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Living in the City and in the Country

When we decided to end up living in the UK, I had no idea where abouts we should live as well as how we should live, whether in an apartment as we did in Qatar or in a town house within the city area or a country cottage in a village.

I think of my self as a city girl and I am a not home-body person, I don’t like doing chores as well as cooking and I am too scared of insects around the garden.  As of my husband, he clearly said that he doesn’t really like DIY (Do It Yourself) as well as gardening.

Option of living in the city: in an apartment in the middle of the city or in a long boat (especially for Bristol).

Options of living in the city: in an apartment in the middle of the city or in a long boat (especially in Bristol).

Those sentiments sum up who we really are; we are both city people and apartment users. Thus we decided to buy apartment before we arrived in the UK for our base once we retired and ready to travel. An apartment would be easier to look after, no DIY required as well as no garden to look after.

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City living: everything is between close to each other

***

“Living in the country is hardwork… I have been there and done that,  especially if you don’t like DIY and gardening and doing chores….”

However, my image of UK of big cities, fast moving and modern changed since our visit in 2014. Then, we stayed in B&B facilities of a pretty barn conversion/cottage somewhere  in Wiltshire (my post about my stay is here). It’s the idea of living in a cottage in the English Countryside which sounds very romantic to me.  Living in a village doesn’t mean disconnected from civilization as people still manage to set up all modern services (internet/satellite TV etc) as much as in the city.

“It’s hard work Nina, I have been there…. believe me,” that was Keith’ comment when I suggested the idea of us living in a house/cottage in the country.

Yes, he might have “been there, and done that”, but to me, living in the UK is a new experience as much as living in the country. So to me as I said previously it’s about a new experience, and it doesn’t make any difference whether it’s in the city or in the countryside, it’s all a very new experience anyway.

Yes, I have to agree that I haven’t got the experience of living in a village, but I know that it would be a different lifestyle to living in the city.  In a city, you can go anywhere without a car, not only shops and pubs which are within walking distance but also the fact that public transportation is very easy, convenient and readily available.  Living in the country side, one needs a car to go anywhere as a corner shop may not be around the corner….

“… and not only that; in winter, the country cottage will be a few degrees colder than a city apartment, where the heating from the surrounding apartment helps.  In the country the house needs to fully create its own heat”, which is the valid argument from Keith, which I totally understand and agree with, especially in winter. But being a person who likes to experience new things, I would say I will adjust and manage wherever I may live.

“Maybe we need to try living in a country cottage for a couple of weeks, just for you to experience it….”, was Keith’s suggestion to give me insight of living in the country.

***

Before long the opportunity to live in the country came along, a friend was going for an overseas holiday and wanted us to house sit their cottage in Crow Hill, near to Ross on Wye, which is close to the border of England and Wales.  Without thinking I said YES to their offer of house-sitting and looking after their animals for three weeks, will I enjoy it? I guess I wouldn’t know until I’d been there myself.

Romanticising living in the English country side with big open space

Romanticising living in the English country side with big open spaces

Yes, I agree that we needed a car to get us everywhere rather ‘civilised’, and yes we needed to be more efficient on organising our daily life, such as stocking up daily supplies, more domesticated instead of eating out and most of all, we could have hobbies (such as gardening/farming, looking after your pets/animals etc) instead of clubbing and pubbing in the city. It all depends of what one really like…

Plants as part of living in the coutnry

Plants as part of living in the country

Next: My experience of English Country Living

Filed under: eJournal, Living

About the Author

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I used to live as an expat and travel around the Middle East. After 10 years working in the Arabian Gulf I am now retired and living in the UK with my British husband but still retain my interests of further travels and exploring new horizons in Europe.

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