After seven and a bit years, I’ve moved back to Nottingham. Let me give you the back story to see why this is significant.
I was born in Nottingham and spent 19 solid years of my life there. It was all I knew and, other than my part of town being a bit quiet, I was happy there.
Then I met someone 130 miles away. A year later and the capital was my home too. London is a vibe when you’re in late adolescence. I already spoke about the things I got up to in my first few months there, and that fun continued for as long as I was there.
2011 – I went to every single concert I liked the look of in London
2012 – Properly fell into a fun career by accident
2013 – Turned into an eBay machine, thanks to a London stock-finding loophole
2014 – Read an Iceberg Slim book and tried a madness
2015 – Graduated. Created and failed to execute no less than 7 business plans
2016 – Got my entrepreneur on
2017 – Attempted to balance a full-time job, my own company, a blog, and a baby
There’s so much to do in London. There are so many opportunities to be had there. But it comes at a huge cost. London gave me asthma, dented my savings and turned me into a cold-hearted individual. The air is nasty, rent costs are laughable, and it’s not the place to be friendly to strangers. 7 years of that changes you.
My first stop in London was in Peckham, followed by a spell in Sydenham. If you’ve ever passed through those and have an OT suburb to compare it to, you’ll understand why I don’t feel like the same person I was in 2010. My last South East home was in Bromley and it might have been a step up, but as the months went by and my son grew, we knew we couldn’t stay there for long.
We didn’t know when we were going to leave, but darker side of London was creeping up on me. A good example is the journey to work. After six years of avoiding it, a job forced me to use the Underground to commute. I wasn’t cut out for it after driving to my workplaces for so long. To make things worse, it was now a 1 hour, 20 minute door-to-door commute. Madness.
There were obviously plenty more reasons to get out of London, but that was a big change in the later days that I could never get used to. Thankfully, the company I’d been building on the side meant I could do a few things:
- Cut the full-time job off
- Go full-time self-employed
- Work from home (just like Hollie)
- Claim back my time
- Live wherever I want to
Time for Some Action
Three house viewings around Nottingham and we settled for a big piece of house in the very borough I grew up in. Now I’m out of London, living in a place for times the size of my last (including a big ass garage and a garden with a damn tree house), I can’t believe we didn’t think to do it earlier.
Things done changed.
I’d love to reel off a list of reasons why Nottingham is such a good place to live, but I’m sure it all comes back to the people I left seven years back. Now I’m comparing everything to London, anything suburban anywhere else in the country would feel like a massive shift, so I’ve got some adjusting to do.
Nottingham’s where I’m at. If you need me, shout me.