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”

    • 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!

  • 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

    • 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 !

  • 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

    • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

    • 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!

  • 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

  • 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

    • 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!

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