New life outside M25 brought up a challenge, I loved the city-life, Alan loved the country-Life. But we loved each other:) and our minds connected, so we decided to challenge our habits…
I’ve always been a city girl
I’ve always raved about the capitals
Big cities always provided me with the sense of possibilities
I have always loved hearing 20 different languages in crowded bars
I’ve always loved museums, and the Gallery openings always provided source of inspirations, (where else would you see Marina Abramovic if not in London or New York right?)
I have always loved luxury gyms and overpriced yoga studios because the best teachers are accessible in abundance in the cramped London studios, right?
I have also always loved countryside…
Countries always were for the escape
I was always happy to go back to The Smoke
All of those were true, at least that’s how I saw those things, as far as I was concerned I was a city girl and the country was for the hot summer days and cozy winter weekends. And so this thought had defined my identity.
Then one day, I became a city girl who lived in the village. It does not sound like much, in fact for anyone dreaming of escaping airless undergrounds with hour long commute to work escaping in the luxury of a country living may seem idyllic, and it is. But it also did not come… without the necessary adjustment phase of its own, until I discovered a city inside the village – welcome to the urban village-style! 🙂
The city life-style habits were so imprinted on my mind that in the beginning, I could not really comprehend the idea of what to do in a countryside, simple things seemed like a challenge – you know the important things like the alternatives to the takeaway cappuccinos, no need to rush from one place to another, I know how pathetic of me right;)
Nevertheless, there had to be an alternative, so we decided to experiment and find the place we would both love to settle in. The starting point was living in the heart of Manchester, I love Manchester but after 6 months of living in the heart of it, we both disliked the idea of living there, so we moved back in a picture-perfect English village. We both enjoyed a big house that had 13 rooms and 4 floors, uninterrupted countryside views and a lake opposite the house, long canal walks and cute village shops.
But in order to satisfy our “alternatives”, we spent more time outside the house and taking frequent EasyJet flights to European cities in order to top up on the urban buzz.
Clearly, quiet village life was not proving to be enough for either of us, so we kept on looking for the alternatives. We loved this particular place near where we lived, as it felt buzzing with plenty of cafes and life going on, so we decided to opt for a large secure apartment and moved into Hale and we both felt at home -phew 🙂
If there is such a place called urban village Hale has it all. The rich neighbourhood, magnificent buildings, buzzing businesses, cool cafes and markets, shops, gyms, yoga studios and a cosmopolitan vibe.
As the life in the urban village has started to settle in, I started to question the attachments to the habits. I realised how much more freedom I could have by having a choice of this or that and how liberating it feels to wave goodbye to older ways of living and discovering newer things to get attached to.
I started to realize how much more my personality is than the habits I am attached to, and how exciting it is to create new, perhaps temporary, but still new habits, because life is so much more fun when we are open to new ideas and potential when we drop fixed views on what we thought defines our identity.
Some things and values are certainly permanent, but everything else can be changed at any time as the life moves us from one place, both physically and emotionally, to another.
By being open I have learnt that I can be just as happy and content in the middle of a remote hamlet as I can be in the heart of the urban metropolis.
So far, however we are happy living and embracing our life in the urban villages 😉
Love, Tamara x
P. S. On the art of lifestyle changes, and how challenging, yet rewarding breaking away from the pre-defined identity can be.