Why We Left London Behind

In this post I’ll speak about our amazing packing/removal service that was kindly provided to us by Fantastic Services to review.

It was a sunny June morning. We’d just spent a lovely evening at Ben’s Mum and Dad’s house in Kent where we’d chatted about the wedding, caught up on work goss and played many rounds of Dixit.

My morning phone scroll routine went a little something like; Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Email, Instagram, Rightmove, Instagram and as I searched for, ‘2-3 bedroom house, within 15 mile radius, must have garden,’ a notification for a brand new development not too far from the in-laws popped up.

Fantastic Services Moving House - picture of Vix in London, smiling and wearing a jacket, stripe tshirt, blue jeans and leopard print shoes
Jacket: secondhand Topshop T-shirt, Jeans, Shoes: Marks & Spencers Bag: borrowed from Nicole

I bribed Ben with the promise of a tuna and cheese toastie at our favourite cafe if we could just pop there first.

Upon arrival and being greeted by a VERY ENTHUSIASTIC sales woman, we were shown around two identical properties side by side, that had been completed and were ready to go.

As we wandered around each and excitedly planned where the TV, navy sofa and puppy-bed-of-the-future would go, I could tell we’d found somewhere we really loved.

Neither of us were in a position, we thought, to go ahead with anything. I’d just started Grow & Glow and was investing a lot of time, energy and money into building that community AND we had a wedding looming on the horizon. So we left and went back to Ben’s parents’ house for lunch.*

We showed them the brochure, talked things through and with a few nods, prods, nudges and the , ‘let’s ALLL GO LOOK TOMORROW’ excitement, we thought, ‘fuck it, why not see what we can do?’

By, ‘fuck it, let’s see what we can do,’ we meant, why not give a mortgage adviser a call and see what they say.

Well, within hours, they said it was a go – and to be honest, it’s all been a bloody big go!

Whilst Ben was wading through mountains of paperwork and tied up with phone call after phone call, I went into organisation (aka Virgo) mode and begun to work out just how we could buy a house, move, work and get married all within weeks of each other, without a full blown meltdown.

Reader, there have been MANY a full blown meltdown.

But what COULD’VE been a catastrophic melt-down (instead of just full blown) was averted when I came across Fantastic Services.

Another blogger, Erica had worked with them on services she needed for her house move and as I was going to write this post anyway, I reached out to them and asked if they’d consider helping us move if I could make some content for my socials and for them to use on their’s – and luckily they said, yes!

The moving day arrived and a team of guys arrived armed with packing materials (that Ben and I wanted to do a Joey with and wrap round our heads) and managed to get all of our furniture in the van AND pack all of our stuff up in under 90 minutes.

Ben and I went for a coffee, tried to help a bit, got under their feet and so went for another coffee and brought them treats back.

As soon as the vans were loaded, they drove to Kent and we hopped on the train!

As I watched the grey buildings turn into green hedges, I began to contemplate what the move actually MEANT.

Maybe because the Fantastic Services guys were actually fantastic and we didn’t spend all that much time carefully bubble wrapping mementoes and breaking plates on the way into boxes, or maybe because it was such a quick turn around that we didn’t do a, ‘let’s have our last Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Nandos, McDs etc before leaving STREATHAM’ but I hadn’t had any time to actually process what leaving London meant.

I’m born and bred South London. I lived for a bit in South West London. And for a few years the South coast, but I’d always come back.

I loved everything being on my doorstep. Friends a stone’s throw away. The local blogger community I’d built. The 159 into Oxford Circus. Brixton market. Perfect Blend cafe. A Starbucks basically IN my building. The cinema that we’d been on many dates to.

I loved the memories I’d made from nights out with friends to my first date with Ben.

And yet here I was moving an hour away to a sleepy (although pretty) village with just a pub and a post office.

Why did we do that? We’re not planning on kids any time soon (but thanks to everyone who’s dropped a, ‘ooh two bedrooms…baby?’ comment so far…) and we still need to commute in every day.

Fantastic Services Moving House - picture of the navy sofa with packing boxes and material everywhere

Well to be honest, it made sense.

Why were we paying double a mortgage in rent for a 40 minute commute when we could pay half of that for a house, with a garden and a 55 minute commute?

Why were we killing ourselves in our flat that never went below 4645745 degrees when we could have PATIO DOORS.

Why were we in a complex where there was a Facebook group that had at least 4 posts a day of some numpty who was moaning about bins when we could have our own space.

AND WE CAN GET A DOG.

We’re not sure when but it’s happening.

Fantastic Services Moving House - picture of the Dunelm bar cart with glasses and alcohol

So that’s why we left London. To sample the quiet life for a bit. To choose the madness of the city when we want but to leave it behind when we don’t. To be within 5 minutes drive of alllll the National Trust properties but 40 minutes away from the nearest McDonalds.

People told me I’d be lonely, I’d miss the convenient lifestyle, I’d struggle to adapt.

Those things are partly true but we’re going to be here for a while, so they won’t be true for long.

Have you ever made a big move? How did you find it?

PS If you want to grab Fantastic Services for any of your home moving, cleaning. sorting needs, head over to their website and use the code ‘vixmeldrew’ for a juicy lil discount!

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  • Michelle says:

    Absolutely thrilled for you both! I’ve never been a city girl, born and raised small town lil lady, and we’re planning to move to the coast. I’m positive you’ll LOVE countryside life. It’s so slow and chill and non-conformist. Also, LOVE the new blog look, you superwoman.

  • Angela says:

    I moved from London to Hertfordshire last year. I love it only 30 minutes to Kings Cross so get my gig fix and can see my friends and family who still live there. I dont work in London but lots who live here do. Its a pretty cobbled street town with shops and a starbucks and cinema in next town. Best decision I ever made. I suffer with anxiety and it hasnt cured me yet but its helped a lot.

  • Bella says:

    It’s all a huge learning curve when you do such a big move! I was born in England, spent part of my childhood here, visited minimum of 1 month out of the year every year, and it was still a huge culture shock when I moved back “for good” in 2015. As for loneliness in the countryside, all I can say is make friends with your neighbours, the post office people, and go to the local pub fairly often. It makes a world of difference!

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