I’m the chief creator and web mistress of Dare to Done (not just a wife and mother). I could simply say that I’m curious and enthusiastic, but…
Here’s my story in a nutshell…
As an only child to two hard-working parents, I spent a lot of time alone growing up. I became a master at amusing myself by thinking and dreaming of the future, partly to escape my lonely existence. I spent a lot of time thinking about love and what it would be like to be able to finally share my life with another. Moving around Australia a lot as a younger child and going to many different schools, I learnt to get along with all kinds of people and make friends quickly.
My father shared his adventure stories traveling the world and living in different countries. My mother focused on buying and selling property so she could have a comfortable life when she retired. From an early age, I preferred the idea of exploring the world over accumulating possessions and being stuck in one location with all of your stuff. As much as I liked the idea of having a comfortable life, I always considered love and adventure to be more important.
You could say I’ve always had a thing for red-heads. I was six. So was Brian. He had a theory that if one half of the moon was made of chocolate and the other half was made of fluoride, you could eat it all and not get tooth decay. He offered me the moon. His red hair was as bright as his mind and his heart beat as hard as mine when we played catch and kiss.
School days brought dreams of my future life. I imagined myself married to an Englishman, living in the UK and walking the battlefields of times gone by. Of knights and kings, who were loyal to their leaders and loved ones. By the time I was 10, I knew I wanted to serve my community by joining the police service or the military.
When I finished school at 17 my bucket-list included being an entrepreneur, working for the government, joining the police service, being a wife and a mother, traveling the world, living in a foreign country and experiencing space travel.
I hedged my bets and applied for university and the police. The police told me to come back when I was 19, with a degree. So off to university I went.
At 20, I married one of my teenage lovers. Within four years, I had a daughter, a son and a degree. I joined the police service and started my next great adventure: towards a satisfying career and away from an unhappy marriage.
I loved being a police officer. Until I didn’t. Politics, drama and unfortunate events shortened the experience. I next ventured towards greener pastures along with a new red-headed lover and another son. Life was good.
Just as I fantasized about losing my virginity in a waterbed, so too did my dream come true about marrying an Englishman, well nearly, his grandfather was English. Being part British myself (a few times removed still counts), we both shared the call of the Northern hemisphere. We agreed to one day sell everything and live overseas. We dreamed of moving to the UK, where the wild winds blew. Scotland!
Still in Australia, four years after we met, we orchestrated an intimate wedding ceremony that made us feel like we were living in Scotland. On a foggy winter’s morning with air temperature at -4C, and to the sound of bagpipes, we tied the knot and agreed to keep our dream alive.
In our 30’s we came to a crossroads. Happily married with the responsibility for four children, we needed to work out what we wanted to do next with our lives. Should we continue with our policing careers (as we had both rejoined), return to our government jobs (that filled the gap between leaving and rejoining the police), grow our hobby-business into a money-making venture, or go into the private sector? Maybe getting any old job would let us focus on what would make us happiest.
We both believed our happiness depended on earning an income by doing something we enjoyed. We also knew that what made the biggest impact on our lives was who we shared our lives with and where we lived.
In our 40’s, after spending another 10 years working for the government and moonlighting on the side, we started to think about how we would spend the next decade of our lives. Where would we live? What would we do? Our two sons were growing up and my two adult-children from my first marriage had established their own happy lives. We wanted to start living our best possible lives instead of just plodding along.
In January 2016, within a week of making a New Year’s resolution to move overseas, we had researched our options and discovered it was now or never. We decided to apply for a UK Ancestry Visa and move to Scotland.
On the eve of the Brexit vote, in June 2016, we applied for our visas. Two weeks later, after the majority of Brits had voted to leave the European Union, we told our friends and family we were moving to the other side of the world, to live, sight unseen.
In September 2016, nine months after our resolution to relocate, we flew with our two sons (aged 14 and 17) from Brisbane to the UK. With two suitcases each, we flew to Edinburgh via London and caught a bus onto Glasgow. We had moved to Scotland.
Within three months we were living like locals. The boys were at school, we were in full-time employment and on days off we explored like tourists.
More than a year later, we celebrated our second Christmas in Scotland with a beautiful white Boxing Day. A winter wonderland. We have better full-time jobs with great career prospects and our boys are contributing to our local community in their own unique ways.
We still miss our family and friends back in Australia but with the help of the Internet and WhatsApp, we communicate in words and pictures on a daily basis. Most importantly, we all understand that life goes on no matter where we live. Our love grows and at the end of the day we all look up at nearly the same stars at night.
I finally came to the conclusions that we are more than just children who love our parents. We are more than just parents who love our children. We are individuals who love life, with a beautiful life to live. So together, we chose to live our best possible life, where we want, now.
How about you?
If you have been wanting to relocate overseas for more than 5 years, I don’t think you need to decide if you want to relocate and live in a new country, you just need to go.
My advice… Get yourself to the point of no return (ready to apply for a visa) and then decide if you want to relocate. If you do decide to relocate, you’re nearly ready. You will feel confident to move overseas and know that you took a calculated risk rather than simply throwing care to the wind.
If you change your mind and decide to stay (not apply for a visa), you will feel like you fully considered the idea and you will be able to live life without regrets. You’ll also have less baggage to weigh you down (if you had to sell things to be financial enough to apply for a visa) and a clean slate (less possessions, less debt, less doubt) to either stay put or move elsewhere (maybe a little more local).
What are you waiting for?