The sky is so blue today and the greens are so green and the tile cutter is so silent (though my ears are pricked and my shoulders hunched, just waiting for it to start up again) and for a moment as I sit in the garden watching the butterflies I actually wonder what the fuck I am thinking. Leave Bali? AM I INSANE? This summer I lasted approximately 3 days in the UK before I broke down and screamed ‘I hate England!’ at my dad. And that was summer. I’m going to be heading back in the dead of winter. And I only own a pair of flip flops.

To be fair it was 13 degrees and hailing in the UK when I screamed these words and I had just been told by Waterstones Chester that they didn’t want me to go and sign any books there because… they didn’t have any of my books in stock to sign.

But my point is I’m not sure I know where I want to live and this endless striving for somewhere ‘other’, somewhere ‘else’ – where does it lead? Not to Utopia that’s for sure. I know that doesn’t exist (except on channel 4 – it’s rather good, watch it). But I can’t help looking.

I was harsh in my previous post but I stand by it. The traffic and pollution and construction in Bali is out of hand. And dozens of people responded to say they feel the same and that’s why they too are leaving / have already left.

I think it’s easier to break up with someone though if you start noticing and listing their bad points, which is what I’m doing to make the break up less painful when the inevitable moment comes.

And the truth is we are leaving for more reasons than the construction and the beige toilet. We’re leaving because our careers are beckoning us new places.

When we first quit our jobs in London and took off around the world looking for a new place to call home we decided to do the boldest thing we could think of. We didn’t take a sabbatical, we handed in our notices. We quit our jobs, announced it to the world and from then on there was no going back (or there was but we would have looked stupid and been unemployed).

Writing that post about leaving Bali a couple of days ago was me handing in my notice. Making it public means no going back. I want to launch myself again into the stratosphere. Last time the universe caught us and rewarded us hugely, and I’m hoping the same will happen again.

The truth is we have no home to go to, no real plan, no concrete work in the pipeline. But this time I’m not so worried. I think the hardest part is done. The hardest part is making the decision, then announcing it to the world. The rest is relatively easy because from that moment you’re in the flow (oooh I sound so hippy).

I don’t know. Is that useful for anyone? I feel that it’s the most important thing we’ve learned being here. That big decisions are only really scary up until the point you make them and then the fear gives way to excitement and the adventure of what if?

2 thoughts on “The search for Utopia

  1. Jill Homer says:

    Absolutely…once the decision is made the rest just flows…..

  2. Colleen says:

    “That big decisions are only really scary up until the point you make them and then the fear gives way to excitement and the adventure of what if?” …. this really resonates with me and I completely agree with you. I’ve been following your blog for a while, and it coincided with a time in my life when I was becoming increasingly unhappy at work. Less and less work-life balance, working 70-80 hours a week, miserable toxic atmosphere, etc. Your story inspired me, along with the “Fuck It” and “Four Hour Work Week” books, lots of support and encouragement from my husband, and the example of watching several close friends and co-workers who just walked away from it all. Several months ago, I took the leap and quit the rat race. I stepped down to a part-time job that pays 1/4 of what I used to earn. Making that decision was excruciating. I second-guessed myself the whole way. But now that I’ve crossed over to the other side, I wouldn’t go back for anything. We get into trouble in life when we refuse to let go of “what used to be.” My job used to be wonderful and I kept hanging in there, waiting for things to improve. They didn’t and they won’t. It sounds like you and your family have had the best that Bali had to offer. Leave on a high note, before things get worse. It’s a big, wide world, and though you don’t yet know where your next new home will be, that will be revealed in time by putting one foot in front of the other and letting each step illuminate and guide the way to the next. Best of luck to you and thank you for sharing your story.

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