Day 833 – Dare to Dream
We dare to dream and on the 1st March 2021 we are packing up our whole life and moving to Brixham in Devon with the boys and my mum. A whole new chapter for us.
Until September 2020 I’d never even been to Brixham. Hand on heart I don’t think I’d even heard of it. Weirdly since we visited last year, I seem to hear it mentioned a lot (it is always in the news about Brexit) and our obsession over home and country TV shows and anything about Cornwall and Devon has also played its part. And if you want to get a feel for it I can highly recommend watching Fishtown.
Why have we decided to move our entire life to a town we barely know? That is a great question, with a rather long answer…
The Godber’s Travel
My romantic view of travel started when my childhood next door neighbour set off round the world and used to send us postcards from her travels. Tracey was my hero, I wanted to be just like her.
Travel for me has always been about meeting new people, visiting new places, trying new foods and experiencing different cultures. I spent my twenties planning exotic trips around the world. My job also took me to some exciting locations – it was thrilling.
I met Rich abroad and we managed a few big trips before Bilbo arrived. Having a baby didn’t stop us. He spent his first birthday in the Dominican Republic. He had his second birthday on our honeymoon in Thailand and by the time Harrison was 1 he’d travelled to 3 different countries -Germany, Belgium and Greece.
We didn’t see travel with the boys as a burden, in fact it opened us up to new experiences, different ways to explore and make friends.
As we began to plan more experiences The Godbers Travel blog was born. We wanted to create a living breathing record of our travels. I had a little help from the master of family travel blogging Alyson. She taught me almost everything I know World Travel Family
Dare to Dream
On Christmas day 2017 we flew to Thailand. We brought in the new year on the beach surrounded by our family. It was perfect.
Rich and I signed up to a Thai Cooking Class on Koh Samui it was so much fun. The boys loved the laid back beach vibes. Bilbo tried crab and Harrison wooed the locals. We’d well and truly caught the travel bug and we didn’t want it to end. So we started to make plans for longer term travel.
We have friends and family in Australia and New Zealand. We dared to dream about a trip where we could take a career break, world school the kids. At this point it was just that, a dream but over the weeks and months that followed we couldn’t shake the idea.
What was stopping us? Money? work? our house? our car? I joined groups on Facebook, followed family travel Instagram accounts. I was determined. By putting it out into the world I was manifesting the life I wanted to make for us.
Whilst we dared to dream we started saving.
We started to consider where we’d like to go, how we’d get there? could we road trip around Europe and camp. Could we backpack around South East Asia, visit friends and family in Australia, New Zealand for Christmas. The possibilities were endless.
2018 The Year of Travel
And whilst we saved we carried on packing as much travel into our “normal” life as we could.
In April I visited Greece to volunteer with a refugee charity for a week Kim Returns to Lesvos – Refugee Journey to Lesvos. It reminded me why travel is so important. My children are too young to volunteer somewhere like Lesvos but they are not too young to start understanding there is as much beauty in what makes us different as there is in what we have in common. Travel is an important life lesson.
In the spring, we headed back to the white island of Ibiza, What is so special about Ibiza?. It was where Rich and I had met and it was the first time we’d taken my mum.
A few days after we got home we jumped on another plane to Italy for our best friends wedding.
I’d never been to Italy, as we drove through the rolling hills of Tuscany I was sold, it was beautiful. It also dawned on me I’d barely travelled much of what was on our doorstep in Europe. We used our final 2hrs before our flight home, to snap a picture of the leaning tower of Pisa and gobble up some pizza and pasta.
Our breaks never felt like enough. I became an expert in making our annual leave stretch as far as possible.
We ticked off a visit to Uncle Gav in Stuttgart, Germany.
And I hopped on a plane with my girlfriends for an amazing long weekend in Nice at the end of June.
2018 was our year of travel, we were living our best life.
End of Summer
As the summer started to close we realised we’d need to be even more economical with our work holiday with the impending restrictions we’d have with Bilbo starting school. Rich and I booked a return to Lanzarote for Christmas and we booked a dream holiday to Mexico for Easter 2019. [Spoiler – we didn’t make it to either]
We also decided to squeeze in two more trips for the year. Cornwall before Bilbo started school and a trip to the beach for Bilbo’s 5th birthday in early October.
As Rich drove and the kids binged devices in the back of the car. I sat in the front with my notebook and google on my phone.
