A while ago I read a post by the lovely Phoebe at LittleGreyBox about settling down and it really struck a cord with me so today I wanted to share my thoughts on a subject that’s particularly close to my heart.
When we told our family and friends that we had bought one way tickets down under, three months before we were getting married, we got a variety of reactions. Some people thought we were mental and had lost the plot, others said it was about time. But I think, before we told anyone, almost everyone expected us to buy a house, have kids and “settle down” like ‘normal’ people do. Some of our friends even had a bet running on how long it would be before we announced I was pregnant!
But what is ‘normal’?! Surely that’s different for everyone and changes as you grow?
You see I’ve never had what you could class as a ‘normal’ life. Born in Europe, I’d been to North America, all over Europe and the Middle East and had more schools than you can shake a stick at, all before I was 12. The longest I’ve ever lived in one place is 4 years and 3.5 years in is when we bought the one way tickets. I don’t know what it’s like to stay somewhere, to have grown up with the same friends, lived in the same house, and been to only 2 schools before leaving home at 18 to go to University. To me ‘settling’ is an awful word that means there’s nothing better out there or you can’t be bothered to look. What an awful outlook to have on this amazing world full of promise and adventure.
When we got married, we promised to follow each other to the ends of the earth and back again and we meant every word. Do I want a big house full of kids? Sure! Does that mean we’re going to stop travelling, stop exploring and stop trying new things? Hell no!
Do I want my kids to have the same upbringing I did? The honest answer is I don’t know. I see the benefits of both sides. But if the day ever comes when we decide that we want to stay in one place, it’ll be because we decided, not because society says that we should.
So tell me, friend, what does ‘settling down’ mean to you? Do you hate the phrase as much as me? Do you feel the pressure of society to do the normal thing? Are you nomads like us?