SINCE moving to Hervey Bay four months ago, from Mount Cotton in Brisbane, Mason and Wendy Wong have not looked back.
Mason told The Indy they first came to Hervey Bay about 10 years ago on a mid-week, stress release break.
"We came up because we both had really stressful jobs, and we thought we're going to have a mid-week break," Wendy said.
"I was actually doing my degree in business, and I needed to get away to study, so we came up here and we thought this is a really nice place, and then we just kept coming back, over and over and over again and this became our little getaway," Mason said.
"And then one day we were walking along the esplanade and we saw an open home, and we thought let's have a look," Wendy said.
"And it blew us away," Mason added.
"We thought, 'oh my gosh, we can actually afford to buy here'."
"We had kept looking at these big houses, thinking they must be millions of dollars.
"I actually ended up having a nervous break down and ended up in hospital, we just looked at each other and said life's too short for this."
So the duo traded in their high-stress careers, Mason a state manager for a multi-national IT company, and Wendy a cafe owner, and retired 10 years early (in there mid 50s) to become "unemployed bums" in Hervey Bay and soak in the beauty and marine life of turtles, dolphins and whales.
"I've stopped all medication and you just come out for a walk along here (Urangan Pier) and go 'life's good'."
"We came from a big block of land, and we needed another big block of land... and then we came across River Heads, which is where we settled and we've got a view straight over to Fraser Island.
"We had friends come to visit us who are also high stressed workers, and they came up and sat in our lounge room, which overlooks Fraser Island, and I went in there 10 minutes later to offer them a coffee and they were both asleep," Wendy said.
"That's the de-stress affect," Mason added.
Wendy said her friend was a little embarrassed and apologised for falling asleep, but she reassured her it was ok, saying "this is what we do, this is our chill room".
"That was our room that we did up first, so I could come in there, and just relax, and it's just terrific."
Having worked and lived in every state of Australia, Mason and Wendy even looked at moving over seas to Malaysia or Thailand, and they said nothing compared to Hervey Bay.
"So we looked at all of this, but we decided Hervey Bay had more going for it, it had proximity to Brisbane, the infrastructure, especially the medical, doctors bulk bilk, there is a major hospital and airport."
"Although Wendy says they complain about Council rates, they really have nothing to complain about."
"We looked at our rates notice and Mason though it must only be a part quarter, but no it was for a full quarter," Wendy said.
"Show me anywhere else that has this," Mason said.
MOVED TO THE BAY?
If you've moved to the bay recently and would like to share your story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.