So we have arrived in the Highlands and are settling in well. We have been blessed with glorious weather (we do realise that this will not last!), the views are to die for and it'll be a very long time before I get bored of the trails and hills here.
I've left a very comfortable life behind and many people have wondered why on earth we would do such a thing.
We lived in a beautiful house in a lovely street. I had a good job that I could walk through a park to get to. We were financially comfortable and building a pension to ensure the comfort continued into old age. We both have lots of friends round about and a social life we were happy with. So why choose to leave ?
I've joked with a few people that comfortable and I don't really sit well together, and this is true, however, on reflection I see there is more to it.
Something in my gut was nagging me. Feeling comfortable is not the same as feeling alive. Obviously, they're not mutually exclusive but for me I didn't feel like I was truly living authentically ( sorry I wish I could find a better word that didn't make me sound like a self help book ).
I felt a strong desire to have less stuff, to be less busy and to be less concerned with other peoples opinions and expectations. I dreamt of living in a small cabin in the mountains without contact with another human being.
Obviously, I realise this wouldn't be "authentic" living either but I opened by heart and mind to finding something new. I felt that I needed to take time to be still and quiet somewhere before I could see what I really wanted to do.
Luckily for me, Gary was feeling something similar and we both agreed that we should start looking, keep an open mind and listen to our gut. We put our own house on the market and it sold straight away, no turning back now!
We travelled all over Scotland from Skye to Mull, Argyll, the highlands, Perthshire. Every time we saw a place we ranked it ( using a spreadsheet with previously agreed criteria. You know how much I love a spreadsheet!)
A view that would take our breath away was number one on our list, access to trails and walks was number 2. Running a bed and breakfast was definitely not on the list!
As soon as we set foot in this place we both fell in love with it. We didn't even think about filling in the spreadsheet we just put an offer in straight away.
We are in the middle of nowhere, it's about 20 miles to the nearest shop and virtually no-one delivers here. Its the coldest place in Britain, the midge are regulars here too. The winter is going to be long, dark and cold, I have never been a fan of housework but cleaning and cooking will be my job now.
Despite all of this I feel more alive than I have in years. Ask me again how I feel in February!