Escaping the Rat Race – A New Chapter

Cortijo in remote Granada, Andalucia, Spain

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”

  • 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!

    • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

    • 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!

  • 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

    • 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!

  • 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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