October 1, 2016

We have been in our new house-sit for just over a week.  We moved away from the the beautiful beaches of Andalusia, the hustle and bustle of the touristic Costa del Sol and travelled up to a remote part of the mountainous province of Granada.  Our Casita is a two bedroomed house adjacent to a Cortijo, engulfed and totally surrounded by olive groves.  Thousands and thousands of olive trees, as far as the eye can see.  It is so incredibly beautiful and so unbelievably peaceful.


The local village is only 2km away and very ‘Spanish’, by this I mean it is pretty much unspoilt by tourism, no English menus and very few English speakers, apart from a lovely man at the cafe who was quoting Sting lyrics to the boys whilst offering them his Jamon tapas!  There are a couple of local cafes, which also double as bars and are the centre of the village, acting as meeting places and manic domino playing arenas; definitely a ‘men only’ sport here.  It’s a wonderful place to be to learn the language and try and immerse ourselves in Spanish culture.  Everyone we meet and try to communicate with, in our very limited Spanish, are so incredibly helpful and kind.  When we asked the local cafe owner where we could buy free-range eggs she promptly gave us half a dozen…wow, so generous!

When we escaped the rat race looking for a simpler life, we could not have envisaged a home so beautiful, a land so respected and a people so kind and welcoming.
Chaos and Mayhem have been loving exploring the house and the local area.  We have been on several treasure hunts and nature walks; started to work the land and plant our own veggie patch and are simply enjoying being outside.  It’s amazing how adaptable the boys are, they left Portugal behind in July and have now left the Costa behind without taking a breath; As long as they have their Mummy and Daddy they feel at home wherever we travel.  For me, that is one of the best reasons to travel whilst the boys are young, they just soak up the places, people and experiences without fear or apprehension and actively seek out new adventures.
To think how different things could have be.  We watched a film last night, ‘Miracles From Heaven’, a bit of a weepy based on a true story.  The first part of the film was the family fighting to find out what was wrong with their daughter.  They had multiple hospital visits, including A&E admissions but were fobbed off with different reasons for their daughter’s illness.  It was so emotional for Hubbie and I to watch as it reminded us so much of our own story, we too were told by many medical professionals that Mayhem wasn’t seriously ill, that he was lactose intolerant and had acid reflux, the same excuses given to Jennifer Garner’s daughter in the film.  We were also given another multitude of reasons, including croup, bronchiolitis before we said NO, it’s not that, he’s seriously ill and you need to find out why, just as Jennifer Garner did.  The film went down a religious path and our stories no longer seemed as similar but watching the film made us realise just how incredibly lucky we are.
Admittedly, we are very unlucky to have had a seriously ill baby, so very unlucky that our precious boy had a tumour that was slowly but surely consuming him, but we are so very, very lucky in other respects; the tumour was benign (whoop, whoop), operable (they discovered this after the operation to remove it, YES!) and once it was surgically removed he was and is cured.  We were able to be together as a family in hospital whilst all of the drama unfolded and feel thankful that Mayhem was only 10 months old when this happened; for him it was normal not to be able to breathe properly, to be in discomfort and to be in the company of numerous doctors and health professionals.  We are so very lucky and incredibly thankful it wasn’t a terminal diagnosis or a painful ongoing condition that required multiple treatments.  We have to have very regular blood tests and x-rays (to make sure the tumour doesn’t grow back), which is hard enough.  We had an x-ray completed yesterday and Mayhem was so very upset being back in a hospital and throughout the procedure, it was a wake-up call for what could have been.  Most importantly though, every single day, every hour of every day, we are so incredibly thankful, grateful and feel lucky enough to have our son here, lucky that he came through this whole crazy episode and that he is here with us.
So when we see the boys exploring, digging in the ground, helping to prepare the soil for planting vegetables, playing games together, annoying each other (yes, even when they are fighting), We are so very, very thankful that we are all here together.  They are our reason, our reason for leaving our busy, time-consuming jobs and lives behind us, our reason for seeking out a life with unrestricted family time together, our reason for striving to live a simpler life, together.
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85 Replies to “Escaping the Rat Race – A New Chapter”

  1. Gosh this is my first time reading your blog – what a time your family has been through and what adventure you are experiencing now. Such precious memories to be making. I wish you all the best in your travels ! #fortheloveofblog

  2. I didn’t fully understand what you as a family have been through, but I can tell it has bought you so close together. I too am entering a new chapter to my life, I won’t bore you with it, sure Tony can fill you in if you want to know. I just hope we can be as strong and positive as you have been. Continue to enjoy your new life, it’s the best education you can give your lovely boys. Sending love and hugs your way.

