...not a typical place for people to emigrate to but we are moving to the place my husband (C) grew up, a small town in the South East called Auroville (usually called AV), 2 hours drive below Chennai (Madras) http://www.auroville.org/. It is a community that was set up in the 60s by a French woman named Mira Alfassa. The idea was to gather people from all nationalities and build a place where people could live in harmony, living off the land and striving for inner happiness. There is no specific religion there but a closeness to nature, the yoga of life and a truly lovely community spirit. I’ve spent a total of 6 months out there, first time back in 2007 and more recently last Feb for 2 months. My mother in law lives there with her partner and many of my husband's friends still live there too.
It’s a big step but my reasons for doing this are simply that I don’t feel there is much for me and my family here. I am very disillusioned with the state of this country and I don’t see it getting better for the foreseeable future. Although I have friends and family that I’ll miss, the wonders of modern technology will enable us to keep in contact regularly.
We have been living in a first floor flat for the past 3 years, since just before we had our son, K. It feels like we had two potential paths to follow now that we’re married, either find a nice cottage in a village somewhere and settle here or to have a big adventure and see if life in another country would work. I’ve wanted to live in a more environmentally and spiritually aware place for some time, exercise classes are free, there are regular concerts and cultural events, the street lights are solar powered, most food is locally and organically produced and the regular power cuts (currently they have power for just few hours a day due to an issue with the local power station) mean that you can’t afford to waste power. People fix broken things rather than just get a new one like here too and the children are so confident and brought up with a strong sense of self and of the world/people around them (and the schools are much less restrictive than those here, even having yoga classes).
To live there we have to become members of the community. It means we live there for a year provisionally before becoming full members (although C only has a 6 month probation as he's a 'returning Aurovillian'). We will be over there on an Entry visa meaning we can live there for a year at a time and can renew if from over there, we can’t live anywhere else in India (can travel though) and we don’t have to give up our nationalities. Once we’ve been living there a few years we can leave for up to 5 years without losing our membership. My MIL has had a house built which we will be moving into. Will add some pics of our future home soon.
The reason I’m writing this is just to have a place to record the coming months. It’s a really big thing to do and means we have to get rid of most of our ‘stuff’ as we can only take what we can carry. So far it has been a really cleansing activity. With every task/chore/big bag of stuff taken to the charity shop I feel lighter as though I’m shedding the past and only living in the present and looking to the future. I want to be able to look back at this blog and look at how far I’ve come and to look at how I found my last few months in the UK.
Feel free to join me on my journey, to comment, ask questions or just read, would also love to hear other people’s experiences of emigrating - how you found it, how it works with children etc.
Thanks for reading. xx