A short ten days ago I had been in six different countries in just over three weeks. I’ll be honest, one of those countries was Australia, where I used to live, and another of them is England, where I now live. Still, sounds exciting to write it like that.
My family of four and I picked up sticks and set off on an open-ended adventure. We packed up the house, put it in a container and onto a ship (this makes it sound so easy), and went travelling through Japan and Italy. We had not booked our flight to our final destination in the hope that during our travels we might secure permanent work for my husband and perhaps extend the holiday until his start date. It was cool that we didn’t know when the journey would end exactly.
End it did though, and still without any firm plans for work we visited family for a week then arrived in Bath with our (likely too many) bags and a big dream: to start a life here for a few years with access to a whole lot more travel opportunities, family nearby and some great schools.
Cut to one (very busy) week later and we have bought a car, positioned the kids in school and daycare, and hit the jackpot with a beautiful home to rent in the centre of Bath. I am amazed how much you can do in a week if you put your mind to it.
And through it all, I have been allowing myself to feel whatever I feel. There has been nerves around the no-work, no-home scenario as well as immense joy as I come to know this place we fairly randomly chose to live. Each thing I learn about Bath delights me. Every single person without fail that I say “I’m living in Bath” to, says something nice. Oooh, that’s a lovely place, that is. Oh yeah, Bath is gorgeous. Bath has my favourite spa in the world on the roof of a building in the centre of town, you HAVE to go.
It is small things about moving to a new town that I’m enjoying the most. If I see a homeless person on the street I feel like I have time to sit down and talk to them. Her name is Zoe and she has fled domestic violence and is stuck in the loop of needing a job to find a place to live and needing a place to live to find a job. I’ve been there, and it’s yuck. She’s a lovely courageous, drug-free young woman who has been braver than most people’s little finger. I commend you Zoe, what an inspiration.
Another small thing, the real estate agents are really nice here. In Sydney, where I have come from, it is really hard to find rental agents that are a pleasure to deal with. It’s probably because they are in a seriously crunched housing market and the competition for good rentals is fierce. I don’t blame them at all, and I naively expected that is just how it would be for rental agents everywhere. Not so! The agents here are incredibly nice and affable. It was such a pleasure to deal with them on the whole, a really lovely human experience.
And the nature. Oh, the nature. This town is surrounded by tree-tunneled and hedge lined, muddy lanes as well as long country roads and the green and rolling Somerset countryside. There are weeping willows over canals and old stone bridges in the town. Daffodils grow wild. And this is in winter. Imagine what summer will bring.
Just like any love affair, I’m sure there will come a time when the glossy first impressions will yield to a more realistic sheen, but for now, I’m in the love bubble with our new home.
And another beautiful aspect of moving a family overseas is that we have gotten to know each other even better than we did before. I don’t think I’ve ever shared a room with anyone other than my husband for more than a short period as an adult, yet this trip we spent around four weeks sharing a space between the four of us. Despite moments of intensity here and there, we got along amazingly well. In fact, it seems weird to have the kids (mostly) in different rooms to us now.
I’ll be writing more posts soon on the topic of what happens to your psyche when you push yourself out of your comfort zone and into a new place and new scenario – which is a whole other article in itself. For the moment I feel hugely grateful for this opportunity to get to know myself, the kids, my partner and this world a little better.
Last Updated onClick here and let us send you a bonus PDF, “Soulful Parenting: Three simple ways to raise thriving resilient kids”. Alena Turley/Soul Mamma is a writer, educator, ethical digital creator and mum of three based in Freshwater Beach, Sydney.