Friday 1 October 2010

Why search a country when there's a whole sodding world

Since my last post about moving house, I feel as though I've been on a funfair ride that keeps going faster and faster, and just as it slows down and I feel as though I'm getting my bearings, it speeds up again and I lose all sense of direction. In fact I'm starting to feel a little sick.

The problem is that I really don't know where I want to live (despite thinking I'd found my spiritual home). I know that it's probably not where we currently live. But finding a place that ticks all our boxes is proving a little difficult. And I'm not talking the perfect house. I'm talking the perfect village or town.

Where is there somewhere that offers me the feel of small, friendly place where you're not just a face in the crowd, but equally has enough va-va-va-voom? With people like us (or PLUs as we've come to call them). That has big enough house sizes and gardens with access to the sea and sailing but isn't so exhorbitant that you have to live on beans and toast in your deluxe kitchen? That has fantastic schools and is commutable to London and not too far from airports or friends or or or...

It's too hard. Nowhere feels right. And maybe that's because I don't know anywhere well enough. And when you're trying to start a new life without knowing a thing about the place you're starting it in, it's a bit like Russian roulette. You can take those kind of gambles in your twenties, but when you have two kids and two careers and have to realise that you can't keep uprooting if something isn't right, then it makes it all a little more tricky.

Just to add to the mix, husband has just been away for a week in the US. And it was hard. He's regularly away like this - which is what had led us to think that us living far from London is ok because he can weekly commute and he'll be at home about as much as he is now. Except he won't. Because now he at least has the option to come home if he's in London. If we live too far away, he won't. Do I really want to be a single parent for the foreseeable future?

Can't we find somewhere that ticks all of our life boxes? Am I really unreasonable to expect this? I know Phil and Kirsty are all about 'compromise' but which bit do you compromise on? How do you figure out what is most important until you do it and realise, "oh shit, we made the wrong choice."

And while husband was in the US, he chatted to his boss about our impending move and she said that if moving to the US was something we'd consider, to let her know. Nothing immediate, but there could be.

And this then throws open a whole pandora's box. Finding somewhere in the UK where we can visit (albeit briefly) to investigate on weekends is one thing. To move to a new country and embrace an entirely new lifestyle is quite another. We used to live there, and I LOVED IT. But that was pre-kids. Now I am more fearful. Everything seems harder. You can't just find a swanky one bed flat in the heart of the partying district. You have to find somewhere with good schools and community and blah blah blah.

If we moved to the US, what would happen to my work? What would happen to all I know about being a mother? Everything works differently there.

But, on the other hand, when you look at US properties for sale (and obviously I have looked - me being the house porn slut of the year 2010), everything just looks shinier. Bigger. Better. More well kept. Less dowdy. Did I mention bigger.

Should we be adding the entire US of A to our search criteria on Rightmove?

It's all far too exhausting. I shall now retreat to the drawing room with a small snifter of brandy to recover.  Do let me have your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Your local village beginning with C, Sur Mer I think.

Unknown said...

COME BACK! Come and live in the Bay Area...however, houses won't be bigger! But it is better. Better weather, better quality of life, BETTER. Plus we're here ;-)

Just bring lots of Cadbury's, Bisto gravy, Marmite, Pork Pie, etc...

nappy valley girl said... know what I think. Long Island would be perfect! It has the schools, community and definitley the sailing...there are three yacht clubs in this town alone.

Seriously, it is different coming out here and moving is a huge thing with a family. But it is do-able, and it's not that difficult adapting.

Dorset Dispatches said...

Go go go! What's the worst that happens? You hate it and move back. But you won't. It'll be tough but you and the boys will get so much out of it.

I'd shift like a shot, really would. In fact it is only the thought of physically moving again so soon after shifting back from Bosnia and not quite being sure how we'd get visas to live in the US that is keeping us here.

Home Office Mum said...

Anon - not sure we can move the village to the sea though. A bit heavy

Emma - may well pick your brains about SF - choice is Long Island, SF or Seattle

Nappy valley - thanks for all the info you've already sent. Still mulling it all over

Pantswithnames - I know it sounds super exciting on paper but it would be a MASSIVE change. Will keep you posted!

Iota said...

Follow your guts, that's what I say. Listen to what you're really feeling, deep deep down.