It’s been a few months now since we moved to the wilds of Suffolk after 10 years in Brighton. I was born and bred in the countryside, so this felt like coming home. I’m aware that there is a fairytale like thought about what life is like when you move to the countryside, so I thought I’d share a few things you should be aware of before you leave your life in the city.
Civilisation / Transport
The idea of moving into the deep countryside, to a tiny cottage, surrounded by fields, well it’s very appealing, especially if you work for yourself and you enjoy peace and quiet. It can be perfect, just make sure you have a car available – if like us, you have one car for both of you, this might not work.
When we first moved to Suffolk, we were further out into the countryside, there were still neighbours nearby but no real access to transport – definitely not public transport. Simon would take the car to work and I would be stuck in the house. So no popping to the shop for teabags or coffee or that necessary bar of chocolate. It was lovely to start with, but after a few months, I was going stir crazy.
This influenced our decision on where to move to when we moved out. Thankfully the perfect little house came up in a small town. It’s still quiet, it backs onto beautiful fields, so I can go for nice long walks in the country or walk to the shop, the wool shop in my case and have a cup of tea and enjoy some chats.
I think living in the countryside or small towns feels very different to living in a city. There is a lot of anonymity living in the city. You can very easily keep to yourself, we rarely mixed with our neighbours. Thinking back I only grew a few friendships after spending ten years in Brighton.
Moving to the countryside, I’ve decided to make more of an effort, I am quite introverted, but I still need some human contact. So I went and joined a crochet class and became friendly with Stuart, because of that, I pop in for cups of tea and chats regularly – which in turn means I’ve met more people. So I’m getting regular doses of human contact but it’s not overwhelming. I think it’s another important thing to keep in your life if you work from home.
So if you intend to move to the countryside, how will you integrate into your local community? I feel it’s much more important as you tend to rely on them more if something goes wrong, or if you need any form of support. I didn’t really worry about that in the city as I had Simon, some of my family were nearby and I’d a few friends.
So maybe this is more about moving to a new area – you need to figure out a way of finding people that will have similar interests and that you’ll enjoy hanging out with.
Again, this is very much a country thing, I used to be very familiar with this, but since I’ve lived in cities for about 18years now, I forgot. You can’t get everything you want. Maybe I’d adjusted to being able to buy anything in the shops in town while living in Brighton.
For example, popcorn flavourings. Not a problem in Brighton. New home? Well, we searched three of the big shops in different towns. Couldn’t be found. I had to order it online. Comics. Again, a stroll into Brighton and I was able to browse a good selection in Dave’s. Here I have to drive half hour just to find a comic shop – I prefer to buy locally when I can, so I’d rather drive than order online. Thankfully I bought a stash in Philadelphia when I was there. It’s the little things that you’re used to being able to get with ease, you just have to rethink.
Slower Pace of Life
Life generally moves a bit slower in the countryside. This was one of the most appealing things for me. Life in the city moves at a lightning pace and after almost 2 decades of living in the city, well it got a bit overwhelming. It felt like a constant bombardment of information and the need to live in a certain way and the push to do more and be more, even more than you might want!
Moving to the countryside was one of the best things for my mental health as it forced me to chill out. When I say everything moves at a slower pace, I mean it. I was enquiring about local maps in the bookshop, which were out of stock. The response was – “yeah, they’ll be back in, in a few weeks“. This made me smile.
Things like public transport will force you to slow down, it’s not the most reliable and doesn’t go that often. So ya know, you’d best leave a bit early and maybe stop for a cup of tea to wait for your return bus. Things get done, just at a slower pace. It’s wonderful. It’s also teaching me patience and reminds me of what is important.
Outfit Details: River Island Charcoal Knitted Dress* // New Look Fake Fur Gilet // Clark’s Mortimer Liz Boots // Hoof & Horn Leather Cuff // Mala Necklace from Bali // Crochet Hat – by me // Nica handbag // Tesco Burgundy Knitted Tights*
A bonus of moving to the countryside – you get more bang for your buck. We’re paying the same in rent for a two bed house, with a garden for the same as the rent in Brighton for a 1 bed flat in a block of flats – and we had a bargain in Brighton! Yes, we pay a wee bit more in utilities, but it’s worth it. The pros massively outweigh the cons.
Is it worth it?
Yes!!!! Best decision ever. My head is generally in a better place more of the time. I feel settled. I get to go for big walks in the countryside, feel part of the community and if I need a “hit” of city style life, we drive to Cambridge or Bury. I have a proper office to work in and although I am now working slightly longer hours, I can close the door and switch off – so I’m spending more time with my husband.
I’m also lucky that the community we moved to really suits us. There’s a great local yoga class, the wonderful spiritual sort of shop – I went to a gong bath last night that was glorious. There’s also the likes of the wool shop, that allow me to get my crafting on. I feel at home. It’s making the country girl in me very happy. So if you’re thinking about moving, I’d definitely recommend it! Just investigate where you’re going to move to.