Thoughts on Moving to the Countryside
It’s been over six months since we first held the keys to our new home, over three months since our furniture was delivered and we officially moved in. In a way, that time has flown and it feels like we have lived here forever, but it also feels like it has been a slow and laborious process.
The house is unrecognisable from when we bought it. We’ve almost finished decorating and almost every room has had a lick of white paint. The downstairs is now one big open space where you can walk from one room to another without any barriers. The garden has provided us with sustenance, in the form of various fruit, vegetables and herbs. We’ve made this place our own, but is it everything that we were expecting?
I wrote a romanticised blog post about our upcoming move to the countryside back in January, as we began to pack up our old home. I had in the back of my mind to write this blog post six months after we left Manchester, based on my actual experience of living in the countryside. I had wrote a series of questions to answer in my notebook. Did it feel like home? Had we settled in? Did we like living here? Did the reality meet our expectations?
It’s a resounding ‘yes’ in response to all my questions. Yes, our new house really does feel like home, more so than any house I’ve lived in before. We haven’t even bothered to get blinds or curtains yet as we still can’t get enough of the views from the front of the house. I sit in the living room window at night, gaze out of our bedroom window first thing in the morning, and sit down to work at the dining table nestled in the bay window of our kitchen-diner – from all three spots I have uninterrupted vistas of the hills on the other side of the valley. I’ve watched them change with the seasons, and am highly anticipating the view throughout autumn and winter. I’ll never get sick of this view.
Our furniture fits perfectly into this house, nestling into place like it was made for these rooms. Our Mid-Century pieces and abundance of house plants work perfectly with the layout of the house and the views of outdoors that frame each room like oversized pictures. Wherever you sit or stand, the house is flooded with light and you have views of outdoors. I’m sat writing this at our dining table, the hillside dominating the view in front of me. If I look slightly to my left, I can peer into the living room, and if I look behind me I can admire our vegetable patch through the kitchen window. Large windows, dramatic views and an abundance of light have always been features of the forever home that I dreamt of.
And the countryside itself, spilling onto our doorstep and lurking at our back door. We’re surrounded by it; woodland to the back, paths weaving in every direction. Every spare minute, we spend wandering around, trying to get our bearings while discovering new routes. I spent the summer climbing the hill I can see from our windows, submerging myself into the lake at the top for countless wild swims. My evenings are usually spent exploring the woods with my dog, Evie by my side. Now that the days have cooled down and my calendar is looking less hectic, weekends are for discovering more of the incredible landscapes that we have at our doorstep. Just today, we drove five minutes down the road to a country pub for a Sunday roast. Bellies full, rather than immediately retreating home, we set off on an hour-long circular walk. Up a winding lane, across open fields, and scurrying down the side of a hill.
This is why we moved. For our dream home, yes, but mainly for our surroundings. To be located in a small yet creative town, brimming with interesting people who we are still meeting. And to be encircled by hills, fields, woods, rivers, lakes, moors and countless winding paths, begging to be well trodden.
Home is much more than the house that you live in. It is the way of life that you create, the way of life that you live. It is the people that you surround yourself with, the thought that goes into the decisions on which objects to place inside your house, the landscape outside your window, and the attitude that you associate with the place where you live. It’s something that can’t be put into words, and is more of a feeling than a simple physical thing.
We have found our home here.