This time 3 years ago we where on a ferry from Barcelona to Ibiza, we arrived in the evening to our new house and a new adventure.
What's interesting is that when we first thought of coming we said we would give ourselves 3 - 5 years, well it definitely isn't going to be 3 years and I doubt it will be 5, it's going to take longer than we thought but that's okay.
How do I feel about our 3 years? Not to sure really, I still feel like a stranger in a foreign land, struggling with the language and not feeling totally integrated.
My life has changed immeasurably since we left the UK, I know I am different person now. I guess it's the ego that finds it hardest to be here. I had a good role in the UK I was busy and fulfilled I knew how to do life in the UK, here I have days when I am not so busy, moments when I feel isolated. Without wanting to have a pity party; I occasionally feel lonely. It's not that I was the most socially active person in the Uk just that if you wanted to see a friend, a peer or a family member it was easy to do.
It's a battle of the will at times, I have to keep coming back to that line "Not my will but your will be done".
I read a book once and one of the lines said "welcome to valley of the long distance runners" thats how it feels here at times; a marathon in a valley, you've got to keep going, push through the walls and ignore the fact that you can't always see over the mountains.
I'm not depressed just reflective.
Positives outweigh the negatives:
1. This has been great for my children, they are learning languages, making great friendships and developing in confidence and maturity.
2. My wife has really learnt the language and has had a complete role change which gives her life.
3. The weather is great.
4. The wine is cheap.
5. I can walk my dog by the Mediterranean sea every day, it's 500 metres from my front door.
6. Our work here is growing; the prayer room and centre is fantastic.
7. What we do in the westend is fulfilling and it really makes a difference.
8. I have prayed more in the last 3 years than ever before.
9. God has been good he has provided for us, we have had food to eat, a roof over our heads and been able to pay for the school fees.
10. We have all been healthy.
11. It's been humbling to rely on other peoples generosity to survive.
12. Puke, blood and dealing with drunks isn't that bad, in fact it's very rewarding.
13. The hard path can be most rewarding choice you ever make.
14. It's not about being happy, it's about having life. Ibiza gives us life it doesn't always make us happy.
15. I want to go home but don't know where home is any more, this a hard but good place to be. Home is less about a destination and more about the people you share life with.
16. Maybe this is home now.