Here I sit at a destination, a desk in a country village in Ireland. There is only the noise that I’ve chosen to hear, our possessions are minimal and there is freedom, freedom to make time for what matters. It’s also a beginning, the year is new, there is much unknown, the path is fresh, open and deliciously exciting. What to create?
Leaving Sydney wasn’t hard, time was up. This realisation of this travel dream is not only about the travel but also the chance to have a family adventure, to create a chapter where we will grow as independently yet together as a family. Time together for what matters, each other. After three years of long hours and a massive decline in lifestyle it was time for Greg to come back to us. It’s his time to renew, find his fitness and free himself from the grind.
Sydney was not kind to him, a ridiculous (almost) 24 hour work culture, roads more stressful than calm to drive or cycle (he gave up the bike), expensive rents, stress rage everywhere, so so much noise and for us no Queen Victoria market. I know this isn’t everyone’s experience of Sydney and it probably sounds a little harsh but for us it felt like living in a pressure cooker. No matter how simply and slowly the kids and I lived, his corporate role and the city would never allow him to live in that way.
So here we are and it’s only been a few days but markets have been found, our chef is back in the kitchen and it feels like we’re right where we need to be. I love food, I love eating it and I love the stories behind it. In the kitchen it’s baking that’s my thing, cooking the meals doesn’t come easy to me…it’s just not my thing. I try but I just don’t have the natural kitchen creativity that Greg does. So having my husband home and able to cook again means more taste sensations, more conversations around the kitchen, seasonal food and a healthier family.
Isn’t that what matters? Making choices that allow us live now in the lifestyle we want and not slogging away to something we aspire to or what we’re led to believe is the ideal and in the meantime compromising our values? Don’t get me wrong I loved my life in Sydney, I’m a glass full kind of girl but there were many compromises and Greg was working too hard to have any real connected and healthy life.
Of course there are times we have to work hard, it’s not about not working and we’ve always worked hard. In fact it’s the hard work, the night shifts when we were younger, studying with babies, the back to back hotel shifts, the moving countries and states for employment and the past three years in Sydney that have us in the position we are now in. Also of course lifestyle choices, only ever having one car, no credit cards, hand me downs for kids, moving into a small house and all the kids sharing to save on rent etc. But now at this time in our early – mid 40’s with 4 children it’s time to flip the balance and create a lifestyle that works for us. Making time for what matters…working but not overworking and trusting that it will all be ok.
When we decided to leave Sydney we took the risk and resigned from our jobs. Greg was offered a role that he could work from home. He has been with his company for 15 years and he’s in IT so luckily it’s the type of role that can have portability. We debated if it was right but in the end decided it was a great opportunity and we are grateful to have taken it. As we base ourselves here in the countryside for the next three months Greg will work from home, the kids will attend local school, the weekends will be for family and adventuring and we’ll be present for every minute of this tiny but life changing chapter.
In April we’ll pack up our suitcases and jump in our campervan, take the ferry to Portugal and from there we’ll explore, slowly. It’s the beginning of a wonderful adventure and I have some exciting opportunities to explore…..