…We have moved to live in the country!
If you follow me on Instagram you may already know this, as I’ve been (overtly) hinting at it in my recent stories. We made the actual move two weeks ago, but because we spent all of lockdown in the country, it feels longer. It also doesn’t feel like such a huge change because of that, and because – full disclosure – much of our spare time in lockdown was spent working out whether and how we could make it work.
It’s always been our intention to spend more time in the country, but we thought we were at least several years off being able to do that, and we had never really worked out how we would make that work when Amelie goes to school. The idea of leaving the city anytime soon had actually, bizarrely, never occurred to us in any meaningful way – one of us might make noises about it while we were enjoying a weekend in the country, but then we’d get stuck on the work question and never get any further than dreaming. We thought our jobs tied us to the city – the sort of work we do didn’t seem viable to do from anywhere else.
And then Hayden left his job and started his own consultancy, and not long after that the pandemic happened and we all went home and worked from home for weeks on end. And suddenly, what had seemed impossible became ridiculously, tantalisingly possible.
All the same, there were a lot of uncertainties. My job was a big one – would they be open to the idea that I just wouldn’t physically return to the office? I put together a proposal and put it to my manager, who was fantastically supportive. It has not yet been fully accepted but the lockdown is over and there has been no mass recall to the office, so I am hopeful! The organisation I work for has acknowledged that the lockdown, short as it was in Aotearoa, has changed the way people think about work and how they want to do it, which is pretty exciting –not just for me, but as a glimpse of what our country’s future could look like.
Our city apartment was another, but that worked out swimmingly; we have rented it for two months to a couple whose move abroad has been delayed. We’ll rent it out for a longer period once that time is up, but it’s comforting to know that should we want or need to, we can always go back to the city.
We were sad to leave our friends, and also concerned about how Amelie would cope with leaving her friends and starting a new preschool. It’s not been long, but happily, so far so good! Amelie is really happy at her new school and settling in well. She’s still a bit confused about what’s going on but we just keep explaining it to her and figure she’ll get it when she’s ready. She hasn’t mentioned missing her old school or her friends yet, but I’m sure she will.
As for us, we miss our friends of course! So far we’ve had a FaceTime drink with our besties, continuing the lockdown tradition, and that was nice. We expected we’d miss people, but we go back to the city once a fortnight at least, and we intend to stay a night down there once a month so we can catch up with people. Already we have had a couple of people invite themselves up for lunch, which makes me very happy – I love entertaining and I love that people want to come visit us!
So, so far so (really) good. We are loving being up here. We are actively trying to live a more relaxed, more home-based life than we did in the city, and not lose the clarity that lockdown brought. We’ve got lots to keep us occupied as we transition this house from a holiday house into an actual full-time home! I definitely experienced a couple of speed wobbles when we went back to our apartment for a week while we packed up (it’s a really nice apartment, and our city neighbourhood is so vibrant and fun!) but ever since we got up here with the knowledge that this time, it’s for always, I’ve felt an amazing sense of peace and confidence in our decision. This is what we need now.
I’m so glad we’ve made the move! And I can’t wait to share more about our lives up here and what we’re up to. Let me know – is there anything you really want to know about making the move from city life to country life?