Guest Post by Sophie Le Brozec

At the start of 2015 I was living in London. I worked as a full-time childminder by day, and as a blogger and author by night. By the end of that year my husband and I had moved ourselves, and our two young daughters, to a new (dream) life on the tropical island of Mauritius.

We didn’t win the lottery. We didn’t receive a big inheritance. We didn’t suddenly come into a windfall.

What we did was decide what we wanted and figure out how to get it.

First of all a bit of background. I’m British and I did a degree in French and Spanish at university. When I graduated I was 22 and I bought a 3 month return flight to Nice, France to spend the summer working in a bar / partying at night and lying on the beach by day.

Within a couple of weeks I’d decided to stay indefinitely. I finally returned to the UK to live just over 12 years later, this time with a French husband, a half-French half-English daughter, a dog and a cat in tow.

In 2015 I was 39. I’d lived 12 of those years on the French Riviera where sunshine, warmth, beaches and mountains had become standard.

Whilst my French husband and I both loved London we massively missed seeing blue skies on a regular basis. And we both yearned to live somewhere hot and sunny again.

Today I’m going to share with you the three things that got us from London life to island life.

Sophie Le Brozec

1) Finances

We were renting in London so our monthly outgoings were – as I’m sure you can imagine – astronomical. We got to talking about how much further our money would stretch if we lived elsewhere.

So we took a good hard look at our finances.

– How much came in every month because of the work we did in London, and that would disappear if we moved?

– How much came in every month regardless of geography, and so we could count on if we moved?

– How much did living in London cost us?

– What were our outgoings every month irrespective of geography? Things like life assurance for example.

– What was our monthly budget if we lived elsewhere? And what options did that give us?

To give you an idea of how this played out for us:

the rent on our first house in Mauritius was well under half what we paid in London – for a house with a sea view and a swimming pool in the back garden!

our utilities bills are about half the size of the ones we had in London.

Although we had a reduced income (to start off with) our outgoings were at least half their London equivalent. And that was with a very good way of life here – our cheaper Mauritian house was 3 times the size of our London home.

You’d be amazed what you can afford to live on if you move somewhere cheaper, and often this makes the income drop doable.

I lost my childminding income when we left London but had geography independent income from my children’s book sales, my blog and later on online training courses I set up to teach languages.

If this is something you’re keen to explore have a think about money you can make that doesn’t require you to live in any one place. Us mums are very good at that 😉

2) Worst Case Scenario

Making a big move is not the time to play the ostrich game. You need to be very clear and aware of the worst case scenario if you go ahead.

For us we were moving to a country

a) which neither my husband nor I had ever visited

b) that was an island in Africa and we had no idea of how third world (or not) it might be

c) where we had no friends or support network.

We could stay in Mauritius on a tourist visa for a maximum of 6 months, but we needed to request an “Occupation Permit” (basically a visa to work and live here) to be able to stay.

We had absolutely zero guarantee that our request would be granted. We had no friends in high places (or in low places come to that!). They could say no and chuck us out of the country.

So our worst case scenario was fairly hefty:

we sell up everything from our 4 bedroom house in London

our eldest loses her place at an incredible Ofsted Outstanding school that is 1 minute walk from our house

we leave all our friends, family and support network

I lose my childminding clients

we make no friends

the country is too backwards

the schools are no good

we hate it / the kids hate it

we pay all the expenses to move to Mauritius (including shipping the belongings we decide to keep)

we are refused the Occupation Permit and have to return to the UK, with nothing there for us

Sophie Le BrozecWhilst it’s so incredibly important to look at the worst case scenario of what happens if you do this big thing, it is also vital to do the opposite. The worst case scenario if you DON’T do this big thing.

We looked at what would happen if we stayed in London.

Yes, we were happy, we had friends, a great local school etc etc.

BUT we had arrived in London from France too late to get on the housing ladder for where we wanted to live, and our rent was crazy money that was being thrown away every month.

Our future didn’t look great in London – it was hard to save money to get on the housing ladder, but we loved our area and didn’t want to move.

And once we’d started to explore our other options, the idea of going and it all failing was still more appealing than not going for it at all.

