Monday, 16 November 2009

Not long to go now.....

It's been a while since my last blog due to a combination of chaos and lack of internet!

We are currently in between homes, having left my parents but staying with my very lovely friend Nic (she might be reading!) We have been to the apartment - (more on that later) and been busy sorting stuff out here and tying up lots of loose ends.

This weekend will be busy, we have a leaving party at our local and also Christening / Leaving do on the Sunday. While I am looking forward to both I'm worried I'll be really upset saying goodbyes :( I almost feel it would be easier to just go now as it seems like I've already left, but obviously I wouldn't as I'm never one to miss a party!

Our apartment is lovely, I suppose sounds like a strange thing to say after months of looking at the photos which of course look lovely but it's still not the same as being there. I am so pleased that we made the trip even though we'll be back there for good in a week as it gave me the chance to see it and get used to it without arriving with a possibly cranky baby! It also gave us the chance to go out for dinner and have a rather drunken night in our new local.

We spent a couple of days wandering round the shops and getting to know the place. Bought a couple of bargains - a rug and a Tv unit which makes the place look a lot more homely now. I was also able to give the place a good clean which defintely made it feel like home - not something you tend to do on holiday!

The weather was lovely, most days were like a perfect (English) summer day, not bad for November ;) It was very windy on the balconies but that will be brilliant in the summer! The temperature was about 24 during the day dropping to 20ish at night.

We went shopping for supplies, got some staples in the cupboard for our arrival, and filled the worlds biggest wine rack - well, had to get the essentials in.

Did have a bit of a misson trying to find some lightshades though, went in several shops on April 1st street (and I have heard it said if you can't buy it on April 1st, you can't buy it!) and all we could find were light fittings!?!? We asked in two different shops, the first just looked blankly at us and the second (an expat) said she had bare bulbs in her appartment for 20 years!
We are pretty much set now apart from that, we have curtains, just got to get some blackout blinds for litte'uns room and once our stuff arrives next week we have all need.

All in all it was a very worthwhile trip, It was amazing to actually stand on the balcony after all this time and realise it's home. I feel a lot better about leaving now as I'm going home, not going somewhere new.

Can't wait.... bring it on :)

Friday, 23 October 2009

Well, we are another step closer - quite a big one in fact as our belongings are now somewhere between here and Cyprus! Yesterday morning the shipping company arrived and took all our loving packed (by Aaron who has done almost nothing else for weeks and weeks) boxes and packages. They are due to arrive about a week after we do, so plenty of time to get sorted out and get the Christmas deccys up!

It was a very strange feeling watching the van drive away, it's starting to feel a bit more real but I still don't think I really "get" the fact that in 6 weeks time I will be in my new home, and new country!

Very excited, slightly terrified but really want to get on with it now as living out of suitcases with a 5 month old baby isn't really ideal!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

We have a plan!

I always said a plan would present itself and I was right!

It was always going to be a big debate as to when exactly we should go permantly but after much discussion - well an hour or so in the pub! (we did continue the conversation for several days after but I think we had really both decided on the first one) we have finalised our moving plans.

My parents have a buyer for their house, and A has no more work on his contract so we are off next month!!!!!!!!!!

Everything is in action, we are packed for shipping, and they are picking up on Wednesday, from that day we will be living out of 3 suitcases as that is all we can take on the plane, well that a puschair, car seat, travel cot, 3 hand luggage bags and a baby of course!

We are having Leo christened before we go, and it will also be our leaving do as we have booked our flight for 2 days afterwards. I can't promise I won't be crying by the end of it!


We are going out for 4 days on our own at the begining of November, something I've given up explaining to people, I can see where it might semm a little strange when we are off only 2 weeks later but aside from the fact that the trip is my anniversary/birthday pressent, it will be the last chance for us to be "baby free" for quite a while and I would really like to see the apartment and get to know it without distractions!


So, just over a month until the big move, lots of stuff to do between now and then - leaving drinks and lunches, well it would be rude not to!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

What next?

