Karina: In the beginning our family and friends didn’t really understand why we were electing to live in another country, and to take on such an ambitious project. They couldn’t understand why we didn’t want the ‘quiet life’.
Their doubt turned into our own. It made it hard to move forward with the project, and really commit. I now realise that your dreams are not necessarily other peoples, and that you have to follow your own path in life. Looking back, I would be less concerned with what other people thought of what we wanted to do.
I read recently that if people don’t laugh at your dreams, then they are just not big enough!
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Karina: I always feel cautious giving advice to people, even if they have similar dreams. Our experience and circumstances are unique to us, and theirs will be to them.
In saying this, after spending the last three months in France, I have been welcomed by more and more expats living the rural life.They are from all over the world, and all walks of life. From early redundancy Royal Doulton employees, to bank tellers, to engineering professors, to artists, to high school teachers, to doctors – all wanting to give it a go. Many of these friends have visited the Château, and they always smile happily and say “our dream wasn’t as big as yours, but we are living our dream just the same.”
To hear Karina’s story first-hand right here in Melbourne, join us at our Movers, Shakers, Makers High Tea on 28 March. Use promo code FRIENDS to get 10% off tickets to High Tea.
To follow Karina’s journey, visit www.chateaudegudanes.org.
Photos: Carla Coulson