I feel as though I’m about to reveal a huge secret that most people know anyway, but despite my blog being named “Girl Gone London,” I do not actually live in London. A few years ago, I made the leap and started moving from London to the countryside.
IT’S GOING TO BE FINE, THOUGH, YOU GUYS, EVERYTHING ELSE YOU KNOW ABOUT ME IS CORRECT.
Here’s the thing. I have lived in London. I’ve lived in North London, I’ve lived in Central London, I’ve lived in West London, and I’ve lived in either-further-West London. I’ve gotten around! I used to think that I would never be okay with moving outside of London, because London is AMAZING and where everything happens and moving out of London was basically going into retirement and giving up on life.
Well I am here to tell you today that I will NEVER move back into London, and if I do you will drag me kicking and screaming. There is nothing wrong with living in London, aside from the extortionate prices. There are some beautiful areas, your commute will be drastically reduced, and you will always be able to find something to do. But it is no longer for me.
Two years ago, I moved out to the countryside with my then-boyfriend/now-fiance. I was skeptical at first, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever half-heartedly made, and here’s why.
1. Moving from London to the countryside means you suddenly live in a world with vast amounts of space where you can run, skip, jump all around and only see fields for miles. Maybe this isn’t a perk for everyone, but suddenly I didn’t feel so claustrophobic. Here I am jumping for joy about living in the countryside.
2. There are a LOT of lambs in this country. I mean, an unbelievable amount. But do you know how many lambs you see walking down Oxford Street at rush hour? Exactly. You must leave the city to find these adorable little faces, and sometimes you can even get slightly close and pet them but I think that’s frowned upon.
3. The air is cleaner, and you don’t return home from a day out needing to flush out your body from the toxins you have ingested all day. You’ll also probably live longer because you spent time in the open air and not underground in the tube like a rat. Look at me sniffing that fresh air as I peer over a beautiful old fence into more countryside.
4. The cost of living is less. Okay, this is still England so nothing is cheap, but everything is slightly less expensive than London town. This really comes in handy when you’re looking to buy a house, as you will basically never buy in London until you have 4 million pounds sitting around waiting to be spent, which, spoiler alert, will never happen because you’ve been paying so much in rent.
5. Waking up to hear the birds, and the local lambs, and the other woodland creatures who have been pushed out of the big cities. People ask me why I live in the countryside, and how I deal with the long commute into London in the mornings, and I always explain that my weekends are spent eating breakfast at our kitchen table (because we’re able to afford a place big enough for a kitchen table) and listening to the animals wake up and sing their songs across the valley. I never thought I would have wanted that, and quite frankly I do feel like a 75 year old woman for preferring bird noises to the hustle and bustle, but the countryside here has made me feel more at home than London ever did. But don’t worry, I still work in London and spend vast amounts of time in the city, so hopefully you’ll let me keep my blog name.