My vision of our new country life looks something like this – an idyllic English village nestled in the heart of green, rolling countryside. A rural oasis where stress simply melts away and delightful neighbours pop round for a ‘spot’ of tea.
After ten years in Sydney, we’re ditching city life for a ‘tree change’. I’m dreaming of cosy little cottages with wooden beams and wonky walls, filled with Chesterfields, books and love.
I’m going to need an Aga for knocking up delicious, home-cooked dinners, and a darling little garden where I’ll spend hours doing lovely, therepeutic ‘gardeny’ things.
Now, any country-dwellers reading this might be chortling into their Tetleys at the sheer naivety. But that’s the grand plan – England, countryside, cottage, wellies, growing stuff.
‘We’ is myself, fiancé Jim, and very spoilt dog, Winston – an Aussie pug who currently enjoys
long short walks on the beach but has yet to set paw in a field.
City to country
When we first moved to Sydney, I loved city-living in it all in its gritty, urbanness and couldn’t get enough.
I would have sworn you’d never catch me living in the countryside. All that nature? No thanks!
I needed shops, bars, expensive gyms with spinning classes and Japanese yoga. (I never did go to that yoga class, but liked knowing it was there).
A lovely Aussie bottlo’ on the corner of every street was vital for handy wine-buying. Plus a choice of little delis should I suddenly crave lemon and garlic Sicilian olives with my vino.
But over time, something really weird has happened. Those things don’t seem quite as important as they once were. Apart from wine – wine is always of the utmost importance.
We have become
old jaded by city life with its loud, honking traffic and jostling crowds. Long hours in corporate jobs, commuter chaos and expensive everything gradually wearing us down.
A rural revelation
Rural living suddenly feels as though it would be blissful, not boring – a gentle, peaceful ramble through life, rather than the exhausting fast-paced sprint of city-living.
We could’ve just moved a few kilometres out of Sydney – to a little beach town on the southern coast. But we missed family and friends in the UK, plus the countryside is so very green and lovely over there.
And of course, when living in an English village, fabulously good looking men like Jude Law may stumble into your cottage, drunk and confused.
A few things to consider before moving to the British, or any other sort, of countryside:
- Are you ok with your own company? Like really, really happy being completely alone? We loved city-living when we first moved to Sydney but increasingly spend our weekends at home, pottering. If you thrive on live music, small bars and an eclectic dining scene – rural living might not be for you.
- Practicalities. Broad-band, shops, gyms. Can you handle the lack of them? And wine – where does the wine come from?
- Commuting and work. Unless you’re working from home, or in the village shop – things could get tricky. We have vague notions of doing ‘something online’ but you might want a stronger plan than this.
So long, Sydney
So here we are, unravelling our Sydney lives – quitting jobs, saying goodbyes, sorting, packing and chucking our things.
Good things have happened for me in Sydney and I will always, but always, miss her blue skies, warm sun and delicious jumbo seafood.
And so here we are. I’ve started this blog – part journal, part travel guide and insights into our new, country life down the line.
Undoubtedly there will be challenges ahead, but now in the face of disaster (such as aforementioned wine-buying difficulties) I can say, “oh well, it’s good for the blog” and write a funny little story in the face of adversity.
My darling, supportive fiancé tells me that at 35, I’m far too old to be a blogger and ‘the blogging boat sailed years ago’. But really, I don’t care about that. (This is not entirely true, I do care a bit)
As I now find myself ‘funemployed’, writing about things I like, and places I go, strikes me as a rather lovely way to pass the time.
I hope you’ll join me!
Have you recently moved from city to country? I’d love to hear about it! What challenges/triumphs did you face? Where do you get your wine from??