That’s what you need to decide – will I regret it more if I do it and it fails or if I don’t do it at all?

3) Woo-woo

The third and final thing might be a bit too “out there” for some of you, but it’s what makes the difference between successes and failures.

You can do all the practical and the logistics, but if your mind isn’t in the right place you’re screwed.

Once we’d decided we wanted Mauritius and we were going for it I went full-on to make it happen. Not only to make it happen, but for it to be the best possible situation.

I visualised our life in Mauritius – not easy when you’ve never visited the place! I watched videos and looked at photos to help with this one. I looked at the options for the girls’ school / nursery and pictured them there.

In my mind’s eye I saw myself working at a desk in summer clothes, eating salad outside before lazing by a pool after lunch.

I would write down what this dream life looked like in a journal – what my house is like, my car, my friends, our life in general. It is very important to write this in the present tense as if it is already the case, or in the past as if it has already happened.

Finally I truly believed, with all my heart, that this move would happen and be the best thing in the whole wide world. I refused to let any doubt creep in. In my mind I was already living that life.

Sophie Le Brozec

Those three things are already a powerful combination to bring about that big change you want

Then there are hundreds of smaller things that can make your dream life reality, all of which I teach in my Life Reboot Camp (www.SophieLeBrozec.com/camp), with concrete examples of how YOU can do it.

This online programme is for women (especially mums) like you who feel unfulfilled in life, a lack of contentment, jealousy when you scroll through social media and see other people’s photos and lives.

You are frustrated with where you’re at in life, you may be bitter and feel like life is so much better and easier for everyone else. You may also be looking for balance in your life, feeling a bit mid-life crisis or be at a crossroads.

My dream and goal now is to help women like you to live your own dream life. Whether that is on a tropical island like me or in a city centre skyscraper, whether it’s running your own business or teaching inner-city kids, whether it’s married with children or single and child-free.

Whatever your dream life is I’m going to do my very best to help you achieve it. And because I believe so strongly in Life Reboot Camp I guarantee you a full refund if you find the programme lacking at the end of the 6 weeks.

Registration for Life Reboot Camp opens today and the launch price of $197 (with a 3 month payment plan option) runs from Tuesday 20th – Sunday 25th February (the full price after this time is $497). 

By joining the Life Reboot Camp you also get free lifetime access to my private membership Love Your Life Club. This is a safe community of like-minded women, with a Facebook group and daily inspirational and motivational messages (normally $9.99 per month).

What we cover in the Life Reboot Camp

Module 1: YOU

Module 2: Woo-Woo

Module 3: Relationships and friendships

Module 4: Parenting

Module 5: Work & Career

Module 6: Decision-making and facing fears

+ 6 Bonuses from a variety of experts

Say yes to yourself today and make 2018 your year!

About Sophie Le Brozec

Sophie is a lifestyle entrepreneur and personal development mentor, who is passionate about helping women to love the life they live. Sophie is a Brit, married to a Frenchman and mum of 2, living in Mauritius after 12 years in France and 5 years in London. She’s not averse to taking risks and making big, scary decisions, and loves helping others make that leap too.

Follow Sophie Le Brozec on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Have you ever had that feeling where you just wish you could hit Control, Alt, Delete on your life and reboot it like a computer? Haven’t we all? That is one of the reasons I created Life Reboot Camp, to help women, like you, who don’t want to completely overhaul their lives and change everything, but who could do with a reboot. . And I’m excited to share that registration to my Life Reboot Camp opened this morning 💃 . There is tons of information in this life-changing online / offline course, which means its full price is $497, available all year round on my website. HOWEVER as I want the programme to be as accessible as possible to all women, there is an introductory price of $197 (or 3 monthly payments of $75) valid today through to Sunday 25th February. . Also if you scroll down you’ll see that you can even access Life Reboot Camp for free… . Like you, I am a busy woman, and Life Reboot Camp has been created to fit in with your hectic schedule 👇 . – the programme can be taken in via video, audio or text, or a mix of all three – you can access everything online but you can also download everything to have wherever you are – the course can be completed in 5-10 minute bite-size chunks, or you can binge on it like with your favourite Netflix series . I absolutely HATE being disappointed by things I buy online, and so I offer a full refund if at any stage – including once you have completed the whole course – you feel like the programme hasn’t helped you. So there really is nothing to lose. . You can find out more and sign up here: www.SophieLeBrozec.com/camp or link in bio . Now for the FREEBIE bit!! I am so passionate about helping women to live their best life and so I want to do some giveaways. . I will be offering my Life Reboot Camp for FREE to 5 women here on Instagram. All you have to do is tag someone in the comments below who you think might find it useful and / or repost this, tagging me. On Friday I will choose 5 winners at random.. . The official stuff: – By entering this contest you are effectively signing a complete release of Instagram – This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

