Leap of faith

Google: Relocating my family to Wales

I typed it in hoping to read about someone elses experiences, some support, someone mad enough. Nothing.

So this is it. If you are considering quitting your job, leaving everything you know, relocating your family to the depths of Wales (or anywhere for that matter) I am your guinea pig.

If it all ends in disaster you can take comfort in the fact that you aren’t that mad woman who relocated her family to a country she’d never been to.

It was a friday evening after work. Instead of the usual bedtime routine we put the kids in their pyjamas and bundled them into the car.

As they slept my husband David drove. We were excited, apprehensive, tired of working to pay our mortgage. So this was it, us going in search of an alternative. Something we’d dreamt of for sometime.

We crossed the Severn bridge in darkness and couldn’t see a thing. I was tired and the doubts crept in. Is this crazy? We love our lives in England, our family there, our friends.

We arrived at the holiday cottage. The owners had left it open for us. We put the children to bed and my head hit the pillow wondering if it had finally lost the plot.

“It rains in Wales” family had said in shock on hearing our news. That first morning it poured and as I looked out the window and thought of loved ones so did I.

I focused on the dream. Greater freedom, more time together. I focused on the house viewings we’d arranged for that day.

We spent the day exploring Haverfordwest. The hub of Pembrokeshire with it’s transport links, jobs, english schools etc

We were surprised by how much space you got for your money. Room to accommodate children and visiting family. Our minds boggled at the fact we could actually buy a house outright.

And yet it was as though I viewed those houses and first glimpses of Pembrokeshire through a riot shield. I didn’t want to get too close. Back at the cottage we talked into the night, my worries whirling out of control.

“We haven’t even seen Pembrokeshire yet!” Came my husband’s reply. He was right we’d arrived in the dark and only seen the inside of houses.

Sunday was solely reserved for meeting Pembrokeshire and wow did it make an impression! As the sun shone over it’s rugged coastline and we drove all the way up to St David’s my heart sang.

What I hadn’t expected was to be reminded of my birth country Luxembourg. I found it in the painted houses, wind turbines and unusual national language.

David’s grandmother had wanted to move to Wales after falling in love with St David’s and here we were feeling the same.

Where?

“Lucy have you been to Pembrokeshire?”

Came my uncles question on August 12th 2017. I’m awful with dates but I know this one because it was the day I married David. I had just walked up the aisle, my daughter clutching our certificate, my son waving ribbons, “All you need is love” ringing in my ears.

I have to admit I couldn’t quite place Pembrokeshire. Despite being well travelled my geography has always been awful.

“No I haven’t” I replied thinking – where?

“You must it’s beautiful! If I bought a holiday park there would you and David manage it?”

Before I knew it I’d answered yes to marrying David and yes to moving to Pembrokeshire. Which I later realised was in Wales, a country I had yet to visit or know anything about.

Although my uncle’s venture may or may not come to be, it was the fact I had answered YES without hesitation that had surprised me above all else. Marrying the love of my life was a no brainer but abandoning our much loved life in Dorset? The day went in a whirl of children, bubble wands, music and hobby horses.

We spent our honeymoon in a forest in Finland. A secluded log cabin with a heavenly hot tub over looking a beautiful lake. Being that David and I had already attempted to cut the corporate cord and run our own childcare business it was of no surprise to anyone we brought our children along. Are very own Familymoon.

The cabin was our first Airbnb experience. We had used a similar site to book a cabin in Iceland and haven’t looked back since.

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Finland 2017
Iceland 2014

In between running from the sauna to plunging in the ice cold lake we considered our next call to adventure. Could we relocate? Could we set up another business? Could we live mortgage free elsewhere? We got excited and grew in courage.

We returned from our familymoon to our comfortable life in Bournemouth and we returned to juggling parenthood with work. We’d get our adventure fix by watching Ben Fogle meeting adventurous people in Live’s in the Wild. Couples who had taken that leap of faith.

We woke up one morning and decided to move, albeit only up the road. We jumped in the car and visited a house out towards the New Forest in Dorset.

As the children played happily in the sunny park and we sipped a peaceful coffee we decided to make the move. Change was on the horizon and it all felt very exciting.

The process was anything but. Having only ever been first time buyers we had no idea what being in a chain really involved and unsurprisingly perhaps it began to fall apart. Before it did it drew out for months which in hindsight was a blessing. In that time we had decided to revisit our mortgage free dream and were realising it may actually be possible.

After what had originally felt like an eternity an estate agent called.

“Your new house is vacant, the chain can finally move forward, It’s ready for you”.

Only we didn’t want it.

We now wanted to go in a completely different direction. Our very own adventure into the unknown…

PEMBROKESHIRE.