We bought our gorgeous 128-year-old cottage in August 2012, moving from Sydney’s trendy Inner-West, out west, to Penrith, near the Blue Mountains. We wanted a big garden, a dog, and cleaner air, and we got them all!
Both in full-time, reasonably well-paid work, we watched with concern as the cost of living in Australia spiralled out of control, and our once-quiet suburb boomed to 200.000 residents. Life could only become tougher as we aged. Then Penrith was re-zoned for high-density housing, and it will be on the flight-path of the proposed new airport at Badgery’s Creek. So, we thought we’d seek somewhere quieter to live while we still could.
Australian house-prices have risen in the past twenty years to ludicrous levels, with the average bungalow like ours ( and without its charm!) costing upwards of $600.000. A move to the coast or country was pointless – similar prices, less infrastructure – so we started thinking outside the suburban box. With Sarah’s part-time academic proof-reading business kicking along, her previous hotel house-keeping experience, and my cooking and restaurant management experience as starting points, we researched the idea of buying a country house, to run as a B&B and small-holding. The general idea was that Sarah could work online as an academic proof-reader, and I could teach English online while we co-managed small-scale B&B, and I could also pursue some part-time catering ideas. We have now actually done it!
We sold our lovely little home, and found a charming 300-year-old house in Galicia, north-west Spain. We visited it, signed the contract of purchase in May 2018, and moved everything, including our dog and cat, in July of the same year.
The journey has begun!