Ooh, 2 posts in one day! We made the decision just over 3 years ago to sell up and come to France. We have never regretted it or questioned this decision. The way of life in the UK is to work your bits off until you retire and then spend time with your husband/wife. Mmm, bit of a flaw here - what happens if one of you isn't around at retirement age?
This is what happened with my parents. Dad worked really hard all his life, Mum stayed at home while us 4 kids were young, then had a local part-time job for a while. We were not at all well off, but our childhood was idyllic thanks to them. We lived in a little village in Buckinghamshire having moved from North London when I was 3. We went to a village school, played in the woods and fields, bought frogspawn home in a jam jar in the spring, played conkers in the autumn and built snowmen in the winter. Anyway, 4 or 5 years ago mum was diagnosed with cancer and died just after dad retired. All that time working and now he is on his own. The same thing happened with my mother in laws best friend, and another of her friends dropped dead with a stroke.
We came to the conclusion that life was too short. We have had some amazing holidays together, OH and I didn't meet until I was 30 and he was 32 and we both had a great time up to that point - we both travelled alot and had some great experiences. We didn't want to have any children, we had renovated a victorian house in the UK which we sold before we came to France. Neither of us are materialistic, we don't care about new cars or keeping up with the Jones's. We decided to spend our time together now because sho nows what the future will hold. We have not taken early retirement, we both work here.
I had always wanted to have an old house, a big garden, chickens and roses round the door. It sounds a bit of a cliche but this is what I have now except the roses are wisteria. I love wandering down the garden to feed the chickens and get the eggs, with my kitten Misty following me. I love going out to dig up veg for dinner. Yes, there are places in this world which I would love to go to, but unless we win the lottery I will not get to see them, but they are only holidays, this is for life. However, I never thought I would live in France, I always thought I would live in India. In my 20's I had a dream that I was sitting on a doorstep writing a letter, I was wearing a sari and the dream was so vivid I could smell everything around me. I woke up wondering where I was. I think I knew then that I would not grow old in the UK. I have been lucky enough to go to India and Sri Lanka and they were the most beautiful places I have seen, I felt really at home there. Maybe when I am old and grey I will move on.
Well, bit of a digression and a bit of a change from my last post - funny how your mind wanders about. Well, this decision was the right one for us.