At the end of May, Sophie and I are moving to Chamonix, France, a small village at the base of Mont Blanc. Chamonix is home to some of the world’s most incredible athletes, adventurers, and explorers, and soon to be our home.
From trail running and downhill mountain biking, to rock climbing and ice climbing, to paragliding and even BASE-jumping, Chamonix is a Mecca of the outdoors and where Sophie and I have dreamed of living for many years.
The Idea of moving to Chamonix
Since the beginning of our relationship we have talked about moving to, and living in Chamonix. From our first trip there in 2010 when we climbed Mont Blanc, our souls knew they had found something special. Since then we have come back every year, sometimes for a week of alpine climbing, sometimes a few days skiing in winter, and, last summer, 2 months as newlyweds.
We have always talked about building a life there but how? Were we willing to give up everything to live the dream? Was it irresponsible to leave real life? And, was it just a dream?
Could we walk the walk or just talk the talk?
Both Sophie and I have been successful professionally, working with some of the fastest growing startups in the UK, starting our own businesses, and doing our utmost to excel at whatever we turn our hands to. We didn’t want to give all that up, to work in a chalet, or bar, just to live in the place we held most dear.
We want to move to Chamonix on our own terms.
In our own way.
How we are making the move to France possible
We made conscious decisions over the last few years to develop our skills so that we have the most flexibility for where and how we work. I have taught myself to build websites and applications as well as honed my business and entrepreneurial skills through founding two companies. Sophie has worked even harder to almost completely reinvent herself as a fantastic writer and communications expert, adding to her already impressive skills in people development, business development, and partnerships.
These skills have been nurtured such that we can work with our clients wherever we decide to live. The wonder of instant messaging, video conferencing, and the fact that our deliverables are often in digital form, has given us the freedom to even consider the move in earnest, let alone commit to it.
That isn’t to say that we have given up a lot to make this decision. Both of us have had to walk away from amazing opportunities with incredible entrepreneurs and business owners offering to work with us and invite us into their ventures. We have decided that the opportunities available to us in Chamonix – the uncertainty, the freedom, and the empowerment – far outweigh the sacrifices.
The positives mean the sacrifices don’t even feel like sacrifices.
Making work work
The most common question we have been hearing is What are you going to do out there?
The short answer is, we’ll do exactly what we do here. But a little bit different.
We don’t want to move to Chamonix to replicate the life we have in London. We are moving to start something new, to create a better work-life balance, and to do what we love. This is the foundation for our move and the driving force behind all of our decisions.
I love what I do for a living.
I help people build digital products that realise their dreams; building my own apps to try my own ideas out; and, to intellectually challenge myself on everything I do. Sophie loves her work too, her new direction of communications, writing, and her brand ambassadorships has been the stuff of dreams until recently when it has started to become a reality.
By balancing the passion we have for our professional life with our love of the outdoors and what Chamonix has to offer, we can only win.
We have our own ventures, we have other people approaching us, and we’re actively seeking new opportunities but all on our own terms.
We are living the dream
The confidence to do this has taken a long time to build up. We are very lucky to have each other, as we’re able to support one another when one of us is feeling low, celebrate when we’ve done something great, and share every aspect of this dream, together, as a family.
This is our dream.
A dream we have worked very hard to achieve.
A dream we are taking the first true steps to realising.