Three years ago Aaron, Leo and I left the county we used to call home with 3 suitcases, 3 bags, a buggy and a car seat. We arrived in Cyprus on a sunny November afternoon after almost missing our flight (Thanks to too much packing and repacking of suitcases and negotiating the M25 in the rain!) Most of our belongings had left the UK about 6 weeks before and we didn't know how long it would be before they arrived.
It turned out to be the following day which was handy as Leo was still on bottles and the Steriliser was in the shipping, along with his cot, all his toys and most of his clothes.
It also meant he only had to spend one night like this... (I've used this photo before but it's a great one!)
and it meant that our apartment only looked like this for less than 24 hours...
The early days were very strange, Leo was brilliant and for probably the only time in his life so far was very chilled out. The day the shipping arrived he slept, ate and laid happily on his own chatting away before going back to sleep again. He never did that before that day or afterwards!
We only knew one person in Cyprus, and at this point I hadn't even met her in person. We had only our UK mobiles which made calling the UK very expensive, no TV, no landline and no internet. It was probably a good thing that at this point I had no idea it would take over 2 months to get online - I may have thrown myself straight over the balcony!
It's hard to imagine now the place looking that empty, or that clean! If only I'd thought to put a throw on the sofa before it got covered in stuff!
I'm quite strange in the way that I actually like moving house, I've done it four times now that I can remember and I love it all. There were hardly any problems, I had worried about our things making it over in one piece but the only thing to be damaged was one small ramekin dish and a tealight holder, not bad when you consider the tv, fridge freezer, huge framed picture etc.
Those very early days were surreal, exhausting but fun. We didn't know much about the area and I loved driving about finding our way around and keep saying 'We are not on holiday!'
We made a conscious decision to stop referring to England as 'home and its one I'm glad we stuck to even though we mentioned the country a lot, it was always 'In England.....' rather than 'back home' that most people would say. I thought we'd never feel at home here if we were still thinking of somewhere else and it really worked. When I went to England the following summer for 3 weeks I never said I was going home, well not until I was on my way back to Cyprus that is!
I've had friends from the UK surprised that it's been 3 years already, it had flown by but I also can hardly imagine being anywhere else now. I've lost the overwhelming urge to be back there that I had so often during the first year although there's a few people I'd love to be able to see again. (and maybe a couple of shops to visit!)
It was a bit odd six months later when I suddenly realised that Leo had then spent more of his life in Cyprus that England. I didn't realise that 3 years later it would be even more strange to think that his baby brother has not even been there!