After four years living in South Lincolnshire, my partner Alex and I have made the exciting (and slightly terrifying) decision to leave our friends and family behind and move 180 miles away to South Wales.
The last six months or so have been difficult for me. It was a time filled with grief, loss, stress, anxiety and a loss of confidence in myself and in what I wanted from life. I’d become stuck in a rut and I felt like I had nothing to look forward to anymore. In the last couple of years I feel like I’ve lost a part of myself. But I’ve only just recently come to that realisation. I think that’s what your twenties are for, learning who you are, what your passions are and what you want from life.
These past six months have shown me that life is fleeting, that we’ve got to make the most of it and live life to the full while we can. Life is for living.
It’s cliche and fantastical, but I can’t help but think that everything happens for a reason. Life circumstances shifted in a way this year for both Alex and I, freeing up the opportunity to relocate. Forcing us to make the decison sooner than we planned.
I have a wild spirit, born in ancient woods where I grew up and nurtured on the sea during the uni years I spent in Cornwall. I can be erratic in my moods and interests. I grow restless and bored easily. Discovering wildlife and going on wild adventures has always been a strong antidote to that restlessness in me.
But I left the wilderness behind, returning home to flat agrarian and barren Lincolnshire/Cambridgeshire after uni for my career. Four years later I’m still living only a few miles from where I grew up. This in itself is frustrating, I always saw myself flying far away from the nest. But it’s easy to settle into routines especially living near family and having amazing friends in the area. Only really living life to the full when we go on holiday. Always resenting the journey home.
Being in the landlocked, most southern edge of Lincolnshire I’ve always felt like something was missing. For some people, I think, once you’ve lived near the sea, there’s no going back. The ocean waves and the sea air get into your blood. Whilst we can drive to the Lincolnshire and Norfolk coasts, those beaches never quite did it for us. Too flat, too grey, too windy. They’re not places for swimming or kayaking. My partner Alex, having grown up in Suffolk, is not a fan of the East Anglian coast!
Don’t get me wrong, I am fortunate and privileged to live where I do. There are woods and nature reserves aplenty (including the stunning Rutland Water). I like being in beautiful places, hence why I chose to live in the most expensive and pretty town in the area, Stamford. But it’s never quite felt like a true home.
One of my reasons is a poignant one. With climate change an ever looming and real threat that can be felt now, the ongoing destruction of wild places and the rapid declines in nearly all our wildlife species, I wonder how long we have left to enjoy the wild? I want to live a wild life making the most of the few wild places left before it’s all gone. I hope that won’t happen and the recent emergence of the climate movement gives me hope but I can’t tell the future.
Many of those places, pockets of untouched wilderness are in the South West. And, as someone who hates the cold, they offer a warmer alternative to Yorkshire and Scotland.
There’s practical reasons too. We need to get on the property ladder soon but we don’t want to buy round here so we need to move now. Property is so much cheaper in Wales. We hope being near Cardiff will give us the perfect blend of city life (for our more geeky interests), coastline and wilderness.
It will be closer to all the places we love and want to visit, Brecon Beacons, Pembrokeshire, the Forest of Dean, Cotswolds, Devon, and Cornwall. For me, working in the environment sector, the Cardiff/Bristol area is one of the best places to be. I’ve exhausted all the career options where we live now.
Cornwall will always be my first choice of where I want to live, but it’s too far away from friends and family and career wise it’s a huge no go for us (at least at the moment). After much talking and soul searching, we settled on South Wales as the ideal place. Even though we’ve barely visited! But that adds to the excitement and the adventure, moving somewhere entirely brand new.
Moving to Wales is one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made. But as moving day draws nearer I feel more and more confident that we are doing the right thing. I’m excited for the future again. Exciting times!
I’ll be sharing all my wild adventures in Wales on this blog. If you’ve got any suggestions of things to do and places to visit, please do share! Watch this space!