I was out on a dog walk in Wimbledon Common with a friend I had not seen for a long time when she suddenly asked: “Why are you here?” This was about two years ago, still in Covid time. Although it was asked in a kind way I could not get her question out of my head. It felt like a disturbing question to be asked, just like that! I realised it was because I didn’t know the answer and that I needed to know. A few days later I could see I was stagnating where I was. Here was an opportunity for growth and changing things up. That’s when I decided that what I wanted was to move back to Norway.

In May last year, after nearly thirty years living abroad, I put my home on the market and started looking forwards to my new life. I recognised the same feeling as when I moved to France to study in my twenties – so much fun to have something big and new to look forward to! I had to wait to buy a place in Oslo until my home was sold and had the following idea: I would sell the house, put all my belongings into storage and then go spend three months with my dog in my flat in the South of France. It would mean taking time off everything I knew in the middle of winter, kind of like having a gap year. After three months I would become “serious” about my life again.

This plan sounded too easy-going and too much like a dream. I did try to make other plans to base myself more in “reality” – that place where things need to be complicated and not too good (yes, I am aware now that I think those thoughts), until I finally – luckily – realised that it was okay not to struggle and instead go with my dream plan.

I have been in France for two months now. It is very easy living. I am taking each day as it comes. I notice it is easy to stay here longer the longer I am here! The weather is beautiful. I get to go for a swim in the sea every morning, speak French, walk my dog in the sunshine, practise yoga outdoors and eat lots of healthy food from the local market. It is my ideal wellbeing place! I have been on short trips to London and Oslo to see family and friends. Everything is good now and still I want to go forward with my plan about Norway. Next step will be to find a flat in Oslo, and also a way to live both here (winter) and there (summer). Fingers crossed it will all work out.

Wishing you well! X

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children.