The four words which are possibly the best 4 words I've heard in many years
And similarly, the scariest 4 words I've heard for an even longer period!
It's a whole series of emotions that I've gone through over the past 24 hours since accepting an offer on my house and it being officially sold subject to contract completion.
There was the initial sense of joy accepting the offer and realising I am one step closer to making my dream of travelling a reality.
However, there is also the realist in me which has stifled that enthusiasm with a reality check that things are not done until completion day.
For my international followers, in the UK it is possible to pull out of a purchase or sale up until the day before completion. Completion date is essentially the agreed date on which title deeds and finances are exchanged and the property is officially 'Sold'.
From acceptance of the offer until completion date can be anything from 4 weeks to 4 months depending on the chain involved (number of people selling/purchasing properties within your 'chain' of buyers/sellers)
At ANY point during these weeks or months any one person, including myself as the seller, can decide to withdraw from the sale/purchase.
So there is an argument that the realist in me has a point.
I will, therefore, proceed with cautious optimism as I do have many things that I now need to sort out. (more on that below)
This excitement and cautious optimism were soon followed by overwhelming fear as the reality of the situation sunk in.
I was actually doing this!
I had accepted an offer on the only house I have ever owned. The house that my kids grew up in. The home that has provided so many memories until now.
I am moving to a new country (yes, I realise it is only a 4-hour drive away and still part of the UK) where I do not know anyone. Buying in a neighbourhood where once again I'm going to be, "the foreigner". It's a daunting thought.
I am looking to transition into a life of travelling whilst trying to earn money through my photography and IT experience for both individuals and businesses.
I realise that it is fear of the unknown. Fear of a big life change.
But as someone said at some point, "There is nothing to fear but fear itself" (don't think they were familiar with Pennywise)
I realise that to make this dream a reality, I have to face and deal with that fear with the faith that things will work out.
The following emotion to deal with was sadness and sorrow.
As mentioned above, I've lived in my current home for 19 of my 21 years in England. It is the first house I have owned.
It is the house my kids were raised in and the home I spent time with them in. I have artwork around the home that have been there for some 15 years!
There are a lot of fond memories (and some not so great for balance) in this house.
But I realise that what I'm doing is an opportunity for me to create a new chapter in my life which I hope my kids will join me on from time to time, and give us the chance to make some lifelong memories exploring our world. This was a huge deciding factor in undertaking this life-changing event, the opportunity to travel with my kids.
Loads to do!
The reality is, I have a LOT to sort out and get done over the next month or two. Including:
Finding a suitable house in Wales.
The area I'm looking at purchasing in is approx a 4-hour drive from my current location. So will need to arrange to go down there for a couple of days and see as many properties as possible while there.
I already filled a 12ft skip with crap about a year ago. It's amazing how much 'stuff' you accumulate over 19 years in a property! And a lot of my 'stuff' is already boxed. However, I've decided that there is still too much 'stuff'!
So I'm going to have a 2nd pass of going through the boxes.
I've decided unless it has sentimental value, or doesn't make financial sense to replace then it will be sold, donated or thrown out!
My aim is to get down to a transit van (max) of personal belongings.
Look into options for my parrot.
I'm considering what options are available to me with regards to my remaining African grey parrot.
My preferred option would be to find a friend willing to take care of him for me during my travels however I realise this is a big commitment for someone.
Option two would be to rehome him privately.
Option three would be to look to rehome him to a parrot sanctuary.
Drum up business!
In between all this insanity, I also have to make time to try and drum up paid work to cover the bills until completion date (again, the realist in me telling me not to bank on completion going to plan!).
Besides my photography services, I am also falling back on my 28 year IT career to make other training and services available, all of which I can perform remotely.
Covid has taught me that I cannot have all my eggs in the photography basket!
I will be updating my website over the next few weeks to cover these additional training and service offerings, in the meantime, you can see the services I'm offering here. If any could benefit you, please do get in touch!
Grow social media channels!
In an attempt to bring awareness to the road trip, I will be using social media quite extensively throughout this adventure. I'm currently on LinkedIn and have been using it for lead generation for my photography for about a year now. I'm not sure how much time I will dedicate to this platform moving forward as I'm unsure how popular digital nomad will be on a 'professional platform'.
I've started being more active on Instagram to grow my audience there and to find sources of inspiration myself as this whole digital nomad business is new to me. So I'll take all the info I can find!
I use Pinterest to drive traffic to my website and blog and will continue to do so.
The most challenging for me is going to be YouTube. I'm used to being behind the camera, and when I step out in front of it, you will understand why! However, I have to get over this self-conscious issue because it is what it is. I know creating videos is going to be crucial to growing interest and my audience and being able to turn this road trip into a long term adventure.
So I guess my mood right now is excited panic at what needs to be done!
If you haven't already, please subscribe to my blog to follow my journey, and sign up to my newsletter for updates of when I'll be in your area if you'd like to work with me on a photoshoot.
See you on the road!