We’ve all done it sat at our desk, bemoaning the fact that we have to work and be part of the system and dreamed of giving it all up, moving to the other side of the world and seeing if living the dream is actually a possibility (or something along those lines!)
This year, me and my partner decided this was going to be it. No more talking about it, no more wishing we were somewhere else, we moved out of our house, bought a rickety old van and booked a ferry to the continent.
The plan was to spend the summer with our son travelling through France with North West Spain being our destination. We had both spent time here previously and were fairly convinced this is where we wanted to lay down some roots. I am lucky enough to work in PR and all of my work is freelance so I can work from anywhere in the world. This was the deciding factor in our decision to leave England, why live there and work when we could live in Spain and I could work. It was a no brainer really.
We wanted to look for our dream house in a part of the world where it feels like maybe just maybe we could live the life we have been aching to live for years. Mountains and beach on our doorstep, cheaper cost of living and an exotic and different lifestyle so very different to the UK.
Three months in and it’s better than we could have hoped. Yes there have been moments when the van has felt crowded and personal space is not in abundance especially since we all share a bed and my son is a bed hogger but the amount of sunrises I’ve seen over mountains, and runs I’ve had on deserted beaches more than makes up for it. We are discovering a side of ourselves we thought we had lost. The peace that comes from being surrounded by nature is incredible. No rushing around, no commute, no rent, no bills, it’s not reality but it’s our reality for the moment and we are drinking it in.
For those of you who might be thinking it’s easy for me as I work for myself and I can go whenever and wherever I want…there’s nothing stopping you doing the same thing. Have a look around on the internet or speak to friends who work for themselves there is always a way to make this happen. Or better yet swap the van for a flat in another country, apply for some jobs in far flung countries and see what happens. The point I’m trying to make is it doesn’t necessarily have to be a van, it can be anything. If your reality at the moment isn’t making you sing from the rooftops see what you can do about creating one that does.
The thing that I’ve found that helps us the most is trying not to have too many expectations and not to be too rigid in our plans. Travelling broadens the mind certainly but sometimes you can get so wrapped up in the destination and the plans to see as much as possible that you miss the beauty of the impulsive, the uncertainty, the not knowing what’s coming around the corner.
When you have expectations it can change your experience of things and we’ve found that by not planning we are open to everything and anything and it’s been interesting to let go of controlling everything because it has happened anyway.
It’s good to have a rough idea of where you want to go and maybe what you want to see but the first step is taking the leap from thinking about it to actually doing it and the funny thing is you’ll probably find that when you’ve made that decision everything else falls into place anyway.
I’ve found the same applies to my yoga practice especially since we’ve been on the road. We’ve been to lots of beautiful places and stunning beaches and sometimes I’ve practiced and sometimes I haven’t. Sometimes the practice is drinking it all in and sitting in a moment of pure stillness with clarity of mind and a balanced soul. Again by trying to not have any expectations of how my practice should be, it ebbs and flows just as it’s meant to.
So as winter sets in, it’s getting chillier and we are settling into a beautiful farmhouse in Northern Spain with a spanish couple who are looking for help renovating and gardening and just keeping them company really. It’s surrounded by hills, there’s no electricity, no WIFI but that’s OK with us. It give us a chance to live in our bubble for a little longer. Evenings are spent talking and playing music to candlelight and learning Spanish. There’s an abundant organic veggie garden to eat from, chestnuts to gather, cows to play with and chicken huts to build. So as this season comes into it’s own, we will continue the flow to the next and the next safe in the knowledge that we don’t need to know whether this was the right decision for us. No expectations, just flow.
About Tara Mestre
Tara is an aspiring yogi and freelance wellness travel consultant living in Spain.