After few months of thorough searching, reading, thinking, discussing, exchanging info and opinions the decision that was causing me sleepless nights has been finally made… We are staying in England! Yayyy… And hopefully opt very soon for the so much loved English countryside! I am extremely happy of this decision, mainly because is what my heart longed for… and I have started to finally sleep properly again!
It has been a tough few months, putting on paper all the pro and cons of both countries, and trying to visualize what our lives would be in these two different environments considering everything, including also the various possibilities available.
Like I said in a previous post Italy is such a beautiful country, probably one of the most beautiful country in the world, for its history, art, food, etc. And on top of everything it is my home country, where all my family and friends are. But although its infinite beauty and my emotional connections to it, Italy is not enough… Beauty is not just its strong point, as it is also very well known for its corruption and political disasters, and the present situation is very unsettling and not very promising for the brighter future I was hoping for. Probably it will never be! Sometimes I wish I wasn’t Italian, so that I could be able to appreciate Italy with the eyes of a foreigner, focusing only on the bright side. But unfortunately I am also very familiar with its true dark side…
In my opinion, England is far more ‘civilized’, at least on the appearance; but the main thing that pushed our decision into staying, is that here you have POSSIBILITIES. Possibility to work, to study, to become a better person, to open your own business, without being exploited by a corrupted government. You have the possibility of confronting yourself with other cultures and to grow together, where the diversity is celebrated. You have freedom of expression, possibilities to become who you want to be, develop your skills and your experiences and finding a job that you like, where you feel rewarded and appreciated.
In Italy does not exist meritocracy, does not exist the concept of community and living in harmony together, supporting each other. Does not exist honesty, equality and tolerance, especially in present days! It’s a culture based on aesthetical appearances, on superficiality and gossiping, on following the crowd just because the media say so. And unfortunately those minority of people who truly are hardworking and have idealistic dreams, those who want to live a quite life in simplicity and honesty, are forced to either live in a truly unfair place and adapt to the injustice that surround them, or to go and find their luck in another country.
I was one of those who, 16 years ago, chose to go to find her luck somewhere else, and here, in my very little world, I can say that I have been lucky enough to find it, definitely with sacrifice, but that at least has been rewarded. England gave me so much more than my own country. I grew up here, and I feel such a strong connection with this place. I must say, London is a truly unique and very special city, so much energy surrounds it! And probably in the countryside it will be very difficult to match the same energy and experiences that this amazing city has to offer. London has been my home for the most important years of my life, and I am truly grateful for that. I have learnt and grown so much, and I have definitely become a true Londoner in heart, a North London Girl. 🙂
England, London – View from Walkie Talkie, March 2018 (picture taken by hubby)
But as my 40s are approaching, I strongly feel that my metropolitan experience is coming to an end, and I almost feel obliged to give my place to someone else. There is this need to live in a smaller place, a community country town, and the English countryside is just perfect for that. I hope that its beautiful and magical fairy tale scenery will create new experiences for us, hopefully as enriching as it has been here in London. And I just hope that with the Brexit things are not going to get harder for non-english people… it would be such a shame, especially for those of us who really care about living here!
At the moment there is a strong climate of uncertainty all over the world, things are definitely shifting, somehow… And I feel that our shift is definitely to go to a much greener place, where you become an active part of the local community, living a quieter and simpler life in happiness. Another main point for me is that it needs to be a place where there will be an active Artist’s community. After 16 years in London, I do not think I will be able to survive without the Art’s energy!
So, the next step will be deciding where to move. Obviously there are many factors to keep in consideration: work is one of the most important. We are trying to understand if it is better to remain in a commutable route to London, where initially we will be able to keep our jobs, and once settled in the new town, eventually look for something more local. We looked at places around the Hertfordshire area; the countryside is nice, and some villages are very pretty. Hertford, Letchworth, Hitchin, etc. are all on the list.
England, Letchworth, Norton Common, June 2018
If instead we will feel a bit braver we are also considering the Gloucestershire area, specifically around Stroud. I love that town! And The Cotswolds’ countryside is just stunning, so many pretty villages. We just have to see jobwise if there are any possibilities that are suitable for us. But everything looks exciting and promising at the moment… so many possibilities!
England, The Cotswolds, Stroud surrounding, Slad country walk, July 2018
Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions if you have a place in mind that could potentially be ideal for our needs: country town, very green, arty and friendly, with a strong sense of community, where it is easy enough to find a job locally, where properties are not ridiculously priced, and most importantly where you can live a happy life! I know it is quite a lot to ask, but hopefully it is doable… 🙂 I would be very interested to read experiences of people that have done the same thing, leaving London for a quieter life in the country. Feel free to share!