7 years ago I lived in London. I loved it, and enjoyed the pubs (and the hours they opened), the convenience of having shops on your door step (again open all hours) and the fact that the west end was just a hop-skip-jump (small bus ride) away (even if I generally disliked going into ZONE ONE).
I also loved that I had so many friends locally to me and if I wanted to, I could generally find someone out and about (or in and free) on most nights of the week.
But I have also always loved the countryside and hiking (often to pubs by somewhat circuitous routes) and the peace on the ears, eyes and mind that getting outside and away from the bustle of life bestows upon you.
I then gave up London life. Sold up. Went travelling. I took a year off with my partner, Kate, and we backpacked around central and southern America for 10 months and then we drove/camped our way around New Zealand for 2 months. Sure we spent some time in Cities in that time, but little by which you could compare to London.
When we came back, we didn’t go back to London but instead moved to Derbyshire, to a small town called Youlgreave on the edge of the Peak District. There we have a lovely house overlooking fields and next to the village green so we can listen to the cricket being played from the garden (the somehow soothing thwack of leather on willow) and we’ve been there 5 years now.
We share our home and lives with a couple of English Springer Spaniels (Bonnie and Clyde) who in turn keep us company and offer us their counselling and unconditional love making our lives all the richer.
And it is so peaceful.
Don’t get me wrong; we aren’t hermits and we still have to go to work (yuk) and still drive around and go into towns, however most of my time now is about walking around the countryside(in all seasons and weather) and, weather permitting, sitting in the garden listening to nature and feelings very lucky (drinking coffee in the mornings and beers and rum in the evenings).
And that my friends, is the point. Don’t lose site on what makes you happy and if need be; change your life to make it happen.