On the 6hrs journey to Looe, Cornwall Rich and I discussed in great detail what a trip of a life time could look like. We agreed 2020 would be the year. Rich was turning 40, it was our 10 year anniversary and we could still be away when I would turn 40 in May 2021.
It gave us 2 years to focus on saving. Both boys would be a 2 years older. It also gave us 2 years to work on our bosses.
We discussed the countries that were a must for each of us. We worked out how long we might visit each country. Christmas in Australia with Andy and Andy, summer in Europe and then chasing the summer for a whole year.
On paper it was the perfect trip.
Cornwall was its usual magical self. To this day I vividly remember waking up with Bilbo to take early morning walks on the beach looking for dragon glass. Bilbo had boundless energy. It was the perfect end to the summer and end to his careless school free life.
By October, Bilbo was struggling. His energy and enthusiasm for the beach and dinosaurs for his birthday were over shadowed by his body being thoroughly exhausted. I pushed any fears to the back of my mind. I convinced myself he was just tired from starting school. When I look at these pictures now we see the signs, his pale skin, his skinny frame, his hollow eyes. Despite everything he was still always smiling.
By October half term it was clear, he wasn’t tired and on the 29th October we heard those fateful words “your son has cancer”. Surviving a child cancer diagnosis – the first two months.
Our dreams were shattered…
In that moment our world stopped…
It felt like the pause button had been pressed…
834 Days of Cancer
You know the rest. It is all documented here on our blog. Cancer took over our lives.
And then in 2020 our cancer journey began to be impacted by Covid. Day 499: Coronavirus (Covid19).
It felt weird, we’d had our 2020 trip of a life time robbed from us back in October 2018 when we got Bilbo’s diagnosis. It was clearly not meant to be. Reinforced by 2020 being the year everyone had their wings clipped. Travel halted around the world.
It felt like a sign.
After 4 months of shielding, barely leaving our home – we finally escaped. In June, we drove back to our safe place – Cornwall. On that trip we dared to start making new plans. We started to think about what if, instead of visiting this beautiful part of the world, what if we actually lived here all the time.
And so our planning began. We started researching good schools, different areas. We worked out routes into London. First we started to look for houses with an annexe for mum. We considered an escape to the country.
But we quickly realised we didn’t want to move to the sea for a quiet life. We wanted a community. We wanted a town on our door step. Country village life wasn’t for us.
We also made a conscious decision to focus our search on Devon not Cornwall.
10 Year Anniversary
In September 2020, to celebrate 10 years of being together Rich and I made a dash for Devon. We spent 2 nights in a beautiful bolt hole in the middle of Dartmoor. It gave us a base to explore Devon. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway I can highly recommend
And that is when we fell in love – again. We both fell in love with a new dream, a beautiful coastal town called Brixham.
And when I got home I couldn’t get it out of my mind. We set up all the alerts for Brixham on Rightmove and Zoopla.
I arranged another visit to Brixham with the boys and mum. They LOVED it too.
And so we waited patiently (well I wasn’t very patient) and one day it happened the perfect house popped up one Friday afternoon.
We couldn’t get a viewing until Tuesday – I just knew it would be snapped up. Lockdown 2.0 had been announced so we were running out of time. We booked the viewing, we arranged to stay over night as it was actually Rich’s birthday. And not just any birthday it was his 40th. His party had been cancelled earlier in the year, his meal in London had been cancelled due to lockdown and so a punt on a house in Devon was the best I could offer him.
I figured if it wasn’t the one, we could always commiserate by drinking until the 10pm curfew.
Our New Home
IT WAS THE ONE. I knew from the second we pulled up outside. I could picture myself living in it immediately. Every room felt like home.
I had the butterflies.
We made an offer there and then.
And then we waited for what felt like hours for the estate agent to call back. We used our time wisely, we headed to the Prince William and took full advantage of their 2 for £10 cocktails.
And then they called…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY RICH
And so we leave Milton Keynes on 1st March.
I am scared, I am nervous – quite honestly moving with all of Bilbo’s complicated health needs terrifies me. But the alternative is we don’t move and that terrifies me more. We’re ready for a change.
“It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave”Anon
Dare to Dream 2.0
And so here we are, daring to dream again. I did warn you it was a long answer but it is an important one. This time our plans are less grand but no less life changing. I dare to dream that this blog can be more about our new adventures and a lot less about cancer.
We have deliberately bought a happy, warm and open house. Our door will always be open and we hope that our friends from around the world will one day make a trip to a little coastal town on the English Riviera and visit with us.