Go with the flow

This whole s**t scary topsy turvy situation had made us more than count our blessings.  Whilst trying to decide what we were going to do with our future Morley had follow ups with Alder Hey and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).  His wound was healing slower than expected and he kept scratching it, but it was fine.  GOSH was a bit of a shocker.  We weren’t really told this by Alder Hey, or maybe it was phrased differently but their main worry was reoccurrence of the tumour.  We’d obviously read that this could happen but just dismissed it.  We were also told that there was a ‘unknown spot’ on Mayhem’s x-ray of his chest, in the lung area.  It could be a metastasis, or regrowth or a ‘bit of tumour’ that they had missed during surgery.  BOOM!  The possibility of our baby going through all this again became much more real than we ever wanted it to be.

We realised that the very best thing that we could do was to ensure that our family was together, as much as possible.  The support we received from our nearest and dearest was phenomenal.  At first we thought that it might be an idea to move back to Lancashire, to be closer to my family but there was one reason to move back there, but way too many not to…namely the God-awful weather.  We both hated the rain and the cold and wanted my boys to spend as much time outside in nature as possible.  Yes, I know, waterproofs are good, but sometimes they just don’t cut it.  There’s also the big shopping culture up North, a huge supermarket on every corner, even in the smallest of towns, and a good day out is spending loads of money you don’t have living it large at the shopping mall…not really our cup of tea.  So as much as we wanted the boys to have family close-by we also wanted greater life experiences for them.

I’ve travelled in the past, hubbie not as much, but he was more than willing.  Our only problem and it was of course, a big problem…money.  We had savings and had been attempting to save a deposit to get on the housing ladder but what good were savings if you didn’t have family?  We decided money didn’t really mean that much in the grand scheme of things, life and death, tumour removal , living on the edge soon made that completely apparent.  We didn’t however, want to totally waste our hard earned  cash and wanted to make it last as long as possible.  Chaos is due to go to school in September 2017, so ideally we could try and be extremely frugal and stretch out our money until then with neither of us working (scary thought) and be together as a family.

Europe is expensive, South East Asia cheap but language and upheaval issues for the kids made Europe more appealing  What we really wanted was a home from home but without having to pay massive rent.  Somewhere with reasonably cheap living costs.  My whole mantra is, if you want something to happen you have to make it happen…so we did.

After a few broad internet searches on how to travel cheaply we stumbled across housesitting.  Amazingly there are loads of websites out there where people want you to look after their house.  We’d never really heard about it before but it is a really great way to travel without massive accommodation costs.  Some owners have pets that need looking after, others ask for a small contribution towards rent and others ask you to pay your own way with bills.  Most are a fraction of the cost you would pay to actually rent the same accommodation.

After joining a housesitting website, (www.mindmyhouse.com) we found a few longer term housesits that ticked all of our boxes and wrote off to apply.   We could make this happen.  Leave behind the rat race and chill out with the boys for a while…

We thought we’d struggle getting somebody to agree for us to sit for them as we had two small boys and we all know how neat and tidy they are(herm…).  Amazingly one of the owners we’d written agreed that we could sit for him, he said yes! We would be looking after his two dogs, two cats and 4 bedroomed huge house…we were off to central Portugal!