How Moving to the Countryside has Changed my Life

The me of today is pretty unrecognisable from the me of ten years ago. Let’s be honest, she’s pretty different from the person I was just one year ago. 

This new version of me is by no means perfect, but she knows what she wants in life and she knows what is important. She mostly ignores trends, she spends her money on items that are made to last, and she understands that experiences are more important than things. She values time spent with her favourite people (and dog) above anything else, and is maintaining a work/life balance that works for her at this moment in time. She doesn’t waste time on people who make her feel uncomfortable, and invests in the friendships that matter to her - the ones where physical distance doesn’t matter. She’s learnt to slow everything down, but understands that everything is a learning curve and that you don’t achieve your perfect life overnight. 

 

If I could pinpoint one moment or one event that has changed my life the most drastically, I would say without hesitation our move out of the city to the countryside (being made redundant from my old job being a close second). In the past few years, since turning thirty, I’d already begun to realise which aspects of my life I should give priority to, but our move solidified this. I realised that I have friendships that stand up despite living in different places. I realised that I’m prepared to spend more money on public transport to live someplace that I love. I realised that being surrounded by nature is really important to me. I realised that I’d rather have a cosy night in or hang out in the local pub that go out dancing every weekend. I realised that I enjoy spending time by myself. I realised that there is more to this slow living thing than first meets the eye. And, honestly, I realised that I wish I’d made this move years sooner. 

I love waking up to views of the hills, knowing that I can crawl out of bed and walk straight into the woods with my dog. And that I can dig up the vegetables in our garden for lunch.  That I’m not the odd one out for choosing not to wear makeup, or to go and sit in the local cafe on my own all afternoon with my laptop, or that I can climb up the steep hill opposite my house and leap into the local reservoir on a hot summers day. Obviously, some of these things are perfectly possible living in a city, but for me they all became reality with our move.

I feel like both my writing and photography have improved since our move. I feel constantly inspired by my surroundings, whether I’m sat at the dining table looking out at gloomy winter views or sat working in the garden during a scorching summer. Ideas come to me more readily here, and when I want to shoot I can just head out of the front door without worrying about how to get someplace photogenic.  

I’ve been thinking of taking myself on a solo writing retreat, but really there is no place I feel more inspired to write than sat in our dining room looking out at our view. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of that view. I’m still fighting my boyfriend not to ever get curtains as I love gazing out of the windows both day & night. Even a simple thing like reading a book seems different here. Snuggled up on the sofa, I still have those views in my peripheral vision, or on warm days I head outdoors, just to sit and read.

Part of it is probably just a state of mind; I imagined myself moving here and being happy and it all worked out. But there is definitely something different here, something that puts a little spring in your step. Maybe it’s the fresh air, or how you notice every little change in the seasons evolving through the year. Or perhaps it’s just the abundance of my favourite colour: green. Whatever it is, I haven’t looked back.