Why I Love Living Up North
One thing that you may or may not know about me is that I'm a proper northerner. I have lived in the north for my entire life. I spent the first 18 years nestled in between Liverpool and Manchester, and all of my adult growing up has been done on the other side of the Pennines here in Leeds. If life was Game of Thrones then I would 100% be a Stark and hang out at Winterfell. I feel like sometimes the north can get a bit of a bad rep, but I am passionate when I say that I absolutely love living up here, and today I wanted to write about why.
I've had the opportunity to move south to London numerous times. I interviewed for graduate jobs there when I was fresh out of uni and trying to decide what direction to take my career in. I've been contacted by recruitment consultants quite a few times about roles with companies based there. And I currently work for a business with a gigantic head office in West London, meaning I have a network of mentors, contacts and opportunities at my disposal should I ever fancy a move to the capital.
And yet, nothing has ever really made me want to move down south. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE London. I spend at least one day every fortnight there for work and plenty of leisure time too. I love the hustle and bustle, I love the iconic landmarks, I love how convenient the tube is. I love the world class restaurants and the trendy bars and the huge variety of things to do. And I'm sure that if I was to move to London I would really love the whole lifestyle that living in a capital city offers.
But I've just never had that longing for London that so many other people have.
And I think that's because I just really love living up north. I love that we were able to buy a 3 bedroom house with a garden here for less than £150k. Having a huge kitchen that is filled with loads of light makes me happy, as does being able to have a dedicated blogging/music room where we both feel more inspired and creative. I like that we have a functioning spare bedroom for when people come to stay and I love that I have enough space to house my impressive shoe collection.
I feel lucky that I get to work in the city centre and reside in a sleepy little countryside village, and that it only takes me 20 minutes on the bus (or a £10 taxi ride) to commute between the two. I get a real buzz out of working in the city, I enjoy the lunchtime shopping opportunities and the after work drinks, but I can't tell you how nice it is to live somewhere with gorgeous walks and country pubs right on our doorstep. It's ace to not have to compromise between the two.
I love that we can be in another major city, like Manchester or Sheffield, in less than an hour. Or that we can hop in the car on a Sunday morning and have a wealth of pretty countryside towns, like Ilkley and Skipton, on our doorstep. I really really love that all of my family are up here, and that all it takes is a little drive across the M62 to be back in the land of scouse accents (and my Dad's cooking, of course). And talking about food, I like that no one will ever judge me for asking for extra gravy (yep, I really am that much of a northern stereotype).
I like that we have a decent chunk of disposable income leftover after paying for the dull stuff like the mortgage and petrol and bills. I love that there are always new bars and restaurants and events popping up to help us spend that disposable income in a super fun way.
And most of all, I really love the people. I like that my bus driver always gives me a big smile and that the family who run our corner shop always ask me how my day has been. I like that it's impossible to pop down to the pub without getting chatting to someone, and how we always seem to bump into someone we know when we're running errands in town. It might sound cliched, but it really is friendlier up here.
I love living up north so much. I would never say never to moving anywhere, but I know I'd be hard pushed to find anywhere that feels more like home.