If we have ten million dollars that we don’t need, it tends to be easy to make that fantasy come true. For many of us, we have short term rentals and beautiful hotels. For the fortunate ones, we take the leap and make these places home.
Maybe our fantasy is a thatched roof retreat overlooking a warm, tropical lagoon with palm trees blowing in the breeze. Our only worry is that coconut that might fall from above. Or is it the mountain cabin on the shores of the crystalline lake where we can read the novel and wrap ourselves in our favorite shawl?
Some would prefer the idyllic farm where nature holds us in her arms and we literally come back to the land. Or does the old English cottage draped in ivy, flanked by the pond with the swan floating by entice us?
What we discover is that living abroad tends to be significantly less expensive when we escape the cities. The French countryside is remarkably affordable compared to Paris. Some countries like Italy offer homes for free if we invest in their renovation. When we can let go of the perceived necessity of city conveniences like restaurants, entertainment, bars, cabs, crowds and sports teams we can find silence, peace and connection. Here nature and we are responsible for our time, our nourishment and joy. Some of us find a balancing act between the two. But then there is the rare one who dives into the silence and recreates their life to reflect a deep knowing that requires fulfilment.
The fantasy doesn’t have to be quite that dramatic though. A patio can be reconstructed and renovated to be that fantasy. Planting the ivy to cover the posts, adding a beautiful water feature and finding that perfectly aged, perfectly patinaed furniture with the throw on the back of the chair all add up to the start of the perfect place to get away. Over time we add the candles, the pillows, the plants, the outdoor chandelier, the pots with lilacs and the antiques. In time we find it hard to leave, and when we do, it constantly calls us back.
A bedroom can be reconstructed and renovated to reflect us completely. We can find the window that makes the room so special. Maybe it’s a French door or a stained glass. We can cover walls in our fantasy wall covering; wallpaper, brick, milk paint, shiplap. We can select chandeliers and sconces that make our heart skip a beat. And we can add layer after layer of fabric and textiles. We have to power to make fantasy a reality.
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