The big question now is "when are we going!" and that is a very good question! Currently Aaron is looking for work and as soon as he finds something we are off pretty much. We have already sold our house so it makes sense to move asap as we are now paying the mortgage.

Our immediate plans are a 4 day trip (child free as He's off to my mother-in-laws for the duration!) in November which is my wedding anniversary/birthday present from Aaron.
Then we are going for 5 weeks over Christmas/New Year. We are having all our stuff shipped to arrive in the 1st week of December so we have time to get a bit sorted out by Christmas - and get the deccy's up of course :)

At the moment our conservatory is stuffed full of boxes ready to go, I think Aaron would be happy never to see another bit of bubble wrap or packing tape - he has spent ages getting everything ready. I think we are nearly sorted now though, just got to make a final decsion on which company to use for the shipping, although I think we've decided against the cheapest one we found as they didn't have a clue where Derynia was but said not to worry as they use Google maps!!!!!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Our new home!

Our apartment is in the village of Derynia which is on the east coast about 2km south of what is often known as "the ghost town" of Famagusta - the old tourist town which was abandoned in the invasion of 1974 by Turkey. You can actually see some of the abandoned hotels from our balcony.



It's about 5 miles from Ayia Napa and Protaras so close enough to visit but far away enough that we're not surrounded by tourists all summer long!

The apartment is a large one bed penthouse appartment, I say large as it is 79 sqm and if it was 80sqm it could be classed as a 2 bed!




Aaron has completely redesigned the kitchen (It's what he does!) and so we now have a lovely big kitchen / living area with a breakfast bar and big patio doors which almost take up the whole wall, opening onto a balcony where we will have our dining table.

There is a lounge which will become our bedroom and the main room (as it's furthest away) will be Leo's. There is another larger balcony which opens off of the two bedrooms where we will put our new rattan 3 piece suite.

We have a communal swimming pool on the opposite side of the building, and there is underground parking.


There are 22 apartments in the block, Aaron has already met some neighbours when he went out in July to taek delivery of it. My Mum and Dad have also got an apartment on the ground floor, it's a little bit smaller than ours but with a big garden.


Sunday, 20 September 2009

So why Cyprus really????

After my standard answer of "Why the hell not!" I do have some actual reasons believe it or not!

I think one reason I struggle to answer the question is that lots of the reasons seem to obvious to me now. It also goes back to the thought I had that everyone wanted to emigrate, and they would if they could.

Some of my reasons - well without wanting to state the glaringly obvious but... the weather, I know everyone moans about the weather in the UK but I can't even begin to tell you how much I hate the weather here. Although I do wonder what the hell people talk about when the weather is completley predictable!

The Mediterranen lifestyle, outdoor living, more relaxed (in some ways)- attitude to familes, great for kids.
No Health & safety madness (although I'm sure some of it would probably be good the UK surrvived for all these years)
Less crime, more freedom for kids
Good healthcare, state schools which follow the same style as UK, simliar legal system.
No huge language barrier as most people speak very good English (Although we are learning Greek)

Friday, 18 September 2009

First Trip to Cyprus

Our 1st trip to Cyprus was in August 2007, we went on a property viewing trip, 3 days being driven around by a sales rep, It was very helpful as we spent most of the time learning about the different areas and what it was like to live there once we had convinced Kev (our rep) that we were not buying on this trip.

By the time we left we had a much clearer idea of what we wanted, and a long list of questions had been answered. When we got home between the four of us we came up with a long list of what the property / properties would need for us to buy them.....
for example..
Location to be not too touristy or full of ex-pats only
Within walking distance to shop for essentials (Mum doesn't drive!)
Near school / nursery (We were thinking ahead!)
Near doctors / hopsital
Resonably close to the coast
Property to have air con and a pool - I've ALWAYS wanted my own pool so there was no way I could be in Cyprus without one!
etc etc - there were more but I can't remember them all now!

We spent every evening debating the pros and cons and looking at property magazines and online, we even drove to Birmingham for "The Place in the Sun" exhibition.
It was here we met Mark and decided to book our 2nd viewing trip.

