things that annoy her the most about living in such a remote part of the country.
"Mail only comes once a week. Usually, if I order something online it takes anywhere from 10 days to a month to arrive here," she explains.
Apparently two-day Amazon Prime shipping does not apply there!
Accessing healthcare can be difficult
While there is a clinic staffed by nurses nearby, Millar says the doctor is only there once a week on Wednesdays and only for a few hours.
Sometimes they'll get an ear, nose and throat doctor as well, but Millar says you have to book that appointment months in advance.
As for special treatment, that will require a trip elsewhere.
"I needed an MRI last year and I had to get on an airplane and fly for two-and-a-half hours," she explains.
There is also a hospital, but that's two-and-a-half hours away from where Millar lives.
Phone and internet reception can be finicky
Reply to @urmomis_peepee how do you get the internet in some of the most remote parts of Australi?! Our internet is satellite. Sometimes is fast and you can stream netflix… and sometimes the internet is really REALLY slow 😅 #ruralaustralia #ruralliving #ruralproblems #internetproblems
According to Millar, sometimes the internet can stop for five minutes and sometimes it's out for five days.
"Our internet is on a satellite and sometimes it's really good and other times it's really bad," she says in a video. "Our home is also really far from a phone reception tower [...] so we only get 3G."
Most people work at the school
Reply to @graftongorl what do people do for for in rural Australia?! It definitely depends where you live but here where i am most people either work at a remite school, at a station or a mine 😊 #ruralaustralia #rurallifestyle #ruralife #remotework
Millar says almost 100% of people in her community work at the school. Millar herself works there as an early childhood educator, and her husband will soon be the assistant principal.
"Even though we're a really small school, we've only got about 30 students, we're still a school and need quite a lot of staff to actually run," she says in a video.
Aside from school, the TikToker says people work at cattle stations, mines or one of the roadhouses.
There are kangaroos, but also a lot of snakes!
Without a doubt the scariest thing about living in the Australian outback is not knowing what’s hiding in the bushes 🐍 snakes, spiders, crocodiles! All of those things are scary… BUT do you know what’s even scarier than all of that… Thinking about the amount of times I have probably walked right past a snake and not noticed it was there 😱 Every single time I leave my house I wonder how many snakes I have walked past on that journey! And although I have only encountered a couple this year,.. the thought alone is still enough to give me nightmares! #ruralliving #ruralaustralia #aussieoutback #aussieanimals #remoteaustralia
Living in a remote part of Australia means Millar is also close to a lot of wildlife, including snakes.
She says that did freak her out when she first moved to the area, but she's gotten used to it now.
"When we first moved there anytime I hear a rustling in the bush [...] I would run away," she says. "But we see lots of kangaroos and lots of wallabies."
"We've got a little creek in [the] community and there's a freshwater crocodile that lives on a rock there."
Having fun looks a bit different
There are no bars, cafes or restaurants where Millar lives so going out looks different than when she lived in Sydney.
"I don't miss it [Sydney] that often, but sometimes on the weekends, I'll be like, oh, it'd be really nice to go to brunch or go out for coffee or just see my friends," she told Narcity.
As for what Millar and her husband do for fun, she says it involves spending time outdoors.
"We go camping a lot and we go four-wheel driving and so we do fun stuff like that. It's just a bit different."
You don't want to run out of gas or water on a road trip
DO NOT make these mistakes when travelling in the Australian outback 🚫 if you have have never done a road trip in the Aussie outback it can be hard to fathom just how remote it really is. Especially over here in Western Australia! You can drive for hundreds of kilometres and not see another vehicle, shop, petrol station or even a house! I had no idea how incredibly isolated it was up here until I moved out this way. Now I never leave the house without water in the car, snacks and telling someone where I am going and what time I’m expecting to be back. The snacks are optional… but if I get stuck for hours I don’t want to get hangry 😅#ruralaustralia #aussieoutback #remoteaustralia #travelsafetytips #australiantravel
Going on a road trip in the Australian outback is a lot of fun as long as you're prepared, Millar says.
Unlike bigger cities that have gas stations and shops, you need to be mindful of every sign you see because there aren't many places to fill up.
Millar recommends always filling up if you're near a gas station so you never run out and always bring plenty of water.
"If you don't have water in the car, if you don't have any petrol, any snacks, and you break down you could be out there for hours. It's quite dangerous."
It's very peaceful
Millar says one of the aspects she loves most about living in the wilds of Australia is the peace and quiet that comes with it.
"There's no traffic noise. You go to sleep at night and there are no sirens or honking," she explains. "When we lived in Sydney, we lived in an apartment in quite a busy area and all night you'd wake up and there'd be some noise happening outside."