It’s Christmas 2007 and with a few days at home we started our research again!

Now we were back with the world map and having addressed a number of concerns that had come up as we had followed through with our research, we made the decision that we really didn’t want to leave Europe.

This was a huge decision and we did talk about it many times over many weeks just to be absolutely sure that we on the right track!

What was the reason that we investigated, over many years, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, California, Mexico before really knowing that we didn’t really want to move that far away?  It was the experiences that we had both had during our lives while travelling both for business and for pleasure.  We knew from this that there are many countries in the world that can offer a fabulous way of life.  We had to now be realistic and admit to ourselves that some of the things we have now we didn’t want to change!

Both of us have travelled extensively in Europe, but not always to the same place.  Our work had taken us to different environments and to different countries and towns.  Before we met and got married, we had both done a lot of travelling and again this was to different countries, different experiences of culture and different towns.

So now knowing that what we were trying to change was our environment – home, weather, lifestyle – and not our jobs, friends, access to our family – we had to move on.  It wasn’t an easy decision, but we both agreed that we do fly to Australia now to see my immediate family, what’s to stop us continuing to do this?

So we were emigrating for a new environment.

So we got the map of Europe out.  One of the things that we really, really want to change was the weather.  We know that rain happens everywhere and we’ve experienced rainy summers throughout Europe; but we also know that Southern Europe offers a better chance to be able to do the outdoor things that we wanted to do!

As we had both experienced Northern Europe in summer and winter, we both agreed at the beginning of this research that we wanted to live in Southern Europe.  So we started to look at the Mediterranean, but where to start?

Spain – although I had worked in various cities in Spain and I had thoroughly enjoyed the experiences, met some lovely people, have some great Spanish friends, it wasn’t a country that drew us to live in it.  So having had a look at Spain we both agreed that it wasn’t at the top of our list.  Yes, we may be wrong; but we went with our intuition and moved on.

Greece – I have a lot of Greek friends (some from school and some met during my working life in/around the world) and have visited Athens with some of them.  I haven’t spent a lot of time in Greece.  One of my clients organises fantastic holidays to the Greek Islands and seeing the feedback from their clients does make us want to go there.  We researched mainland Greece and then some of the islands.  Again using our intuition, we felt that it wasn’t the right place for us.

Turkey – we spent our honeymoon in Istanbul and we loved it!  My parents have travelled through Turkey and good friends of ours had been there many times.  We got out our photographs, our notes, our memories and we reminisced.  We asked ourselves ‘what was the reason we hadn’t gone back?’ – after all it was nearly 13 years since we had last been there.

We agreed to spend some time thinking through our Europe decision, as in a short few hours we had turned down a number of countries.  So back to the research and to the journal …

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