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**Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for Sophie Le Brozec’s Life Reboot Camp, if you purchase the course via my link I will receive a commission. Click here for my full disclosure policy.** 

This article has been brought to you by Daniel, who writes the brilliant blog Vent Spleen. It’s not for the feint hearted, but it is utterly vital reading as far as I’m concerned.

#SheHasAName   

A Water Tanker, left abandoned. Inside the bodies of 50 dead girls. A conspiracy of silence that has to be broken because it hides the global network of the most horrific evil known to mankind. The sex trafficking industry. ‘She Has A Name’ will be shown in selected cinemas from next week and you can book tickets or request your own screening here.

You might be wondering why you should care. This kind of thing only happens in other countries to other people, right?

#SheHasANameBefore I watched ‘She Has A Name’ I thought the same as you, but these statistics tell a whole different story. These are the official reported cases, but we know many more girls (and boys) are still missing. This isn’t just a global problem, it is a localised one too. Human trafficking is going on, right now, in your town.

As a father of two young boys I feel I have a responsibility to prepare them as best I can for their lives in this world. I know it is a dangerous place and that heartbreak and pain is as much a part of life as the pleasure of finding true love or the excitement of chasing after your ambitions. I try to teach them to respect others; to see the good in people; and to help and support those who are hurting. But there are some things that I cannot shield them from and that scares me, it terrifies me to be honest with you.

My eldest son has got to the age where I allow him to go out and play with his friends, football in the park and perhaps a sweet run to the local shop. What if one day he is late coming back home? What if the minutes turn to hours? Then to days? What if he goes missing and I never ever see him again? Just typing these words and I have a chill that strikes at my very soul. It’s every parents nightmare, but what do we do? We can’t wrap them in cotton wool. Independence and learnt responsibility are essential life skills.

You see that’s why ‘She Has A Name’ is such an important film to support and watch, not least because some of the profits are going to support anti human trafficking movements

#SheHasANameIt is an engaging and well made film (you can read my review here), but it manages to show the reality of human trafficking without being preachy. As a father I needed to know that human trafficking is on the increase in the UK, but as a loving human being I have to care about this. How can it still be a problem, in this day and age?

Our government, and every other government, have pledged to wipe this atrocity from the face of the earth, so why are we seeing the figures go up? This is a crime that is committed by organised gangs that work under the cover of darkness and steal life from innocent children. Yes children! Some of the girls and boys who have been rescued have been as young as 12 years old. The same age as my son, your daughter? your son?

The purpose of me writing this is not to scare you, but empower you. We need to open our eyes to the fact that this is happening. Until we face up to that reality the figures will continue to rise. We must do all we can to support and promote the agencies and groups that seek to rescue those who are sold into slavery.

As parents we must be aware that our children are not always as safe as we would like them to be. Answers? I don’t have any I am afraid, but it starts with awareness and by remembering that these girls, these people, are real not just statistics.

They have families and siblings and a life which was ripped away from them.

She Has A Name.

Please book tickets for a screening near you

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**Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way to share this article. Click here for my full disclosure policy.**

Be Inspired: Introducing David ReillyDavid Reilly was born with Cerebral Palsy but has never let his disability prevent him from participating in outdoor pursuits, achieving his goals and fulfilling his potential.

Now, through writing and motivational speaking, David shares his experiences, which can’t help but motivate others. Grab a cuppa, and get to know this truly inspirational man.

