Post in collaboration with Slater Gordon
If you follow me on social media, you may have noticed that I’ve made an awful lot of references to time spent on trains recently. The reason for this is due to my recent relocation to Retford, Nottinghamshire in the East Midlands. This decision was simply put about money and getting a decent life balance. I love London and I hope to move back, but we were becoming crippled by the cost of living and having looked at the costs associated with buying such as survey, solicitor fees, conveyancing quote, buying just seemed ever further away.
We had a small flat and it was becoming stifling. Rose just wanted to run around and play, which drove the neighbours underneath mad from the noise of her feet. I was struggling to work because there was just no space.
Originally, we did try to look in Kent to stay as close to London as possible. We really wanted to buy, but getting a mortgage was going to be a struggle and it isn’t just the cost of actually buying the house, but the cost of a survey, conveyancing quote etc, not to mention the time it would take. Obviously in an ideal world, we wanted to buy, but we couldn’t afford it and it was reaching the point where we needed to move quickly before someone went mad.
So, we made the decision to rent further afield, with a view to buying hopefully in a year or so and we drew up the following checklist of things we wanted.
- 3 bedrooms (2 would be acceptable with 2 reception rooms)
- A garden
- Within a 90 minute train ride to London
- Garage (failing that, an allocated car parking space)
We drew a circle around London and ended up deciding to look up at the A1. And we have ended up in Retford, in the very first house we saw. It takes me 82 minutes to get to London on the train and it’s a journey that I genuinely love. The service is friendly. I get a comfortable seat and wifi. I can choose to be productive and do some work, or I can choose to properly unwind. It’s made a huge difference to me and is far less stressful than trying to get south of the river!
Although we’re renting, we’ve massively reduced our living expenses as we’re cut our rent in half and got a 3 bed semi with a garden instead! It’s a little house, but it feels great after the tiny flat. We have a garden, which Rose loves to play in and I can’t wait to barbecue in the summer. I’ve also been making the most of it for some outdoor workouts, which is doing wonders for my mood. We didn’t get a garage or even an allocated parking space, but our road is quiet and the neighbours are so considerate that everyone is able to park outside their house.
I think we’re settling in well. I’ve started to go to yoga every week and my body and mind are benefitting from it. My instructor is lovely and the cost of £4 a session is a million miles from London! Retford also has a gorgeous canal which I’ve been running along a couple of times and I’m looking forward to exploring more later on. People are friendly, the town is rather pretty and Rose seems much happier. And you can’t put a price on that, can you?
So there we go, the story of how I’ve now made the leap from London to up north. And before anyone points out that it’s actually the East Midlands, I’m Cornish. Everything is “the north”.
Hopefully one day we’ll make it back to London, but for now I’m enjoying the life of a digital freelancer and being connected to the lights of London and the rural relaxation of Retford.