It’s been quite a few months since I’ve seen my parents and as Dad hasn’t been well this year and spent some time in hospital I really wanted to go and visit.  As the boys were now back at school and Richard was teaching, nether of them could join me on my trip but, to be honest it was really nice to spend that quality time with them both.  My parents emigrated and retired to France over 18 years ago and have lived a life full of peace and tranquility whilst living in the french countryside ever since.

Every time I visit my parents I come away completely understanding why they chose to live this beautiful life filled with outings and trips to their local villages and towns and afternoons spent in the sun whilst relaxing in their garden.  The view they have is unbelievable and Dad spends his evenings walking and taking in the sights of the countryside, whilst appreciating the life they have there.

Dad in particular has always had a real zest for life and has spent his years planning the life he always wanted and working hard for it in the process. He’s been the real driver behind the experiences they’ve had, the places they’ve visited and the things they’ve achieved and every year when we visit I often say how lucky they are, to which he replies, ‘It’s nothing to do with luck Kelly, it’s all to do with careful planning.’ He is the wise old man!

Over the years I’ve heard this many times, too many to mention but, there is truth in it and he’s always been my inspiration and I truly feel that’s where I get my zest for life from.  Life is about setting and achieving your goals but, more importantly it’s about gratitude and appreciation and he has both of them in abundance.

During my 5 day trip we visited a different town every day, stopping off for hot chocolate and cake at the local patisserie and spending our days chatting about life experiences and goals and even at the age of 76, he still has goals he wants to achieve.  In the afternoons Dad often slept, whilst Mum spent her afternoons tendering to her roses in the garden.  I on the other hand basked in the low sun whilst sipping wine (just 1 or 2) and read and planned to my heart’s content.

I find that by being in ‘inspiring environments’ it allows me to be more creative and the writing just flows.  I find inspiration in the most oddest and unusual places and wrote some of the content for the Aspirational Living (AL) website out there too!  I found everywhere to be so beautiful in France; the countryside, the towns and villages – everywhere and everything provided me with inspiration and I found a new love for photography during this trip too!

Being in France without the boys was hard as I missed them all 3 of them but, if I’m being completely honest it was so relaxing and reinvigorating just having that ‘ME’ time as I could sleep, relax, eat and write whenever I wanted.  That said, after 5 days I was more than ready to get back home to chaos, tantrums and normality of family life.

Having elderly parents that live away is so hard at times especially when they’re not well as you can’t just pop in to see them but, this trip made me really appreciate them and everything they’ve achieved and the example they’ve set for both my sister and I.  I’ll continue on with the family tradition of setting and achieving goals and I’ll look back with fond memories of this trip and I’m hoping that this will be an annual occurrence.

As they get older I’m never really sure how many more holidays and special times I’ll get to spend with them so my mission is to spend as much time with them as I can.

Do you live apart from your parents? How do you cope with being away from them and do you have things in place that make it easier and more bearable to manage? Please comment, I’d love to hear your stories and comments;