The Beginning

I started writing because I was angry. I left school at 16 with nothing and went away from home to a boarding college in the Midlands. My parents had fought tooth and nail to get me an education but it just wasn’t to be in Scotland. After years of remedial teaching and a lot of hard work, I got enough A levels to go to University. At the age of 26, ten years after hardly being able to read, I left medical school with my masters degree. This however, just added to the frustration of now being 30-something and unemployed.

One day I was feeling sorry for myself, and someone said to me ‘why don’t you write it down?’ So I did, and that’s how I started writing. Since then I have written short stories, a novel I’m hoping to publish one day, and I have had numerous articles published in newspapers. Only a few years ago another person asked me if I had thought about a blog? I didn’t know what blogging was but I set to work to find out.

Finding my Niche

My blog has gone through many transformations. First of all, I started putting my newspaper articles in for everyone to read. But given the reasons I started writing, out of frustration really, my posts were mostly opinionated rants. There was a finite amount of my comments on the politics of disability that people would want to read. Surely I had something more positive or constructive to offer the world so I put my thinking cap on.

I was into some serious cycle training in those days. I cycled with a road club in Edinburgh, was training hard and planning to take part in some para-cycling races. I was doing time trials, and was cycling around 100 miles a week. So I started writing a training blog about all my cycle runs. All good, but it wasn’t long before I really started to bore myself. There were only so many ways I could make a cycle run sound interesting, particularly to anyone who doesn’t cycle.

Follow Your Bliss

One day while talking to a friend we had a long chat about what makes you happy in life and, among other things, said to me, ‘It’s important to follow your Bliss’. That phrase stuck with me for a long time and I mulled it over and over. I had tried long enough to establish a job and a career and I was done beating myself up for not working. So for the next few months I did exactly that, I just did whatever made me happy. It was summer time, weather was great, so I spent long sunny days riding my bike, pottering on my allotment, and going for nice long walks.

After a while there was such a change in me. It was like a great weight had been lifted off my shoulder and suddenly I felt free. With this feeling came a great surge of creativity and an optimism that I hadn’t felt before. Whatever it was, it felt good and this had to be the way forward. I had always done sport but never thought that I could inspire others by it and that anybody would be interested in it. But, after a short time blogging I learned differently. There were not many people with Cerebral Palsy doing the kind of activities I was and people were interested and I had something different to offer.

It Only Got Better

Things really took off in the summer of 2016 and that turned out to be the launch pad for my new career in blogging and motivational speaking. Myself and a wonderful friend spent the summer months camping, walking and cycling in the North West of Scotland. It was like I had rediscovered myself and what I really wanted. When I was a kid I spent so much time outdoors with my family and then with clubs at university and I had forgotten how much a part of me it was. It struck me that when we are living our authentic self and living the way that makes us happy, so many other things fall into place. Living the life we want to lead opens us up all sorts of possibilities, and stops us going down roads that can lead to frustration.

The Future

I’m so excited about this coming year. Through blogging and social media, I have made lots of contacts and friends and am beginning to get a little sponsorship. I have trips planned to the North of Scotland to climb mountains and am planning a trip around the Orkney Islands. All this basically means doing more of the same, whatever makes me happy. I have seen that by following my dreams everything else kind of just falls into place. I am also hoping to begin in earnest my motivational speaking and mentoring people. Through speaking and coaching I would like to help others find their way to happiness and to be the best they can be. Life just seems to get better as time goes on and I really want to share that with others.

Feel free to get in touch with me through my website or social media.

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introducing-michelle-reeves-aka-the-joy-chaserIt brings me pleasure to bring you a guest post from award winning blogger Michelle Reeves today. Michelle blogs at The Joy Chaser, and The Essex Barn, she is also a life coach, MIND charity ambassador, entrepreneur and busy mama of two. Michelle is passionate about helping busy mamas and bloggers become their most positive, powerful and productive selves. Over to you Michelle…

Have you ever felt overwhelmed?

When I think about the times I’ve felt completely overwhelmed I get all sweaty and uncomfortable – like I’m reliving the whole thing over again. Churning stomach, tumbling thoughts, rising panic… eurgh it’s a horrible place to be.

