Whatever Home is, it's something emotive and different for all of us.
My theme word, Home, is of course an emotional journey, but these themes often manifest as something concrete. In our case, this year, a turmoil of abodes.
We emigrated here to Montenegro, from England, in 2007. It has been everything and more than I wanted it to be. We have grown as a couple, and as individuals. And we had our girl here.
But it's time to move on. And the plan is to return to England.
We built a big ol' stone house that was initially to be a permanent home. So selling it is not only essential, it's also very tricky - being up in the sticks, as we say.
But it turns out that the glut of apartments here has made 'villas' (farmhouses) away from the bay-side, a rarity and coveted by many holidaymakers and travel agents.
Yet this house won't budge without full completion of works as well as some additions. One of these is a pool. But we don't have the cash for wardrobes (18 months later still using our suitcases), let alone such luxuries.
And so we started to talk the dreams out, the basic needs, and what had to happen. And a few days before we leave here for our UK visit (December), out of the blue, we are offered the chance to see all this come true. A travel company is willing to pay 4 months rental income upfront for the chance to have our house on a 2-year contract with them.
Yes, up front.
In a nutshell, the rent finances everything we need to get done.
A wonderful and amazing opportunity.
But of course it also means moving out of or beautiful home, and opening it up to strangers. It means being away from all that adds to our days (my books and art supplies, her toys, books, supplies... our beautiful studio, the surrounding woods). It means uprooting Miss 3 a few times in one year. Away from her familiar comforts and friends. It means living in a sort of limbo for months at a stretch. And it means days of crazy stress and work for the next 3 months as we must be ready for the end of May.
Yet the house will be finished! and ready to become someone else's home when that person comes along. And that will then mean the start of our complete return to England, and the next stage of this journey called life.