taking a sabbatical

A few years ago, I read enviously about Design Mom’s decision to move to France. ‘One day,’ I thought, ‘we will up sticks to foreign lands.’ The Husband has always been game for this as well; we’ve been discussing it since we were dating. But doing it? Another discussion entirely, especially after The Husband and I became parents.

Ah, parenting. Those years when you get settled into a routine, a schedule. It’s convenient and altogether pleasant. And you nurture and provide and do laundry with dye-free, perfume-free detergent for tiny clothes. You get comfortable. Mostly.

Then you decorate and run errands and freelance and drink coffee at playdates with other women who are doing the exact same things. And happily await the arrival of Baby Two.

And then the itch happens. Maybe it’s been seven years, maybe not. Perhaps it’s an itch that never went away really. Perhaps you got good at ignoring it. Regardless, you itch.

Eventually I scratched. And we upped sticks to somewhere else in the lower 48. Not technically ‘foreign lands’. Technically. And once again, routines were established, memories were made, time marched on. And we were comfortable. Mostly.

Because the itch has returned. I can’t place the blame squarely on Mrs Blair’s shoulders as that would be dishonest. But I will admit that her post got me thinking. And the discussions with The Husband about moving abroad began anew. We watched ‘House Hunters International’, setting the dvr for episodes we missed. We became enamored with ‘Location, Location, Location’ – and its subsequent iterations. Then, jobs were offered, schools were contacted, and twitter friends responded with DMs of encouragement. The itch was spreading.

And then I saw the Blairs’ house hunting episode in France on ‘HHI” : view it here. That house captivated me. It seemed that behind every door, around every corner awaited another fantastic surprise. And it was a rental. That’s right: a rental. Design Mom and her family were renting an amazing house in a foreign country. And everything about it seemed believable, doable. Huh.

Ever the consummate professional sharer, she posted some particulars, photos and the like. But the most important detail, to me at any rate, was that the house was listed on a website for house swaps – Sabbatical Homes. Like in ‘the Holiday’. I was familiar with the airbnb app and already used VRBO; adding SabbaticalHomes to my arsenal just intensified the itch.

So as The Husband and I – and now The Children – begin another, more serious round of discussions on moving to foreign lands, I will have my laptop on and tabs open to the wonderful advice of ‘Design Mom’ Gabrielle Blair. And the Sabbatical Homes search engines will be working overtime. Watch this space for updates. And, if you’re reading this from said foreign lands, do let me know about that lovely property ‘for rent’ near you; it just might be our next house.

bathrental

A ‘Royal Crescent’ rental in Bath // via VRBO

Onward.

 



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