For example, in 2009 I hit rock bottom. After a successful career in the City I was struggling to get through each day. I was an expat in China, with a premature baby daughter who struggled to feed or sleep, and I didn’t really care what happened to me. Overwhelm hit me like a brick. On the day I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression my new start – my journey back to ME – began.

And step by step, day by day, I found myself again

I started blogging around this time and having a creative outlet was definitely an essential part of my therapy. But while I became a positive person on the outside – full of energy and busyness on the inside – my glass was still almost permanently half empty.

I strongly believe that negativity can become a habit – it was for me. Through therapy, time and support I recovered from postnatal depression but even so negativity was my first reaction to a situation, with negative words often tumbling out of my mouth before my brain had time to engage and stop them. And whenever I felt overwhelmed in a situation it would rear it’s head again.

hhr-sales-page-imageWhen I feel overwhelmed I want to run away, I want to escape, bury my head in the sand, or at least in a good book or an afternoon of trashy tv. But I know from experience that it really doesn’t help… the reasons I feel overwhelmed in the first place are still there lurking in the background ready to bubble back up to the surface again.

One of the questions I’ve been asked most since I launched The Joy Chaser is how I broke this habit of negativity and how I continue to stay positive and overcome that horrible feeling of overwhelm on a daily basis.

As a business owner, blogger, ambassador for the MIND mental health charity and a mum of two, it’s sometimes tough to find time in the day for ME, let alone anything else!

But I DO find the time for me. Every. Single. Day. And I feel passionately that every woman should try to do the same. As busy mamas, wives, sisters, daughters, colleagues so much of our daily routines revolve around everyone BUT ourselves, right? And I was in that exact, same place. Wanting to take a time-out (without feeling guilty about it) to discover my more positive, happier and successful self.

My default negativity took time to build up and become a part of my life. So if I wanted positivity and joy to be part of my every day, it followed that they needed to become habits too. To break the habit of negativity I realised I needed to create a new normal – a new routine that would intentionally create the space in my day to help me practice positive habits – my 8 happiness habits – every single day and help to overcome that feeling of overwhelm.

So I created one. A routine that gives me time back for ME. That boosts my positivity and self-esteem every day. That helps me reach what I call my ‘I’m-a-mama-but-still-me’ goals. That sets me on the right course, with purpose, every morning and puts me to bed with gratitude.

And it worked. People started noticing the new, more positive me and I knew that I had to share it with others. So I urge you, find a routine that works for YOU, make time in the day for YOU. Even just 15 minutes to yourself can make all the difference to your wellbeing.

You can sign up here for Michelle’s free 5-day email challenge How to Overcome Overwhelm

happiness-habits-routine-ecourse-logo

Michelle is also the creator of 8-week eCourse The Happiness Habits Routine™

The course was designed to help busy mamas create their own simple daily routine using eight happiness habits. Michelle is offering Mummy Tries readers a 10% discount on the course until 30 November 2016. Just use the code MUMMYTRIES at checkout. You can find out more about the course at HappinessHabitsRoutine.com

Thanks so much for chatting to us and sharing your story today Michelle. The course sounds wonderful, and I’m sure many busy mum’s will benefit from it! 

on trump and the us election by an american in americaI asked Rachel, who blogs at Challa and Haggis, and happens to be an American who lives in America, what her thoughts were on Trump winning the election next week. Here’s her response.

Because I spent my junior year of college abroad, attending the University of Bristol, I know what it’s like to “represent” an entire country’s way of thinking. Although Bristol is in no way a backwater, country town, and other Americans attended the university, I still found that those around me—friends, fellow students, professors, shop owners—were still very much interested in getting the opinion of an American on a variety of subjects. It’s both a difficult and heady position to be in, and I tried to tread carefully because I was under no delusions then, and even less delusions now, that my opinion in any way, shape, or form represents the bulk of Americans.

It can be a dangerous thing, indeed, to assume that other people think the way that you do.

