To pack your things, sell everything and go abroad: for Rowena Rousseau (27) it has been a dream for a long time, but it will soon become reality. In a little over a week, she will emigrate to Spain with her two daughters (ages 3 and 5). On LinkedIn, her announcement caused quite a stir. “I get a lot of questions from women who want to know: how are you going to do it with two small children?”
For her job as a business consultant helping other women start their businesses, Rowena really only needs a laptop and a good WiFi connection. So she can work anywhere. For a long time she dreamed of emigrating, but because of her family it never happened. “I’ve always dreamed of location-independent work, but my ex-husband doesn’t like to travel much. We got divorced a year ago. Not much later I got in touch with an estate agent at work who said, ‘Why don’t you just leave? I can help you find a house.”
Although Rowena has just moved into a new house near her ex at the time, the timing is perfect, she soon realizes. “My youngest daughter doesn’t go to school yet, and my oldest daughter has to switch to special education anyway because of her recently diagnosed autism. In addition, there is also the fact that children in Spain are only subject to compulsory education from the age of six. This means that finding a school for my girls is not a big deal. All in all, I got the feeling that I just had to do it.”
Femkje also traveled to Spain; but for a fertility treatment. Read the special story about her embryo donation at Ouders van Nu.
Father approves of the plan
Rowena talks to her ex-husband to discuss the situation. “He was actually very enthusiastic about me straight away and said: ‘Rowena, you just have to do this’. On LinkedIn, I get a lot of questions about what the agreements are with the father of my children. The prejudice that I ‘grab’ the girls from him is also regularly heard. But that is absolutely not the case. On the contrary: their father even applauds us.”
“And agreements have indeed been made”, continues Rowena. “The plan is to come back to the Netherlands every six weeks. In addition, the children must be with my ex-husband during the holidays, so that he can also spend longer periods with them.” Rowena’s ex-husband confirms this.
The timing is perfect; My youngest daughter is not in school yet, and my oldest is moving into special education because of his autism
Inspire other women
In addition to many questions and critical reactions, there is also a positive voice in the comment section under Rowena’s post. ,,I get many messages from women who have the same dream and ask: how are you going to do it with two small children? Many people let motherhood stop them, but emigrating is actually super educational for children. In this way, they come into contact with another culture and language. It expands their world. It doesn’t all have to be by the book.”
With her post, Rowena hopes to make other women see it. “I want to inspire other women and mothers. LinkedIn felt like a logical platform for me. In my work as a consultant, I help women establish their own businesses. This is also part of it: I want to encourage women to organize their lives in such a way that they can pursue their dreams.”
Off to Spain
Over the next few days, Rowena and her daughters are counting down: they are leaving for Spain on August 15th. Rowena’s mother comes to support the triangle. ,,We have booked a bed & breakfast in Cambrils for now. From there I will visit houses. The broker from my clientele is already looking for suitable homes for me. I want to look at houses in Alicante, but maybe we will end up in a small Spanish village. I think it is particularly important that the environment suits us.”
Of course, the mother of two finds it exciting, she admits. “But I’m glad we took the leap. We’ll see if you like it. If not, we’ll be back in Holland in no time. And if that’s the case, maybe next year we’ll decide to try another destination. For now, the Netherlands is in any case not in the top three.”
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