Hello lovely RMS community, I’m Fern – some of you may know me from Rock My Wedding. Given all of the wonderful comments on Lauren’s Moving In post, team Rock My Style asked if I’d share my experience of moving to a new place with you all.
Last year, Matt and I moved to Cornwall. This came as quite a shock to lots of our family and friends who thought we were crazy. I think they were secretly hoping that we would be moving closer to them, not further away. Most people assumed the move was for work, but I’m ashamed (read proud) to say that it was completely and utterly a lifestyle decision. We knew that we wanted to live in a place where we would be able to bring up a family, where Matt could surf and where we could walk to the beach within minutes.
We also knew that if we were going to make the move – this was the time to do it. No dependents, Matt was between work so we weren’t tied to any particular place and the price of property was still reasonable. So we jumped in with both feet, buying immediately rather than renting (against the advice of almost everyone…) And here we are!
But moving to a place where you don’t know a soul, apart from each other, is tough. I have three younger sisters and have always had a small, close knit group of female friends around me. I’ve never really realised how important those relationships are to my sanity until now. Sometimes when I think about my sisters, I’m overwhelmed with a sense of loneliness and isolation. To begin with, this was worsened by the fact that I felt unbelievably guilty for feeling that way – I’m living with the love of my life, a stone’s throw from the beach – what more could I ask for?! But we both had to accept that it’s ok to need relationships in your life apart from each other – in fact, it’s really much more healthy.
On choosing where to live and what sort of property to live in, we looked at many options. While a cottage in the middle of nowhere would have been idyllic – I think it would have pushed me over the edge. I can drive, but don’t have access to a car, so it would have meant that Matt would have had to ferry me everywhere. We ended up buying an apartment, this meant immediate friends, as luckily two other young couples also live in our building, with whom we get on really well. It also meant that I could walk to everywhere I would need to, without asking Matt for a lift.
But it wasn’t enough to rely on our neighbours and the friends they’d already made. I knew if I was going to settle here I would need to start making an effort. Working from home would mean that I wouldn’t be immediately surrounded by potential work friends – so I had to get creative. I’ve lost count of the amount of random wedding related networking events I’ve attended now, but it worked. Lots of the people I’ve met have been amazingly welcoming and it has made me really grateful to work in an industry where people are, on the whole, nice!
Attending exercise classes has also been a great way to meet people. Just getting out of the house and having that social interaction has been essential. Classes are so cheap down here – I don’t feel guilty for attending several a week as it’s still far cheaper than a gym membership. And much less solitary.
In April we got a puppy. This has been AMAZING for making friends. Our vets surgery held ‘puppy parties’ for the little rascals (soooo cute). And I regularly see one of the girls I met there. We let our dogs run riot on the beach while we chat and eat ice cream or drink coffee. For me, having a dog around when Matt has to go away for work, or even when he’s just in the sea for too long, has meant that I have a little companion who is always up for fun and cuddles.
We’ve lived here for just over a year now – and I am beginning to feel ‘at home.’ I do have moments where I wish I could just jump in the car and have dinner at my Mum and Dad’s, or go out for drinks with my school friends. But when I’m away from here, I really miss it…
I mentioned at the start of this post that one of our reasons for moving was to live in a place where we could start a family and I’m so excited to say that we are expecting a little baby in January. Yes, it terrifies me that my Mum and Mother-in-law aren’t around the corner for support, but if there was ever a sign that Matt and I made the right decision in moving to Cornwall – I think the baby is it.
Have any of you moved away from friends and family? Have you ever experienced loneliness as an adult? What is your experience of making new friends when you’re older? Sometimes I’m desperate not to appear desperate if that makes sense!