By: Wendy Rhein
I have a confession. I have a fantasy that is occupying more and more of my time. It is tantalizing to distraction and I’m fantasizing about making the fantasy reality.
Take a deep breath and close your eyes. Come with me.
There is an old wood slat barn down the pebbled path, perfect for a cow or two, some sheep and goats. Maybe even a pig. The rolling land has a vineyard on one side and an olive grove on the other. And in the middle is me, shoulders back, confident, the natural wave in my hair flowing (all of the grey is gone too, by the way), with a basket of dirt-clinging vegetables resting on one hip and a baby on the other. I’m happy. I’m relaxed. My kids are running barefoot through the olive grove. There are no car alarms going off, no toy-stealing and no one slamming doors down the hall.
Can’t you feel your blood pressure dropping just LOOKING at this?
In my waking/tied to the desk hours, I sometimes close my eyes and go to this happy place but increasingly I’m frustrated when I open my eyes after the phone/email/blackberry/cell phone pings. It isn’t refreshing anymore. I wonder what it would take to make the dream a reality. Could I really uproot my family and move to a pastoral village? That’s easy: absolutely. No problem. Sell our belongings, pack some bags, promise my elder son that he’ll make new friends and off we’d go. Sounds a little cold I suppose but the prospect of that kind of adventure and way of life sends me over the edge of compassion for my kids and into “mama says now” mode. But the rest of the fantasy, that’s the hard part. Finding the right property. Discovering how to make money in this new environment. The logistics of living as an ex-pat. Schools. Language.
Damn I hate when reality gets in my way. But it has to be possible. I know scores of people who have made the literal leap over the Pond for a different way of life.
This could be in the cards for us and I’ve gone as far as discussing it with my mother. She’d pack tomorrow if I let her. Her request is that I promise to not relocate us to Africa, and that since she would fully expect to die wherever we go so she would like that place to have decent medical care so she can get the good drugs in the end. Fair enough.
So, if anyone is looking for a permanent caretaker for their European second home, or you know someone who needs some help on a vineyard or a small B&B, give me a call. You’ll be amazed at how fast I can pack.