As we flew out this time, officially we still had no intention to buy but I think we all secretly expected to get something - well maybe that was just me & Aaron! If we saw "The One" it would have to be done! Cyprus was going into the Euro in Jan 2008 and it made sense to buy before then.

And so we did - In 3 days we saw sooooooo many properties and drove backwards and forwards all over the East coast, it was absolutley exhausting!

Both Aaron and I, and my parents brought an appartment as they had exactly what we were looking for. They ticked every box and we couldn't see any disadvantages - and stil can't, and we really tried to find some, so now time will have to tell if it was a good move but so far so good!

What if....

We debated the pros and cons of actually moving abroad for quite a while! (I really wanted to say ages there as it did feel like it but some people might spend longer choosing an outfit I suppose!)
My reservations about it, (if you discount the "You just can't move abroad" statement as I had nothing to back that statement up) were...
"What it it all goes wrong?"
"What if we can't get jobs"
"What if we can't pay the mortgage?"
"What if we get sick"
"What if we think it's too hot"
"What if there is an earthquake, or a huge accident or we get abducted by aliens?"

"What if..... we don't try and look back in years to come and really regret it?"

As AJ pointed out (and I believe he has a point, which can be very annoying!) is that what's to say that any of the above would be more likely to happen there than here - well with the possible exception of it being too hot but I think I can live with that one

So, we booked ourselves a trip to go have a looksee - Why the hell not!!!

"People don't just move abroad"

It turns out that the whole moving idea came about after a conversation between my Dad & A. Dad said he would love to move abroad but Mum would never go and leave me behind. As A. would go in a heartbeat but knew I would'nt want to leave Mum and Dad they thought this an idea worth pursuing!

When A asked me, my inital reaction was "Don't be ridiculous" Apart from the fact I didn't want to leave my family and friends my main reason was "People don't just move abroad" At that time I completely belived that everyone wanted to move abroad but just didn't because you can't! I was genuinely surprised to find out that most people, although they may talk about it and say how jealous they are would have no intention of actually doing it themselves.

I always said I would move abroad when I retired (the time I assumed I suppose that you "could") Aaron pointed out that as I was 29 that was quite a way off! Also, as I had always wanted a big family if we had kids there would be NO WAY I would go and leave them here, so why wait all that time - afterall could get hit by a bus tommorrow!

Cyprus was the favoured destination of my parents who had been going there many years, I had never been but had been on holidays to Greece and Turkey and asummed it to be somewhere between the two. (Which it is but you know what I mean!) Althought I had enjoyed those previous holidays I couldn't see myself living somewhere like that.

On this assumption I was surpised I suppose that my Dad would choose Cyprus, I had always imagined if anyone it would be somewhere Spanish, so it was clear that a trip was needed so I could see for myself.

We didn't have the money for a holiday so we booked a viewing trip with a property company, no intention to buy, after all that would be silly on a 3 day trip to a new country - you should at least wait until the 2nd viewing trip......

Thursday, 17 September 2009

"Do you want to move to Cyprus?"

So, how did this huge life changing decsion come about I expect you are wondering....
maybe years spent holidaying in Cyprus?
months of careful research?
a "too good to pass up" job offer?
family or friend connections?

NOPE!

It went something like this....
One evening (approx August 2007) whilst eating dinner Aaron (in the kind of tone you'd expect to hear something like "Do you want mayo with that?" or "Shall we watch Top Gear?") said, with no pre-amble at all "Do you want to move to Cyprus?"

I will never forget that moment, it still cracks me up 2 years later!

I remember turning round really slowly and saying (with a slightly bemused look on my face as he was obviously joking!)

"Do.I.want.to.move.to.Cyprus?"
Him: "Yes"
Me: "Cyprus??? Why would we want to move to Cyprus?"
Him: "Why not?"
Me: We've never even BEEN to Cyprus!"
Him: "I know"
Me: (now thinking he has completely lost the plot) Soooo, why would we move to a random country for no apparent reason?"
Him: "Because we can!"

So, this all happened 2 years ago and we are now in full swing of moving! It's a long story, and I think quite interesting (although I imagine I'm a little biased what with it being my story 'n all!) that I will share eventually

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