Act 1, Scene 1
Turkey. An all-inclusive holiday resort. A boy and a girl are sitting at the end of a pier, currently alone, on a group holiday with friends. The sun is blazing.
Boy: It's so nice and hot here.
Girl: Yeah, I love it.
Boy: Ooh, look, a yacht!
Girl: That looks so cool.
Boy: I would love to live somewhere hot, like here, and have a yacht to go sailing on.
Girl: Me too, it would be totally awesome to have that life.
Boy: It really sucks that we have to go back home soon.
Girl: Tell me about it.
Some time later...
Act 52, Scene 8
The boy finally plucks up the courage and they kiss.
So, Kate and I started going out. Not too long after the holiday, back home in England, we said something along the lines of "You remember that conversation we had in Turkey? Why don't we do it?"
It didn't really seem possible the we could just decide to emigrate and actually go and do it. Up until this point, I had always done things because they were the done thing, or the most logical next step. I mean, sure, I have been on lots of cool trips and had great adventures, but the course of my life in general was something that took care of itself, rather than being something that I shaped. I have never been restrained in any way, it's just that it didn't occur to me to think about what I would really like to do, and go and do it. Nothing was particularly wrong with what I was doing, so maybe that's why I was happy to keep trundling along, it just wasn't exactly what I wanted to do.
My mentor at work at the time, a really great guy called Adam, listened to me explain what Kate and I had decided to do. The first thing he said was "Let's not bother working towards your next promotion, then". Adam really helped align me with the start of our adventure, and helped me confirm that I should follow my dreams and that the time was perfect to do so: I had found someone who, amazingly, has the exact same aspirations that I do, we don't have the responsibility of kids and a mortgage to worry about, we have got enough experience in our field of work to be able to pick up where we left off if our plans don't work out and we have to come home with our tails between our legs.
The first step, Adam said, was to resign.
"But what about finding a new job?"
"Don't worry about that. You've just got to go for this. Once you have handed in your notice, you will have all the motivation in the world to make this work. From the moment that you drop that letter on your manager's desk, there will be no turning back, no making excuses, you will be forced to move forward and work everything out."
He was so right. Without that initial shove, I could still be in my old job, waiting for the 'right time' to present itself, saving money to give us a nice safety margin, and generally being a wimp.
The dream is to pay for a broadband connection. Eh? How can that be a dream? Aren't we already living the dream, in that case? Well, no. We want to pay for a broadband connection, and nothing else. In other words, we want to be as self-sufficient as possible. No external water, sewage, electricity or gas connections and no food bills.
In reality, I don't suspect that will be totally achievable, but that's the target we're aiming for. We're hoping to be able to sink a bore hole, find a good waste solution, generate our own power from solar and wind, and maintain a smallholding to feed us.
We really don't like all of the waste associated with a Western lifestyle, and the damaging effect this is having on the planet. We're not Eco-warriors with beards and dreadlocks, rubbing onion under our arms for deodorant. We're not looking to go and live in a commune. We're just like you (unless you are the aforementioned stereotypical Eco-warrior, against whom we have nothing against, that's just not our cup of tea).
As well as wanting to reduce our impact on the planet, being self-sufficient will help unchain us from our jobs. With very low living expenses, we hope that we will have much more time to spend together and to do what we want to, without having to make the nine-to-five grind five days a week.
On top of being self-sufficient, we want to live somewhere that is nice and warm, because neither of us like the cold, especially not me. Cold weather is great if you can go skiing, ice skating, build igloos etc., but in England, the cold is good for nothing. I do love England, but it's time to find some predictable weather. We also want a sailing boat, mainly because sailing is great fun, but as a secondary benefit, our boat will be able to transport us and our junk to our chosen destination when we emigrate.
In this blog, we hope to document our journey, for the interest of friends and family, and to hopefully be of use to anyone wanting to follow a similar path.