We are going to France!

A wise, yet crazy friend said to me. You need to make the decision and never ever look back. So, I did. And I kept that thought with me at all times.

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Our French farewell, featured all things French down to the magnum of Laurent Perrier Champagne to the Orangina for the kids.

The conversation came up as there were hundreds of doubts going through my mind on going to France. One interesting one that bothered me, was the question, am I running away? I didn’t feel in control of my life as I felt my every decision was hinging on others, it was suffocating me. I had to find myself and be in control of my life again. I had read an article that talked about people who made radical life decisions, some people will view them as running away, but others will think what a brave decision, look what they did with their lives. Sometimes when we are at a turning point in our lives, upending it is the best solution. It forces you to see the world differently and hopefully your place in it. It builds resilience and doesn’t leave ‘what if’ or ‘if only’ hanging over your head. You won’t know how great life can be if you don’t take a chance. So now I am selling our beloved home, getting divorced and moving to France.

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The Mornington Peninsula. This is my home away from home. I used to run these tracks every day down here.

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Dealing with lawyers and real estate agents in the same year alone is enough to make you to move to the other side of the world. So how will this all pan out? First the divorce. Tony and I would go in and out of our joint divorce proceedings as great friends, even dropping our son off to one of respective partners on the way to be cared for. We are indeed the ultimate modern family, and I couldn’t be prouder of how we have handled it. We are definitely the exception not the rule. This was lucky for us, as packing up our house was the saddest thing we had ever done. We loved it more than anything. Our hearts and souls had been poured into a very dated and run down old art deco home. Tony has a great eye for design and I am good at getting things done. Together we restored it into a beautiful contemporary home that we all adored. It was heart wrenching to tell our 8 yr. old son, we have to find a new home for his dog, but Tony couldn’t take him and we couldn’t take him to France. Luc and I had a little cry on his last day but we are so grateful he has gone to a great home and is much loved. Coupled with Luc finishing up school and being Christmas time, it is not a part of my life I want to repeat again. Yoga again was what got me through it. It centred me, gave me space to breathe and the strength to move on. And I needed that. We packed our life’s possessions into a container and we kept what we could each fit into 6 suitcases.

 

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Bondi Beach. Luc couldn’t wait to swim here. We had so much fun in the waves.

We still had 8 weeks to find a place to stay, so we did what all couples whom separate do; we all stayed living together at Tony’s new apartment, one big happy modern family. The first night had all three of us in the bed and my Mum in Luc’s bed. His first night as a bachelor was spent with his ex wife in his bed and his mother in law in the next room! It ended up being a great decision. It was much easier to stay together emotionally till we got on the plane, especially for Luc. Plus I felt awful taking him away from Tony, so it meant we both got to spend time with him every day. Naturally there was a few scheduling problems when you have a smaller home and you both have ‘special’ friends, but we handled it with aplomb, good on us!

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The Sydney Harbour bridge. 
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Our beloved Opera House. One of my favourite buildings in the world. Luc and I built the large Lego model, so felt we knew it intimately.

It was time to schedule that flight to Sydney for our Visas and get the hell out of here!!! I have never amassed so much information in my life. I had pretty much every square inch of my life being handed over to either lawyers or the French embassy, or Luc’s new school. In order to get the visa, you must be enrolled in school, paid for a house, and have return tickets. It is a huge leap of faith they are going to give you that visa when you have already handed over thousands of Euros in the form of deposits and airline tickets and you don’t even know if you can go. I won’t bore you with the details, but it was incredibly stressful.

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Woohoo! We have our visas!

Our visas arrived two days before we boarded the plane. The divorce was settled the day before we left. Better late than never they say! Flight QR 905 was departing, and years of saving points had put us up the pointy end, lucky for Luc as had to start school 48 hours later. Don’t you love it when a plan comes together! The day we were leaving was spent running around in a hundred directions. For Luc and I it was exciting to be going on our big adventure. For those we were leaving behind it was a very sad day. We packed up two cars for the drive to the airport. Whilst I was saying my goodbyes, Luc was saying goodbye to his Daddy. I can not thank Tony enough for letting us do this. I felt so awful, sad and sorry for him to be away from his beautiful boy for so long. There are two long visits planned, but it is heartbreaking to not have this little monkey near you every day. I made a recordable book for Luc to give him, so that other than pictures, if Tony was missing Luc and it was at a time that he couldn’t call, he could hear his little voice. Tony loved it and has listened to it many times. It was now time to walk through those doors. Au revoir my friends.

Author: thegrasseisalwaysgreener

Hello! I am a 45 year old Mum of a beautiful eight year old son called Luc, from Melbourne, Australia, I am leaving behind two organic cafes in very capable hands to follow a lifelong dream. After selling the family home, we have both decided to throw caution to the wind, pack our bags and move to Grasse in the South of France. Can we speak French? No. Do we know anyone in France? Ahhh, no. But we would invite you to follow our adventures as we discover whether the Grasse is really greener in the South of France. We promise there will be many stories of food, fun and frivolity to be told.

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