Horse lovers Laine and Alicia Cameron were keen to trade their long and expensive commutes in Auckland for a more relaxed rural life in Taranaki. But first, they decided to ponder the finer details of their move with a six-month trip around Europe.

“We sold our townhouse in Wainui and went travelling while we decided where to move to exactly. I’d lived in Stratford and commuted to Hawera when Laine and I first met and thought a lifestyle block in New Plymouth might suit us better this time,” says Alicia.
 
Fate had other plans though and more than 20 people tagged them in on a property for sale in Cardiff as they were busy seeing the sites of Europe.
 
“Our friends were right. The property was perfect for us – it even had a horse arena!
 
When you can sell an Auckland townhouse and buy a 4-acre farm in Taranaki, you know you are onto a good thing.
 
“Our friends can’t believe what we’ve got for our money!
 
And six years of a daily two to three-hour commute is also a thing of the past.
 
“We had long days and expensive fuel bills in Auckland.”
 
Just three months after making the move, Alicia secured a communications role at Stratford District Council. Since then she’s gone on to work in communications roles for local government and is now working for energy company  Powerco.
 
Husband Laine relocated his blacksmith farrier business and has been very busy from the get go.
 
“It’s a unique business, but he has contacts through doing his apprenticeship here and fortunately he’s been flat out – but now his day finishes at a normal time, not 9pm with all the commuting he had to do in Auckland,”
 
While Alicia sometimes misses the variety a big city offers, she’s found small towns have lots of free community events.
 
“There’s plenty to do in Stratford and new cafes and cool places are opening all the time.
 
Alicia and Laine have also found it easy to meet friends.
 
“It doesn’t take long to make friends through your work and other friends and we meet heaps of people through horse riding.
 
And now they have time to hang out with friends and indulge their interests
 
“It’s so much easier to work to live not live to work down here.