This time next week we’ll be settling into our new home in Leeds. That’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d ever type. But after many months of house viewings, estate agent calls/chats, hours browsed on Rightmove down south – we decided it was time to leave. Don’t let the title of this post fool you – I really will miss London. After all, we’ve spent six whole years living here, celebrated our engagement here, got married here, and started looking at properly settling down and getting a mortgage. But the current housing market in the city meant that wasn’t to be.
I think it naturally feels the right time to leave too. I’ve struggled with anxiety and introversion in such a loud and fast-paced city, and now is the time to step back and find our feet in a new place. Leaving London hasn’t been a quick decision. The city has been our life for so long but for the last 6 months I’ve felt tired and ready to move on. So here are just a few (totally relatable) things I won’t miss about London!
Pretty much everything about the tube
My hour commute on the Piccadilly line, the £210 a month spent on using it, that annoying 12 min wait for the right destination past 9pm (cheers Heathrow branch), weekend closures, sweaty armpits in summer, people with no manners, ‘this train is being held at a red signal’, ‘this train is being held to even out gaps in the service’, elbows dug into ribcages, fists swung backwards into stomachs, tutting behind you as you walk down the stairs too slowly, a whispered ‘fuck’s sake’ as the ticket barrier slams shut on your arm, ‘seek assistance’, and the dreaded announcement – replacement bus service.
Extortion – for everything
It’s the reason why we’re leaving the capital after all – it’s just so damn expensive to live here. House prices have gone through and beyond the figurative roof, the cost of getting around on the tube rises yearly, and I went to a pub last week that considers charging £4.80 for a pint totally appropriate. I honestly don’t know how my friends in house shares, paying upwards of £800 a month to rent one double room, aren’t thousands of pounds in debt. Or maybe they are, and that’s even scarier.
Everything is expensive in London, no matter which part of the city you go to. We’re leaving so we have a real chance of getting on the property ladder and an even realer chance of starting a family – something that won’t happen if we stay.
It’s true to say that the city hasn’t been completely kind to my introversion. In fact, it’s while living here that I discovered I was one. I thought maybe I was just an ‘old soul’, preferring to stay in and read books than bar hop around Shoreditch. I thought maybe I was a horrid person, saying ‘no thanks’ to every social invitation and avoiding walking past the pubs invitees would be in. I thought maybe I was depressed. But no, this introvert nature of mine well and truly kicked in since moving down to London and it made me feel so uncool.
Six years later and London hasn’t really done anything to help bring me out of my shell. It’s actually pushed me further in it. And since my shell is a 40 min tube ride away from Central London, it was never going to be easy. Horrendously loud pubs, drunk hipsters, sleazy city boys, crowded bars, nights out that start at 11pm. Of course, all of this is still going to be in Leeds, but at least I can hop on a bus and be home in 10 minutes!
Our new beginnings are just days away and I’m totally conflicted about my feelings. Excitement, nervousness, hope, fear – these are just a few things that I’m experiencing daily!
But stay tuned for my next post, all about the things I will miss about London.
Images via unsplashplease note: some header images are from unsplash.com