So, it is actually happening! The house will be on the market by the end of this week and I will be one step closer to living the dream of touring in a caravan on an educational adventure with my family for a year.
As you can imagine, it hasn’t been easy to reach this decision and in some ways it has been quite painful. It seems as though my husband, Jez, and I have been talking about selling the house and taking our girls travelling forever. It’s been such a roller coaster of emotions. As I’m sure is the norm with many other couples, we’ve had many conversations where we would contemplate our lifestyles and think of ways to break free from the 9 to 5 rat race in order to spend more quality time together as a family. For a long time we have felt trapped in the modern day repetitive cycle of living; the rushed morning rituals, the robotic school run and commute to work, praying for Friday to arrive and even the sense of trepidation felt on a Sunday just knowing that the working week begins again the very next day.
We have often discussed in detail (usually over a few beers) how our careers are not the be-all and end-all and conversations would turn to the concept of our material possessions. We’d always decide that life is about the experiences and the memories we create and not about the job statuses or physical objects that we own….how often do we hear the phrase “you can’t take it with you”? We would also talk at length about the benefits of being able to provide an adventurous and interactive fun way of learning for our girls, by being in the great outdoors and embracing the opportunities that nature has to offer. After planning the finer aspects of our dream, and with the fire of desire burning brightly in our bellies, we would go to bed insisting that the Estate Agents would be contacted the very next day! Alas, when morning broke, the fear would return and the same old words would be uttered:
- “we can’t just up sticks, we have responsibilities”,
- “we couldn’t possibly use the equity in the house, that’s our pension”,
- “how can we take the girls out of school? We don’t know anything about home schooling”.
- etc. etc.
This same series of events has happened over and over again for a very long time. On each occasion, we convinced ourselves that our dream was unobtainable and then a great sense of heavy heartedness would ensue for days, we didn’t want to accept that our daily lives would consist of almost exactly the same routine forever.
Eventually, as a result of lots of research and planning, we lost the only thing that was holding us back…..the fear! In response to our own doubts, we came to realise that:
- our home could quite easily be repossessed by the bank if for some reason we couldn’t keep up with our repayments,
- we do have good careers but can always find alternative jobs with other employers when needs be,
- we can home-school the girls, lots of other people do it, and in fact we already do partake in (and thoroughly enjoy) quite a lot of home-learning,
- and, the biggest realisation of all, that a life lived in fear is a life half-lived.
The phrase “we only regret the things that we don’t do” has often been said to me throughout my life and I would hate to live for another fifty plus years sadly looking back on a missed opportunity thinking “…..what if?”. Jez and I truly believe that “what is for you, will not go by you” and because our desire and passion to embark on this educational life-adventure is so strong, we know deep down from our very cores that this is the path that our family is meant to tread.
So, the house is going on the market, we are down-sizing (drastically!!) by selling/donating the majority of our possessions, buying a 6-berth touring caravan, home-schooling our girls and travelling around the UK and part of Europe for (at least) 12 months!!! We know the transition will be a big challenge but this particular challenge is being welcomed with huge open arms. We feel free already. 🙂
I’d like to leave you with the following quote:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Author cannot be verified, although quote is often attributed to Mark Twain or H. Jackson Brown.
Wish us luck and watch this space.