Blogging our chase for the dream life in southern France began because I wanted to record all of the feelings, observations and breakthroughs that I knew we’d forget to remember. That we wouldn’t be able to remember. I wish I’d kept a diary or blog of the process we went through to get this house, although I know there’d be a lot of baggage to go through if I ever had. There are some things that when I half-recall them now I can’t be 100% certain that they really happened quite like that, that the situations turned out quite like they did. But I also really wanted to get down in words how we managed to accomplish a life-changing move – the realisations, ideas, adaptations and commitments we had or made that took us from what we thought was the best possible position we could have dreamed of into a pursuit of a yet higher level of living the dream. Some of the things I knew we’d forget, without this blog, is the speed at which we travelled from plans to remortgage the house through moving out and investment in a buy-to-let, to pooling our resources into one big idea, into our search for the perfect location, through our first experiences at seeing how that location would pan out, the possible maybes we saw along the way, the fine tuning of the idea that was going to be our life-long income and dream-enabler, the tearing down of our own ideas as we discovered or realised or grappled with the knowledge that it just wouldn’t work even though we wanted it to so much, and beyond toward the embrace of a new country, homeland and culture and the intricate technical research that went into shaping what we saw as our coup de grace, the roulottes. Even just writing that long sentence I know that I’d need to go through the six months or so of posts we’ve all written to have a detailed view of this mad but wonderful journey we continue to take. And each of our giant leaps in vision have all come from what this blog has forced us to do – continuous evaluation and awareness. I began the blog wanting not to lose out on all the contours of our path to the dream, but it really has become just as much a part of reaching that dream as the recording of it. And now we find ourselves – with Moms in tow, much to her ongoing credit when she’d be excused for feeling a little change-fatigue – turning the world around again. Putting our latest draft of the dream aside to take another pass at forming the perfect setup. (Realising here that this process can teach me just as much about story drafting as it might inspire others in the realisation of their dream drafts) I have the same feeling about the villa, as we’ve decided to call it, as I believe I did about this house… once I’d gotten over certain influences and had begun to share the vision that Jen and Moms already possessed. It’s the same feeling I wrote about all those weeks and weeks ago when France really became the only option: the experience of talking all night in excited juddery to-and-froing before waking up the next morning with what amounts to an idea hangover. “Did it all really feel that possible last night, that definite?”, as the sun threatens to put fire to the delicate tissue of an idea in utero. And how thrilling, now, that having self-possessedly skewered this butterfly of a sensation the fluttering doubt becomes a fuel for the excitement and not a shadow cast over the certainty of the night before. In fact that feeling, that fearful heart, only further cements the belief that what we are doing is right. That it will work. After a January of hard numbers, cold realities and fighting with technical details harnessing the horsepower of this feeling has reinvigorated my passion and my faith in the strength of this long chase for the ultimate dream.