As I say farewell to my homeland, the cold, damp yet beautiful North Wales, I can't help but feel a slight tinge of sadness, but I also can't help but be incredibly excited about starting a new adventure over in the equally beautiful France.
If you're a friend or client you'll be well aware of my imminent relocation to France with my partner Carole, but if not, well, now you know! I just wanted to write this post as it's a pretty major change in my life, but one that is made possible by my career and should allow that career to keep growing.
I've always loved the area I'm from, and was often baffled as to why anyone would leave here. Not only are my family and friends here, but the landscape is one that is so deeply ingrained in me that I feel as if my very bones are called to it. I grew up in a place that surrounds you with the ocean and coastlines, as well as the valleys and mountains, often all at once, and it has left me with a longing to always be surrounded by a landscape that is interesting and dramatic. It has affected me so much that if I'm ever somewhere flat, uninterrupted by hills, I start to feel uneasy.
But, as much as this is my home, that my roots bind me to the Welsh earth, I have a great lust to see the world. This isn't just a lust to go on a bunch of exotic holidays whenever the pocket allows, but a need to really experience a place, to be there, to live there. After only the small amount of traveling I've done, I know that as perfect as a place can be, there's more to the world, and there are other places equally as perfect in so many different ways.
And this is where my career comes into play. The move to France has been on the cards for some time, so Carole and I both took the plunge to become freelance designers a few months ago, with the aim being that it would give us the flexibility and opportunity to relocate, yet carry on the work we were already doing. We live in a wonderful time where we can work from wherever we are, with whoever we want, all with the magic of the internet. Our clients, both local to North Wales and those further afield, are happy to continue working with us as they always have, no matter where we're based, and this was our ultimate goal. We both know that France may likely not be our final destination, and we want our freelance careers to create opportunities for us, to give us flexibility, not to chain us down. Work to live, don't live to work, and all that!
So our adventure in France begins tomorrow. Carole and I are massively excited to start anew, but first we'll spend Christmas with the Chevalier family, eating and drinking in ways only the French can. After the festive season the real adventure will begin, as we find our new home in Brittany, but no matter how far I go, no matter how perfect the place, the Welsh mountains will always be calling me, my roots firm in the slate filled ground.
A huge thank you to all my family, friends and clients who have supported both Carole and I and helped us to take our first steps on this new journey. We'll see you all soon!