Brave or mad?
That’s usually one of the two reactions Judith gets when she tells people her story. Having lived in England for most of her life, she decided it was time to move abroad six years ago. A twist of fate made her settle on the beautiful island of Sicily. But life never stands still – and she is looking for a like-minded housemate back home …
Judith, tell us about your adventure abroad – how did it all start?
Back in 2016, I really felt like I needed to leave the UK and explore something new. I was in my late 60s, my sons had grown up and moved away, and I decided to move to Malta to teach English. I had been to Malta 30 years before and loved it. For my work as an English teacher it also meant a lot of new opportunities, Malta being a hub for students from all over Europe. The prospect of warmer climates and year-round sunshine certainly helped. Over the course of the next year, I had sold my house and made all arrangements. When I boarded my plane to Malta my route took me via Sicily where I spent a couple of days – a beautiful place to start my journey. I finally arrived in Malta and I felt … well, a bit disappointed. Malta had changed dramatically, since my first visit was 30 years ago and most recent in 2013. Life was much more expensive, it had become a hotspot for gambling and simply wasn’t what I had remembered and been looking forward to all this time. So after only a week there I decided to fly back to Sicily, a place I had immediately fallen in love with only a few days earlier. It seemed to be the right place for me at the time and everything fell into place. I settled in the picturesque town of Modica, a beautiful Baroque town in the Southeast of the island. I set up a weekly breakfast club in a local bar teaching English. It’s been six years since I first arrived, and whilst living abroad isn’t always easy, I’ve made some wonderful memories and encountered true ‘angels’, such supportive friends.
What makes you look for a house share now?
After the last two life-changing Covid years, I think many like me are questioning where to go from here, to live our best life. Family, friends, and a familiar culture are top of my list, hence my move back home. I will be moving back in August and I’m thinking of living somewhere in the Home Counties – Surrey, Hampshire or Berkshire could be nice.
Why have you decided to house share, rather than live by yourself?
It could be an ideal transition to come back home. This is the second big move for me in just a few years and it would be great to have some company. I’ve enjoyed living with other people in the past and it’s good to know there is another person around the house, knowing you can have company when you want it but equally have enough time and space to yourself.
What do you look for in a future home and housemate?
Someone who has their own place and enough space to share, a room with a private bathroom. I’d love to find someone friendly, honest and tolerant – someone considerate who is willing to find a good compromise to make sharing work out. We all have different ways of doing things and it’s important to communicate and find common ground. I’d prefer a quieter home with one other person – whilst I really enjoy socialising, I also need time to myself, like we all do.
It’s so refreshing to listen to your story and how you followed your dreams to start all over in a different country. Do you have any advice for others on how to really go for that dream?
Not everyone will be ‘brave or mad’ enough to take opportunities when they come. And that is ok, all I would say from my experience in life that when I have jumped out of my comfort zone and into the void of an uncertain future a parachute has always opened to give me a soft landing.
Any other advice to make sharing a success?
We all view life from different angles, and I suppose it’s a sprinkling of serendipity and wanting it to work that will bring the best chance of a good match.
Get in touch with Judith here if this sounds interesting!
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