In June 2016 I left the suburbs of London and moved to a little village in Surrey. At age 28 it was a scary decision, I worried I was too young to leave London, that I was making a mistake, but the lure of an affordable two bedroom house as opposed to an overpriced studio apartment pushed me to make the move. I also wasn’t moving alone, but with my now husband.
I have now lived in what is basically the countryside to me for over a year and I’ve had time to reflect on the positives and the negatives of living out here versus living in or near a big city. The major downside is obviously the commute and the journey times for visiting friends who haven’t made the move but there are many reasons why moving out of the city has been a positive one, in particular for my quality of living day-to-day. Without further ado here are five reasons you should move out of the city.
This is by far the biggest change for me. By moving out of the city and closer to the countryside I have seen a noticeable improvement in my physical and mental health. When I was living in London I felt very trapped. To get to a large open space you had to take public transport, live in a wealthy area or own a car. Whereas here I can walk 5 minutes of out my front door and I am in the countryside. I can walk for 5 hours plus and not run out of space, and I can cycle to the sea without having to cycle on any main roads. It also helps that the air is much cleaner!
When I lived in London, I had a very mixed bag of neighbours. I had some very nice ones and some who literally made me cry myself to sleep. Now, I’m not saying that moving out of the city will instantly give you nice neighbours, but I have been lucky, what I am saying is there is more of a sense of community. When you’re carrying a bizarre shaped parcel on the train home people will ask you what is, strike up conversation, rather than giving you an odd look and staring. When you’re out walking in the countryside people will say hello to you even if you don’t know them.
3. House prices
This is a no brainer for me. The average cost of one bedroom flat I was looking at last year was £350-400k but out of the city you’ll likely get a 2 bed house at the very least. Granted you will have to add on extra travel costs if you still need to commute to the city, but chances are with a flat you would’ve been paying that extra in service charges anyhow.
In terms of day-to-day life living out of the city is much calmer. You can go to the supermarket and not have to wait more than a few minutes to be the next in line at the checkout on a Saturday afternoon. There’s also more independent stores to choose from where there are no sales assistants asking you if you need help at every turn.
Finally, it’s the big one: noise. There are less cars, less buses, less pubs and clubs, which all result in one thing: much less noise. For example as I sit here typing at quarter to 10 at night it is silent, I can’t even hear a car driving past. I have only ever had one night where I haven’t been able to sleep because of noise (in over a year) and that was on a Saturday night when my neighbours were hosting a birthday party, I mean I should’ve been out really!
So there you go, five reasons to move out of the city! Feel free to ask me questions via email, through social or in the comments below.