It’s 8 months and 3 days since we arrived back in England, 245 days. We arrived in snow, the spring came along with some crazy hot weather and we’ve passed through summer into autumn. It is chilly today for the first time in a long while.
Somehow, the planned 3 month self-funded sabbatical has turned into 8 months. Where has the time gone? What have I done with that time?
Quite a lot actually. The most important bit has been hibernating and recovering from my nagging stress-related illnesses and getting fitter and healthier. But there has also been travelling (mostly to visit university cities and the Scottish road trip), lots of family and social time and writing. Thankfully, I’ve also managed to bring in some income from various sources, to keep me going financially.
What have I learnt about myself in that 8 months?
One: I do not want to go back into a high pressure job again, where the emphasis is on producing and performing. Nor do I want to travel for work. I feel the need to settle into a routine and get to know the people and the area around me as well as the UK, which has so much to offer.
Two: I’d like to use my skills and knowledge to contribute to my local community in some way that doesn’t end in “burn out” for me.
Three: I want to live a less stressful and frantic life. If I can, I’d like to be more mindful of my carbon footprint – use more public transport, fly less. The ocean (or at least the English Channel!) is calling me. I was at my happiest when I lived for 7 years in a seaside town in South Africa. I loved the seasonal visitors and frenzies, the fresh air and the proximity of the beach for walking (and swimming).
Four: If I am not bringing in a massive salary, I need to live somewhere less expensive than where I am now, but still be close enough to family to visit often.
If you been reading my Transitions posts since I’ve been back, you’ll know that these “realisations” aren’t based on logic or hard facts but more on an instinctual feeling, which I am trying to listen to and honour more. As I’ve written about so often, these last few months, I’m really trying hard to find the balance between control (doing, planning, fretting) and trusting that everything will work out as it should.
Have you ever made a decision this way?
You’ll also know that I have been writing about finding my own place to live.
I have made a decision.
Now that all my house / pet sitting obligations are fulfilled and my son is settled in uni, I’m at that place where I can look forward to my own new, exciting adventure and anticipate everything that comes with it.
I am going to move to the Isle of Wight, an island to the South of England, just off the Hampshire Coast.
At this stage, it ticks all the boxes for me.
Why not give it a go?
I can always come back if it doesn’t work out.
I have nothing to lose. Right?
As I wrote in my newsletter this week, my worldly goods (currently in South Africa, in storage since February 2018), are now on their way to Durban and will soon be on a boat to England, hopefully arriving the 1st week of November! Whilst this is exciting, it also makes the whole “finding my own place” thing very real. And urgent. I cannot afford storage here in England, so I need to find a place to unpack it, a place to settle.
Next, week I am off to the Isle of Wight (IOW) to view a multitude of rentals. Family are coming with me for 3 days, so we are making it a mini-adventure. I will need their opinions and support, if I am to find the perfect spot! So far I’ve lined up 11 rentals to view in different areas – Ryde, Newport and East/West Cowes. I wonder if my companions are ready for this? In between viewings I’m hoping we’ll have time to explore the island out of season and enjoy each other’s company.
Little Kiki Clara (my car) who bravely took us all the way up to Inverness and back, will embark on another adventure, as our trusty “steed” so to speak!
I am trusting that serendipity and synchronicity will swirl around us and some magic will happen! Watch this space!
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