Recently I read a quote which said “Strange, what being forced to slow down could do to a person.” It’s from a Nicholas Sparks novel and I instantly agreed with the sentiment. I’ve just moved to a countryside town in Somerset, from Leeds and before that Sheffield. Although Sheffield is a city, a lot of people agree that it doesn’t really feel like one. It’s more like a friendly town with the juxtaposition of the gorgeous Peak District on the outskirts and a cute city centre. Leeds on the other hand feels like a ‘real’ city (Sorry, Sheffield) and I loved living their for the past three years.
I loved how it busy it was at any time of day, I loved being able to go shopping in an evening or going for a coffee date with friends after university, and I really loved that there were gig venues and exciting events at my fingertips. So you could say that moving to Somerset has been a bit of a shock.
The town I live in now is very similar to where I grew up, in Grimsby. It’s small, quiet, and other than some shops and a few nice parks, there’s very little to do. Although I’ve only been here almost two months I’ve started to feel a little stifled by it. For me, countryside towns have an ‘older’ feel. I want to be in the city, doing everything all the time. Everyone has told me that living in the countryside sounds idyllic, that it must be lovely living somewhere that doesn’t have the hustle and bustle of Leeds but I’m definitely a city girl at heart.
However in the last few weeks I’ve been trying to change my mindset. It’s not that I don’t like Somerset, I really do. I love that Bristol is so close and I can get to the beach so quickly, something that I really missed living in Sheffield and Leeds, and coming from a seaside town. I’m trying to stop thinking about living in the countryside as a missed opportunity and think of it as a new opportunity in itself, by focusing on slowing my pace down.
One thing I’m really enjoying about Somerset is the number of cycle paths and parks and running trails. It’s good to be in a place where the air is fresh and where I don’t feel like I’m inhaling bad fumes whenever I go outside to exercise. There’s also a lot to be said for living in a quiet place, I’m certainly saving money because I’m not at food festivals and gigs all the time, but I still have the possibility of doing that if I visit Bristol.
There’s also a real community feel here. There are family friendly events all the time which I can’t say I ever really noticed living in a city and it’s nice to do something that I wouldn’t normally do. All in all, Somerset is allowing me the ability to notice life a little differently and to find new opportunities. And I’m learning that a slower pace of life is something to be cherished at any age.
Do you prefer living in the city or the countryside? Let me know in the comments!