A year on…

This time last year we stumbled up of the lilo that had provided us with our last nights sleep; if an hour or two can be called sleep, and got to work cleaning the bungalow we were living in ready to be handed back.

Stress was high on the agenda that cold October day as we raced against the clock to get everything finished and packed up. The cats spent the day with their little faces pressed up against the caravan windows wearing looks that were a mix of worry and resignation (here we go again).

It was a long day culminating with us arriving at the Channel Tunnel crossing early the following morning.

Behind us lay our life; a house with running water, separate rooms and possessions collected during our 21 years together, my business that I had grown over the previous 6 years, friends, family and familiarity. In front of us lay a life on the road, uncertainty and anything but familiar.

It was a gamble, two 40 somethings, three cats and a caravan was always going to be an unlikely equation.

So, a year on has it worked, are we happy, has throwing our well ordered life down the pan for a life of frugality and minimalism been worth it????

Hell yes…….. 🙂

This year is up there with the best I have ever had. Living in such a simple way has been like coming home for me. Less clutter, less structure, less stress all add up to a happier me – and hubby’s not doing bad either!

Living in such a small space together means very little privacy but I have discovered that you don’t actually need it when you are truly happy. Who needs lots of space filled with lots of fancy furniture and things that are never used. I have everything I need and none of it was shop brought!!

As we get ready to pack up next week and head back to Spain for the winter here is a little recap, in pictures, of the ups and downs (there have been some) of our journey so far….

Narbonne in the south of France and definitely the first time in our journey south that we both started to relax….

We marveled at these night skies little realising the storm that was awaiting us the following day. Nearly being blown of a viaduct whist towing a caravan was definitely a low point of the trip for us all….

Camping Iznate – five months spent up in the mountains, fresh air and stunning views, what’s not to like

Spending my November birthday on the beach – yeh!!

Our first Christmas in Bessie

Boxing day picnic on the beach..

We spent a lot of time early on in the year picnicking on the beach….

Every now and then we were rudely reminded it was still winter with a deluge of rain and strong winds. It never lasted more than a few days though 🙂

Making the devastating decision to have our precious Tinker put to sleep was the lowest point of our journey so far. We still miss her terribly.

Climbing Maroma in the spring sunshine was a high point – at 6000 odd feet you can take that literally!

Having my oldest friend and her husband come to visit for a long weekend meant lots of sightseeing and beers!!

A move to Cadiz in April meant stunning coastline – this was the route I ran every morning for a month!!

We fell in love with the beach at Conil de Frontera – picture postcard stuff

Another move this time into Portugal where we spent the summer. Away from the coast and time for a change in scenery.

Portugal has more castles than you can shake a stick at, this was our nearest just down the road in Evoramonte

Jose Cid – an aging ‘europop’ crooner but absolute megastar here in Portugal. Thankfully for us this was a free event and we soon escaped for a beer….

As the summer progressed the temperatures rose and we frazzled and wilted in the sun. On one shopping trip I was beyond excited to find young green coconuts for sale and enjoyed several days of reviving juices made with lush coconut water. Unfortunately it was a one hit wonder and they never appeared again but it was good whilst it lasted…

The cats had their own unique way of keeping cool

Seems like belly up with paws in the air is the way to go..

A trip across to the coast near Lisbon and a photo at the farthest point west in Europe (next stop Washington DC) concludes our Portuguese summer.

As we take a moment today to reflect on the year gone by we are both so grateful that we have had the opportunity to experience a different way of living.

The next year will be different again as I reach out for new business opportunities and we get ready to explore a different area of Spain.

Come with us and see where we end up….. 🙂

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