    1. Thank you Anne, it was an awful time but the only way to get through it was to be as positive as possible and hope for the best possible outcome. We hope that everything goes well with you, our thoughts and love will be with you as you face and hopefully very soon conquer your own challenge. We are always pleased to read your lovely comments!

  3. It looks beautiful there. What a great experience for you all, what lucky boys you have x

  4. I am so jealous of you right now and how lovely to be in a rustic, untouched part of Spain. I hate it when it’s just full of English stuff to accommodate tourists. It’s just not right. Your pics look beautiful! Good news for your little one. I am so happy to hear that he looks well. I have had my baby in a hospital too and it’s terrific but you made it! Hurrah and well done. It’s never easy./ Enjoy now! Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

    1. Thank you for your comment, I have read how well your little one is doing as he is recovering from his surgery, hopefully he too will go from strength to strength too! We much prefer this part of Spain to the ‘touristic, English costa’ the boys really are having the best time!

  5. I really do enjoy reading your blog, especially because you’ve lived in areas that I know pretty well and have met folk like yourselves who just wanted ‘out’. My brother and his wife are embarking on a similar journey next year. How long are you in this area for? #kcacols

  6. ps. I subscribed to your blog a while ago but I never get emails when a new post comes out!? I just tried re-subscribing and it tells me I cant because I already am!? Very strange.

    1. Thanks for your comment Alex. I’ve just checked the email subscription and you are on the list as from the 2 Oct, so hopefully you should receive updates from now on! We are here for quite a while yet, all being well, until at least next July. Sounds like your brother and wife are off on an adventure too, hope it works out for them as well as it has for us!

  7. Wow the view in that first photo is stunning. It looks like a beautiful place. I am glad that everything with your little one was sorted and as you say no ongoing treatments, it must have been good news out of bad news, if that makes sense. I have a friend whose daughter is 1 and is undergoing chemo and I just can’t imagine going through it with my child. #KCACOLS

    1. It really is a stunning view, we feel very lucky!! We came so close to chemo it was so very scary. The Ongology ward was a sad place to be and we saw a lot of children affected by cancer. I do hope that your friend’s daughter is well again soon.

  8. It always brings a tear of joy when I hear the beautiful ending of your son’s illness and envy at your new life.
    Where you are in Spain reminds me of my mother’s hometown in southern Italy

    1. Thank you for your comment. After everything our youngest son went through we really did realise that life is too short to live somewhere you don’t want to be and do something you don’t want to do!

  9. This is such a nice story to read! It’s so good to hear that Mayhem is ok and you all got through it. It must be amazing to live in Spain, and have the opportunity and ability to travel. I’m a little jealous. The boys are going to love growing up around different cultures and experiences. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

    1. Thanks Claire for your lovely comment. It really is a special time for our family and we are enjoying every minute of immersing ourselves in the Spanish culture and traveling whilst we can !

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I love Granada. I spent three months there one summer whilst at University. It is an enchanting part of Spain. I am really jealous. I hope you have a fantastic adventure. You really deserve it after all that you have been through. Buena suerte. Pen x #KCACOLS

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Pen. I think your Spanish is probably better than ours but we are trying to learn. Granada really is such a beautiful place and we are having a fantastic adventure!

  11. A fabulous experience for you all! I’m so for escaping the rat race, the daily grind, the daily squash in the tube. Your adventure seems fantastic, and what better place than Spain.#TwinklyTuesday

  12. This place looks so beautiful. I love that your boys actively seek out new adventures. It is such a shame that you and your family had to go through such a horrific experience for you to decide to do this escape. It’s such a beautiful way to live whilst your children are young. What a lovely start to life.

    1. Thank you for your comment…I’ve always loved cities but there really is something about escaping it all and getting back to basis, it feels like we are where we are supposed to be when we’re so much closer to nature.