Having said that, I hope I’ve dispatched with the idea that my opinion represents the whole of the U.S. Obviously, if it did, this presidential race would not be so close— not by a long shot. If my opinion was shared by all Americans, Trump would no longer even be a memory on the electoral stage. But, alas, he’s still here, and misogyny is still the norm and not the exception.

No doubt, it’s been a wild ride. As someone who has lived in other countries, I understand how much other societies still look to the U.S. for so much and, yes, even put the U.S. up on a pedestal as some sort of ideal. Perhaps Americans who are unaware of that are less bothered than I am by the fact that this pedestal has been kicked over. If not quite the laughingstock of the world at the moment, the U.S. is no doubt the cause of much head-scratching outside of its borders. If you’re wondering what the heck is going on over here, imagine how so many of us feel.

The lunatics are attempting to run the asylum, but it didn’t happen overnight.

So much has been steadily eroding over the last decade or two, including—unfortunately—civility and diplomacy. Social media and 24/7 “news” cycles have led us to have increasingly short attention spans and a knee-jerk tendency to believe everything we hear. These same news programs no longer even pretend to be impartial, so we gravitate toward those who say what we want to hear. Where is the education in that? Perhaps we, as a society, will soon be getting what we deserve. We are absolutely reaping what we sow.

How would a Trump presidency (I actually cringed as I wrote those two words together) affect the U.S., as well as the rest of the world? There are some days that I manage to convince myself that it wouldn’t be all that bad; that we’ve recovered from worse. It’s hard to know what to expect from a con man who has probably only said ten honest things in his entire life. Of course, his power is also affected by the status of Congress, and whether the Democrats or Republicans rule that nest.

In the near term, he has promised to appoint Supreme Court judges who uphold what basically amount to right-wing Christian values.

So much for impartiality, and the whole system of checks and balances that are supposed to exist in our political system. What this could mean immediately is that two major rulings would be overturned: Roe v. Wade and Obergefell v. Hodges. The first gave women the right to make their own decisions about their pregnancy, without outside interference.

The second led to the Marriage Equality Act, which made same-sex marriages legal in every state, regardless of state law (or individual religious belief). These rollbacks will appease the alt-right and allow Trump to throw his vice-presidential running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a much-desired bone. Pence is, in fact, the scarier of the two men on the Republican ticket—check out his actions while Indiana’s governor to see what I mean. At heart, both of these rulings were enacted to protect citizens’ privacy. If the Supreme Court overturns them, it sets a huge precedent for any case arguing individual freedoms. Including the gun lobby.

If any of this makes you uncomfortable, it should!

A democracy that strips its citizens of individual freedoms is no longer a democracy. If the U.S. has any small amount of influence left over other countries, there could be ripple effects. I have heard that this is a race between globalism and nationalism, and I tend to agree with that assessment. Trump’s supporters want the clock turned back to isolationalism and that could be terrible for trade, as we are nothing if not a consumer-based society. As much as I’d like us to remove ourselves from conflicts around the globe, our humanitarian efforts (and dollars) are very much needed, and even relied upon.

As for giving a lunatic the codes for the nuclear arsenal—I’m not as worried about that. Or his promise to make Mexico build a wall to keep out illegal immigrants. Blustering fools say things to get votes that: a) they don’t mean and/or b) they don’t have the power to do. No, in addition to the erosion of my personal protections, I worry the most about Trump’s effect on the next generation.

Any of us raising children, no matter where we live, should be concerned by what these last two years have shown us about the devolution of society as a whole: the lack of civil discourse; the propensity to hate; the wholesale inability to demonstrate even the smallest amount of empathy to anybody who looks, speaks, acts or thinks differently. This is not what we want our children to learn, and I’m working hard to ensure my kids never think this way. I hope you’re doing the same.

We can, both as a nation and a global society, survive a Trump presidency. It’s the legacy of hate that we must never give up fighting.

on trump and the us election by an american in america**Rachel L. MacAulay blogs at Challa and Haggis, she’s a freelancer copywriter, editor of Autism Awareness, assistant editor of Kentucky Review and FutureCycle Press, and a social media manager. If that’s not enough she also writes novels in her spare time! Thanks so much for this insightful article Rachel, you’ve certainly given me a lot of food for thought.