Moving Forward

On November 16th, David and I will be moving and we’ll be taking our two cats and our 22 boxes with us. Torrevieja, with its close proximity to David’s family and its cheap rent, has been a good transition place for us. But it isn’t our home, and we’ve known for a while that we don’t want to stay. We just didn’t know where we wanted to go. But now we do. And I’m excited for what lies ahead.

But the decision didn’t come easy. In fact, it was only after days and days of talking and examining our lives including our past, present and future that we were finally able to come to a decision. The two contending locations? Altea, Spain or Paris, France. Both charming. Both wonderful. And both completely the opposite of the other.

We fell in love with Altea the moment we saw it. It was love at first sight for us both. It lured us in with the promise of an idyllic lifestyle in a beautiful setting right on the water. We were so in love with it that we had decided to move there as soon as we returned from our trip to Paris. We even gave our present landlord the one month required notice to let him know that we would be vacating the apartment on the 15th. And the day before we left for Paris, we spent the day in Altea, visiting apartments for rent. We found one that day that felt like it could be home. It was a cozy 2-bedroom with a fireplace, brand new kitchen appliances, and it exited out on to a cute little street in the old part of Altea.

However, when we arrived in Paris and reunited with our friends and family, met our new niece and got immersed in the bustle and activity of Paris, we fell in love all over again. But it was a different kind of love – the type reserved for an old flame. Paris is a city that both David and I were familiar with and already had roots in. I already speak French, I already have friends there. Chouchou, my creperie friend, was offering to help us if we came to live in Paris. He could help us find a location, he could offer a guiding hand, and he could help us navigate the ins and outs of doing business in Paris. Farid, my old roommate was offering us my old room. Nathalie, my old student, was offering to help us find jobs if we needed. The familiarity of Paris was comforting, and it was tempting to hold on to that and never let it go.

We were torn between two choices, and, while we agonized over the decision, we tried to remember how fortunate we were to even have such choices. Many people don’t. We had choices, but we had to pick one in order to stop living life as if on a tightrope, walking straight down the middle.

The day we left Paris, it was rainy and cold. The clouds covered the sky and offered a glimpse of the Winter that was to come. We boarded the plane bound for Spain. And, as we started the descent to Alicante, we looked through the window and spotted El Peñón de Ifach, the tallest rock along the Mediterranean that identifies Calpe, a small city just North of Altea. We followed the Costa Blanca coastline South and found Benidorm with its skyscrapers, and we knew that Altea was tucked somewhere in the middle between the two. We took in the mountain ranges and the clear, blue skies and appreciated Spain for its natural beauty and warm temperatures – even in the month of November.

And, once we arrived and got our cats back from their 10 euros a day hotel (Oh, how we miss our old neighbors who used to give Sushi so much TLC when we couldn’t!), we continued to question what it was that we really want in our lives, what would really make us happy.

And, surprisingly, I found that I wasn’t clinging to the idea of living in Paris – the dream of many and my own dream a mere two years ago. Instead, I was questioning whether city life would really make us happy, I was thinking about our future kids and wondering about the quality of their childhood in a place such as Paris. And, after weighing the pros and cons of each place over and over again, we finally came to a decision together. And it felt right.

So, on November 15th, we will be, once again, hauling our boxes into David’s aunt and uncle’s fruit and vegetable van and heading 1.5 hours up North to Altea, a small village that feels just like Paradise. David already called to reserve the apartment and we’ve arranged with our present landlord to give him the keys. We have made our decision and are moving forward. It’s a decision that, in the past, I might never have taken. But I’ve arrived at a different stage of my life, and, together, David and I are looking forward and making decisions based on what we want – for our future.

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21 responses to “Moving Forward

  1. My home is moving – before I even fully moved in? I am excited for you – and excited to return to an upgraded home in Altea later this month! Don’t forget my things in my drawers!

    • Coral, I know that you were convinced that we would choose Paris, and I know that Paris would be easier for you to fly in to, but I can assure you that you’ll like your new home! Thanks for the reminder about the things in the drawers! I’ll move them to your new set of drawers!

  2. Oh, Sara, I don’t know what to say! I read your post slowly… I read a paragraph, let the dogs out, came back, read another, let the dogs in… It was kind of like reading a book and wanting the suspense to last. My initial thought was “Cool! When I come to France in April I can see Sara!” But, knowing you, I knew it wouldn’t be that easy. I am glad that you and David have decided to try to make a new “home.” I can’t wait for future updates!

    • Erin, having lived in Paris, yourself, you know what an internal struggle it was and how difficult it was for us to not go running back to Paris. But I can assure you that you’ll approve of our decision as soon as you see Altea. Any chance you can hop down to Spain when you head to France in April?

  3. David, the hubby

    Erin, you definitely will enjoy what mother Nature has to offer, as much as the City of Lights has to offer…Coral, I’ll try to not forget your belongings in the drawers…Sarita, I know there is a good reason why we are at this stage of our lives…Angels are watching over our heads all the time since we’ve been together.

  4. Sara & David,
    Congratulations on your decision. Remember that Paris will always be there for you to go back to, should your desires change. Altea sounds beautiful, and all the best to you as you travel down your new path! I cannot wait to visit a little village on the coast of Spain someday! Keep the pictures coming.

  5. Very cool. Tough decision, but it sounds like you made the right one. I wish you luck as you move and I know what a pain it is to drag pets around. I hope everything goes smoothly.

    • It was a tough decision, but I trust we made the right one. Yes, moving pets around isn’t fun but certainly much easier when we’re not moving them to a different country.

  6. Wow, that was full of suspense! I think you guys will be happy to move to your lil paradise! It looked absolutely gorgeous from the pictures you posted previously. And like someone else said Paris isn’t going anywhere.

    • Yes, Paris will always be there. There’s a reason why we ended up in Spain and we have to see what awaits us in Altea! It is absolutely gorgeous, Amy, and I truly hope that one day you’ll come and see it!

  7. If you toughest decision is between Paris and Altea, then life must be pretty good. 🙂 It’s definitely an exciting time and I’m looking forward to reading more.

  8. It’s all clear to me now. I can’t wait to visit Altea!

  9. Yay!! so excited for your adventures in Altea! goodluck with all the moving. it sounds so cute and lovely!

  10. After reading these wonderful stories from afar but not responding via the comments section, I thought this would be the appropriate time… I’m not sure if it’s for the excitement of you finding a new future home or your own admission of “our future kids.” 🙂 Either way, it’s a great lead-in for more adventures ahead and I look forward to visiting all of you once you’ve settled down. Good luck!

    • Rish, how honored I am that you actually commented! And even if I have to throw terms like “kids” around to get you to speak, by golly, I’ll do it! 😉 I knew that you would be proud of me for that admission. I must be growing up! But let’s first focus on your visit – I can’t wait for you to see Altea!

  11. This is such a great post. How exciting to read about your adventures and your decision-making process as to how you’ve chosen your new home. Thank you for sharing and being a globe-trotting inspiration to writers everywhere!

  12. Buena suerte
    Vaya con dios.

    I’m trying to help you learn Spanish :). It will be a grand chapeter in your lives. I wish you both the best.

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