  13. Your journey makes me want to smile and cry and so many emotions in between! I truly admire what you are doing and I’m so delighted that you are enjoying it so much as a family, which is what it’s all about really isn’t it? #KCACOLS

  14. What a beautiful and exciting place to stay on your next adventure as a family. It’s pretty incredible what you’ve done and achieved. Such wonderful family moments to be had. Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

  15. It’s my first time reading your blog, and it sounds like you are on a great journey, and after your experiences it must be the best therapy just to get out into the world and enjoy it. The photos of where you are staying look amazing. #sharingthebloglove

  16. What gorgeous photos and what gorgeous boys you have. It’s so brilliant that you see the positives in what must have been an incredibly difficult time for you all. I love reading your adventures and what you are up to and where you going. It’s such an incredible and inspiring way to live, you do genuinely make me think about our own choices. I look forward to the next instalment. Thank you for sharing it at #familyfun

    1. Thank you for hosting and for your lovely comment. The fact that we are here now is all because we needed to change to be together as a family. The changes we made mean we have everyday together, making some awesome memories so we most definitely have to see the positives in that!

  17. What a fantastic experience for you and your children. They will have so much life experience when they start school. They are very lucky to have such chilled out parents. Enjoy Spain! #SharingtheBlogLove

  18. What a beautiful place for your next adventure! You’re right, this is the perfect age for your boys to do something like this – when they’re so open to embracing change and discovering new things. Enjoy Granada – I hope to read much more about it from you! Thanks so much for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. Thank you for hosting and for your lovely comment Katy. The boys are loving their ‘campo’ life, especially tractor spotting…there are lots and lots of tractors here! Hope we can keep you updated with our adventures!

  19. What an adventure! My daughter also was very ill as a baby, and it really does give you a different perspective on life. I’m glad things are going so well for you now and that your little one is so wonderfully healthy too.

    P.S. I love that last photo of the two of them in matching buckets – soooo cute!

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Lucy. Yes, it’s definitely a different perspective if your baby has been ill, sorry to hear about your daughter, hope she’s fully recovered now too!

  20. The place looks absolutely idyllic – warm and peaceful. And I love the gorgeous pictures you shared. Happy to hear that your son is fine. Good health is such a special blessing. #mg

  21. Brilliant! We took our 4 daughters under 8 on a trip around the world in 2008. It was the most amazing time out of the rat race and they learnt so much. They still relate their experiences in many topics in school. This is very precious family time. I’m so glad your little boy is ok. Enjoy every second of freedom from the treadmill. Alison x #mg

  22. What an exciting adventure you are on. I’m green with envy. I’m so glad you got a good outcome with your little one’s tumour. Well done to parent’s intuition, you probably saved his life. Enjoy your time out there, it looks amazing! #bigpinklink

  23. Wow the new home and landscape sound so idyllic. I’m so happy to read your story and to hear that it’s all worked out for the best, well done in fighting for your family and giving them such wonderful adventures x #mg

  24. Oh my goodness and there I was for a second thinking I had stumbled on a simple tale of upping sticks and moving to the beautiful Spanish countryside. What a scary journey you’ve been on and I’m not surprised your experience has made you think about what is really important in life. I’m so pleased to hear your little one is doing well and that you’re all enjoying your new simplified life together. It makes me wonder if we’re doing the right thing by staying in outer London with the hussle and bustle and expensive living that will force me back to work after mat leave….hmm. Now I’ve just verbalised that, I think I need to do some serious thinking! xx #mg

    1. What we went through really did make us evaluate what was important. It’s all too easy to get caught up in a consumerist society and forget what we want to achieve and gain from life, not just careers and money but life! Hope you work it out, we are really happy just being together as a family! Thank you for stopping by to comment!

  25. Wow, the scenery is stunning and somewhat relaxing…I can see how far it is from the rat race. I am sorry that your family had to go through what you all did and definitely a good reason to cherish the simpler life. That’s what all of us should strive for, to look for the simpler joys and know that that will be more than enough. Thanks for linking with #bigpinklink

    1. Thank you for you for hosting and for stopping by to comment. The view here really is stunning. One you definitely can’t get bored of! Just seeing our boys happy reminds us every day how content we are here in the middle of nowhere!

  26. What an amazing view! I am so glad he is healthy now, he looks so gorgeous too in that pic! It is scary to think what you went through! I am glad you are now living such a beautiful life with wondrous adventures! #mg

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