Family and Friends
One of the main reasons we, Andrew and I, decided to move to Spain for a year was in order to see our friends and family more often and for longer. That sounds perverse and rather extreme when you think we live in London and our friends and family do too, for the most part.
In July 2015, we went, with 8 friends, to celebrate Andrew's 40th Birthday in Mallorca, sharing a large house in the countryside not far from Pollenca. For a week, we were able to lie by the pool, have lazy meals, take occasional trips out, but most importantly, we were able to catch up properly. Andrew has known these friends from University days; some of the friendships originated at Prep School!
In London, a catch up with friends tends to be a drink after work, lunch at the weekend, or perhaps a dinner somewhere, but all last no longer than a few hours, and there is a mad rush to get out all the news that you need to share. The same applies to my own family - I have two children aged 27 and 25, and they live ten minutes' walk away from our home. But, as we all work, we have to co-ordinate diaries and try and grab a quick pint in a pub every so often, and not nearly for long enough. That saddened me, as I spent such a huge amount of my time with the children when they were growing up, sharing every little detail of their lives, and suddenly our collective lives were preventing us from seeing enough of each other. We have become such a disparate society, with many of us only getting to see our families once in a blue moon, and generally having to brave horrific travel experiences along the way.
That summer of 2015 made us realise that we could, potentially, see more of our friends and families for real quality time if we moved to another country! Friends and family could come and stay for long weekends, or a week or....no, perhaps a week would be long enough! But staying would ensure that we get to chat properly; there are no time constraints, and we can relax and enjoy time in each other's company without fretting about work in the morning, or getting home..,.all the minutiae that so dominates life in London.
The more we thought about the possibilities, the more feasible it all became.