On a very sunny day back in May 2009 me and my family packed our belongings (and our cats) and took the 5 hour road to Cornwall to start a new life.
My eldest boy was 3 and a half and my youngest had just turned 1 as we said goodbye to our family and friends for a life of sun, sand, surf and St Ives.
It was a risk. A risk that happily paid off. Our boys have been brought up in a safe, sound and uber cool environment. They surf a bit, skateboard, and wear their hair long, all the things I loved about Cornwall as a kid; that free living, you can wear what you like and no one stares or judges you. It's allowed us to spread our wings and enjoy life away from the hassles and busyness of "up Country". It's the dream, the fantasy that keeps us going during that rush hour traffic and being stuck in an office all day, it's what we all think we'll do when we retire; it's what we pay hundreds of pounds for every summer regardless of how extortionate it is.
The eyes of a tourist are pretty wonderful, but after 6 mostly amazing fun packed years living by the sea, it's time to go home.
It's not a matter of location. Let's face it how can you compare the beauty of Cornwall with where we're heading.
But let's also not forget that the reality of living in such a place is nothing like being on holiday, something I quickly learnt (and rather disappointing too). I still had to work, juggle kids, do housework, pay bills, grumble, grumble. Life can still throw the worst type of shit at you even if you live in Paradise.
Money. You need lots of money, and I mean, lots (can I get that over enough?). I am looking forward to never having to rent a damned house again. That's all I'm going to say on the matter.
But more important than anything else, and the reason why it's time for us to go home is FAMILY, because it's a very lonely place without them.
My parents lived near us for a while and then had to head back home too. We underestimated how much we would miss them. How our boys were missing out on things because we are SO far away. How they rarely see their cousins; grandparents, uncles and aunts. People are getting older; we're getting older, and for those people who have never been in a position where they can't rely on family for support/practical help/social fun, with respect, you might not understand.
I'm proud of the decision we've made. It's not failure; it's sensible and responsible. I'm also damned proud we had the guts to take the risk in the first place and last 6 years! Never any regrets that's for sure and I'm happy we did it, no one can ever take that away from us. I'm also proud of my gorgeous boys and the way they are dealing with our big move, after all, Cornwall is all they have ever known, and OK, we may have had to throw a puppy in to help soften the blow, but I realise just how amazing and resilient kids are, after all, they have very little control over anything at this age, but I also know how much opportunity and fun they are going to have in our new venture; how much more we can give them and offer them compared to now. I'm not sad to leave; I'm very happy.
So, Cornwall, it's been a blast and thank you for having us; there are still many holidays to have and there are still all our special memories and friends, but now I am very much looking forward to the next chapter in our lives.
Cheers to that.