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Friday, 29 May 2015

Leaving London

The prettiest bridge in the world: Albert Bridge in Chelsea

At long last the time has come to pack up our possessions and leave behind the city I have called home all my life.

A week from today we move into our new home in beautiful Surrey. We are so relieved the search for a place to call our own is over at long last. Chris and I are now the proud owners of a lovely red-brick Victorian town house in Guildford and we are so excited to start our new life there and make it feel like home!

Moving to a new area is a major life change and for us it comes with equal parts joy, trepidation, stress and sadness. Yes, I must admit that I am sad to say goodbye to London, my favourite city in the whole world and the place where much of my life story has played out so far.

It's such a handsome and impressive city with stunning architecture and gorgeous parks dotted all over the sprawling urban landscape. The restaurant scene here is so incredible and diverse, and the nightlife has kept me partying until the wee hours for all of my 20s! I was educated in London from nursery up to when I left school aged 18 plus my entire career so far has been based in the City. I love London so much I even got married here!

Unfortunately London's property market is absolutely insane, especially for first time buyers like us, and given that we wanted to upgrade from a flat to a house we decided to take the leap and move out of the city. It's not what we ideally wanted to do but it was a pretty easy decision to make once we started looking at the sort of properties and locations available within our budget in London. All we can afford here is a small 1 bedroom flat with no outside space, nowhere near public transport. For the same money we are getting a 3 bedroom house with a garden, a 5 minute walk from Guildford station which is about a 30 min train journey to central London. A bit of a no-brainer really!

Happily, due to Guildford's close proximity to London, our lives will remain very much London centric but with the added bonus of all the fresh country air and lovely country pubs right on our doorstep. Just a few minutes away are lush green forests, fields dotted with horses and farm animals, rivers with canal boats and crystal clear water, as well as some of the most beautiful rural scenery in England. So now we get the best of both worlds!

Despite all these positives of moving to the Surrey Hills I do feel pretty emotional to think we only have a week left here - but I know it's time to move on to a new life chapter. We need to get on the property ladder and also we really want the freedom to design and decorate our own home after years of renting. Still, it's incredible how attached I am to our flat and our area. I form really deep roots whenever I settle anywhere new and when I look back over each house move I've made over the years I remember feeling so sad at the thought of leaving each place, convinced the new home or area wouldn't be as good as the last. Thankfully, each time I was proved wrong and all my house moves have brought fresh excitement and a chance to make new happy memories.

I think the hardest move I ever had to make was when we all graduated from university and it was time to bid farewell to Newcastle where we had all changed from teenagers to young adults whilst having the time of our lives. University was such a magical time and I found it really gut-wrenching leaving the safety of my little happy bubble in the North East of England and returning home to the big scary city of London to make a plan for what came next when I had absolutely no clue what I wanted to do with my life. 

Regular readers of my blog will know that in some ways I'm still working out what I want to do after university! :)

Anyway... it's not time yet to say a proper goodbye to London because we are only moving just down the road really. But this blog post is my goodbye to our cosy little flat where we have been blissfully happy for years and it's my farewell to Wandsworth and Clapham where I have loved living for much of my life.

We'll never forget all the good times and we'll be back to visit, I promise!

Kicking back in Battersea Park
Our lovely flat that we will miss dearly
A slightly blurry pic of Westminster taken from the London Eye right after we moved back to London after university
The River Thames and views of the 'Walkie Talkie' & 'Cheese Grater' buildings (pic taken on my photography course)
St Paul's Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge (pic taken on my photography course)

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