This is something I get asked all the time: "Why don't you live in London?" or: "Don't you think you would be better living in London?" To be totally honest, I'm not a big fan of cities. I never have been! I grew up just outside of Geneva, Switzerland in the countryside. I know that for a lot of people when you say to them that you grew up outside a city, they think that must mean that you lived in a city-like environment. That couldn't be further from the truth. Geneva is tiny. Beautiful and charming, but really tiny. It feels more like a large town than a city. You can drive 10 minutes out of it, and you'll be surrounded by fields and trees. It's a small country, so lots of villages are squished up together, but essentially, it's the countryside.
When I moved to Cornwall, I took "living in the countryside" to a whole new level. I live in Falmouth, which is a beautiful seaside town. I've been here for 5 and a half years now (how the time has gone that fast, I do not know), and at first I was a bit shocked but just how small it was. It took some getting used to. You can cross the high street in 10 minutes by foot, and I guarantee that you'll bump into someone you know every time you leave the house. It's such a lovely place to be, and you do get sucked in by its charm. Cornwall is a very rural county. The public transport is terrible, and to get to any other big village, it's always at least a 25 minute drive (trust me, you need a car), but it's the most beautiful place ever. There's a reason Poldark is so successful! Just look at this post, and this post to see what I mean.
Now, as you know, I work in fashion. I run a print and online magazine, Atlas, and I'm also a fashion photographer... so the obvious choice would be to go live in a big city right? Right. Well, not for me. Thanks to the good old internet, I can run and build my entire business from home. I work from my beautiful apartment all day, and I regularly email or call people up in London. My colleagues are scattered all around the world. Would it be easier if I was closer to the city? Hell yes. I do have to travel up to London quite a lot, and it's a 5 hour journey from Cornwall, so it's a big old slog every time I need to go up (don't get me started on the time I went there and back for a 15 minute meeting... never again). But would I be happier if I lived in London? Hell no.
I couldn't even begin to think about rent costs for a start (they terrify me). I like to be outside and go on walks, and thanks to where I live, I've got the sea on my doorstep. I like trees, and greenery, and fresh air, and happy people who smile at each other when they walk down the road. London has it's perks: I can't shop down here at all because Cornwall doesn't have an H&M or a Zara (ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME GUYS, WE NEED YOU), and I sometimes feel jealous that I miss out on a lot of the cool cultural stuff that goes on. I get invited to events by PRs for press regularly, and most of the time the invites are very last minute and I can't make it, so that's frustrating. But most of the time if there's something I want to go to, I hop on a plane or a train and head to the big city for a day or two! No biggie.
The internet has opened up so many doors to so many people all around the world. There's no longer a need for us to all cram into huge cities and survive of baked beans on toast because we can't afford our rent, or a need to breath in polluted air all day. We can work hard and be a part of the industries we love from the comfort of our homes!
What do you do? Do you ever feel pressure to move to a big city? I'd love to hear your thoughts!