Oh, my goodness, we did it! We actually moved to Wales and our ‘forever home’ by the sea!
But I’m not going to lie – it was brutal!
The removal company only sent two small vans instead of the huge truck we booked, and obviously the contents of our four-bedroom house and all the worldly goods of four people and two dogs didn’t fit…
So, the team of movers (I say team, but there were only three of them!) shuttled backwards and forwards between our old house in Buckinghamshire and our new house in Carmarthenshire – a journey of over four hours each way. We finally had all our belongings in one place a week later.
You would think we would be used to moving after 15 years of living in RAF service accommodation and several postings, but military houses are pretty much the same wherever you go, so most of our moves were straight forward, and involved copying and pasting one house into another – same size rooms, same furniture layout, same military grade magnolia walls…
However, our new home was very different – and we soon realized we had far too much ‘stuff’ and most of our furniture didn’t fit, and due to the chaotic nature of our move, the meticulously packed boxes and plans I made to ‘streamline’ our transition to civvy street went largely out of the window and everything was just dumped.
It was while we were surrounded by boxes and mayhem that the enormity of what we had done hit me like a train – my husband and I had taken our young, vulnerable (they’re autistic) children away from the only home they had ever known, the only friends they had ever had, and moved them to a town where we didn’t know a soul, didn’t have any family within a hundred miles, and didn’t have the network or support of our own friends or the RAF community that had served us for well over a decade. The guilt regarding what we had done and the potential impact on our family was overwhelming.
So, there was only one thing for it…
We had purposefully moved to a house with the sea less than a ten-minute walk away, and the children naturally wanted to get in it! And even though it was a wet, cold February day, and we had a tonne of unpacking to do - we all trudged out to explore the coastline.
As adults, we can learn a huge amount from our children – their resilience during one of the most challenging times of our lives was just awe inspiring. Watching them ‘come alive’ and embrace their new surroundings with innocent wonder and a massive sprinkling of magic, brought back all the excitement of the dreams and the plans, and the reminder of why we wanted to move to Wales.
And their childish glee was infectious – we kicked off our shoes and rolled up our trousers and splashed in the waves and forgot about unpacking the boxes and all the worries and the stress of the move, and just followed our children’s lead and lived in the moment, surrounded by waves and rainbows.