“A sabbatical. We’ll try it for nine months.”
That was the original agreement. Margaret’s employer had a policy allowing her to take up to 9 months as a career break. Putting an end date on our adventure made it much easier for Margaret to acquiesce.
Then, her employer made her redundant, and the artificial time limit was no longer there. Nevertheless, we both understood that we were burning no bridges and that the move to Cyprus was not definitive. It was a sabbatical.
Margaret’s position then became, “we’ll stay awhile, until we can sell the house.” More recently, it has become, “we won’t grow old here. We won’t stay for ever.” Subtle changes; evolution not revolution, as it were. My position, much to many people’s frustration, is, and always was, “I dunno. Let’s see.”
In theory, we would have headed home last month, before the summer really hit. I’m delighted that we’re still here. Particularly after the start that we had, when I genuinely feared that we would choose to return to England sooner even than nine months.
We’re discussing whether to take the next Greek language course in the autumn and we have made plans for New Year. There has been no specific discussion, we’ve simply moved on.
Is this home now?
Posed as a simple question, the answer is more complex. What is home?
Increasingly, soppy though it may sound, home, for me, is where Margaret is. I’m happy here, I was happy in England. In the Members posts of this site, I am writing about my time in Central Europe. I was happy there too.
Statistically, two thirds of British people who retire abroad, return to the UK. Grandchildren and health care being the two elements most often cited as reasons to return.
Mags and I have no kids and touch wood, are in good health for the time being. Part of the rationale of moving here was to do so while relatively young, and enjoy a new life.
Might we move back to the UK? Or move to another “foreign” country? Might we stay here?
Yes, to all of the above.
We are lucky enough to be able to keep our options open, and that’s what we will do.