FOR Adelaide shopaholic Lisa Ellul, having a decent number of shops was a must-have for moving to Sunraysia.
“I am a shopper – before we moved I told my husband Tony there were some shops I needed to have close by, such as Target, Kmart and Big W,” Ms Ellul said.
“So I checked if those shops were in Mildura – only after I found out they were here, I was ready to talk about moving.”
The couple, married for 33 years, decided to move to Mildura when Mr Ellul got offered a supervisor position in a gas company.
“I worked as a team leader for years, in the field, so when I got offered the job in Mildura, we decided to seize the opportunity,” Mr Ellul said.
Both Mr and Mrs Ellul’s sons were in their early 20s at the time and had just bought their first house in Adelaide.
"We had to weigh the pros and cons and a major drawback was that the boys were not coming with us – we also became grandparents for the first time around that time, so it wasn’t an easy decision,” Mr Ellul said.
“However, we had to think long-term, such as our retirement, and our sons supported us in this sense.”
It wasn’t love at first sight with Mildura.
Instead, Mr and Ms Ellul learnt to appreciate the city’s slower pace of life and its beautiful environment over time.
“During our first year here, we were constantly travelling back to Adelaide and rarely spent a weekend or holidays in Mildura,” Ms Ellul said.
“The first year was the hardest – it was a lot of adjustment for us and for our sons but now we’ve made connections here, we tend to stay more.”
After two years in Mildura, the couple has finally settled in, spacing out visits to Adelaide to enjoy Sunraysia’s laid-back lifestyle.
Mr Ellul, who considered himself a “sea person”, has “learnt to enjoy the river” and even developed a passion for water sports.
“Our lifestyle here is completely different from what it was in Adelaide – we don’t need to run anymore,” Mr Ellul said.
“It took us some time to realise it – when we first moved here, Lisa used to rush to the shops, it was just a natural habit, we used to hurry.
“Now, we feel more relaxed, we go out for coffee or breakfast down to the river, we explore new places ... we simply take our time.”
The couple are planning on staying in Mildura until their retirement, “in about 10 to 15 years” before moving back to Adelaide, close to their children and grandchildren.
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