Friday, 9 May 2014

A year ago today

May is a big celebration month for me with lots of anniversaries to look forward to and today is the first.

A year ago today I packed up my life in London and relocated to Newcastle.  I honestly can't believe it's been a year already, time really does fly.

Before meeting Simon I had never been to Newcastle before and I had the completely wrong idea about what it would be like.   I'm so ashamed to admit that I thought it would be miserable, wet and freezing cold with absolutely nothing going on.  Instead I found a city that was so alive.  I fell in love immediately - with the people, the gorgeous architecture, the restaurants and bars, the Quayside with its iconic bridges, and the easy access to the beautiful coast and countryside.  I'm not sure that I have ever connected to a city in the same way that I did with Newcastle.  Very quickly I could see myself living up here.  



In the early stages of our long distance relationship Simon and I had decided that if either of us was ever going to make the move that Simon would come down South to me.  I couldn't see myself wanting to leave London for anyone or anything.    

I think by my second or third visit to the North East I was smitten and it wasn't too long after that I announced to Simon that I was not only in love with him but was also in love with Newcastle and was thinking about relocating.  I'm not sure he quite believed me to start with!



It feels like only yesterday that I packed up my room in my house share in Wimbledon.  It was a bit of an odd morning.  My housemates were both out so my last morning in London I woke to an empty house. 

The removal men turned up early, I knew the journey would take them hours so wanted to get my things up to the North as soon as possible.   The plan was that the removal men would take all of my boxes and the few bits of bedroom furniture that I had and I would then finish cleaning the house before hauling my suitcase across London to catch my train to Newcastle.  

Unfortunately in the chaos that followed I somehow managed to give my suitcase to the removal men, only to realise a short while after they had left that they were driving up to Newcastle with my train ticket.  Not the best start to my move!

So I trundled off to the station to buy myself a new £120 ticket to Newcastle. It was kind of odd buying a single ticket, knowing that I wouldn't be coming back.  I confess that as the train pulled out of Kings Cross Station there were a few tears.  When making a huge lifestyle change you can't help but worry if you've made the right decision.  I loved my 5 years in London and suddenly I was leaving everything I knew behind - a well paid job that I enjoyed, brilliant friends and a city that I had called my home for so long.

A 3 hour train journey is quite a long one to make when you're off on a life changing adventure.   I had a lot of time to reminisce and think and spent most of the journey swaying between being nervous, happy, worried and excited.  Moving in with your boyfriend of a year is a pretty big decision in itself without adding a city change to the equation.



Any worries I had soon vanished when I stepped off the train at Central Station, knowing that I could now officially call Newcastle my home.  I jumped on the Metro and raced to our new flat to see Simon.   I can't even describe how amazing it was walking through the door that first time to see him standing in our flat knowing that we'd no longer have to go weeks without seeing each other and that I would no longer be leaving Newcastle in tears on a Sunday night after having to say goodbye to him.

And there began a brand new chapter to my life.   Some parts of my new life have been very hard to adapt to and I'm not going to claim that it's all been easy - sometimes I miss my old life terribly, but I've never for one second regretted my decision. 

My first year in Newcastle has been amazing and I feel so fiercely proud to live in such an amazing city.   I have a feeling that 2014 is going to be a huge year for me, my man and my city ... watch this space!

52 comments:

  1. What a brilliant post! Such a brave decision, one that seems to have paid off immensely :) xx

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    1. Thank you :) It's funny, I didn't feel too brave and took the whole thing in my stride until moving day when I was sat on the train and had a few WTF am I doing moments :D

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  2. I came up 13 years ago for Uni and fell in love with the city, then I fell in love with a boy and we've been here together ever since. Newcastle has changed so much since I arrived, something is always happening and it's such a fun city. I love it here, but I think I started taking it for granted, recently though I've become more interested in what is going on and in part that is due to following your blog, so thank you for making the city come alive again for me! Here's to the Toon, and here's to you! Happy anniversary! x

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    1. Awwwwwwwwwww thank you for such a lovely comment :) I think it's so easy to take where you live for granted, you become so used to where you are you start to walk around with your eyes half shut x

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  3. I cannot quite believe it but what a great decision in the long run!! I must say, all I'd heard until I came across your blog was how great (or how crazy) it is for nightlife. I literally just saw it as a dodgy party city that didn't really have much beauty to it. But your blog is brilliant because it has been showing me and I'm sure many others that there is a heck of a lot more to it than the nightlife!

    So glad it all worked out well for you, and how brilliant that you adored the city just as much as you adored the man living there!

    Imogen // imogenscribbles.blogspot.com

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    1. That's exactly how I saw Newcastle, full of mad, loud drunkards being sick in the street ... I blame Geordie Shore! We do get a lot of stag and hens here over the weekends but there's so much more to the city than the clubs, we have loads of gorgeous bars here as well which are really lovely. It's opened my eyes, never judge a book by its cover :)

      x

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  4. Great Post. Great things happen to great people.

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    1. What a lovely thing to say, thanks Paul :) and thank you for being so welcoming to me, as I said to you last time we met, the friendship of the local bloggers has made settling into my new home so much easier :)

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  5. Awww this post is lovely! People always say that the best times of your life are yet to happen when you've made a big lifestyle change and you're living proof its true!

    Thank you for helping to change people's perceptions about our city too, a lot of Southerners think we're a dull grey old spit of land somewhere up North who still have toilets outside haha.

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    1. It's my mission to spread the word ... the North East is the best part of the country :D

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  6. Awww!! So glad it's all worked out so well for you. Both of you! :D xx

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  7. Ahhhh this actually made me cry. What a beautiful story xxx

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    1. I had a few teary moments writing it ... what a bunch of saps we are :)

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  8. Congratulations on making that big step one year ago; it's really paid off for you!

    I hope this year is even better!

    Caroline x
    www.cocktailsandcaroline.com

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    1. Thank you .. our next mission is to buy a house and make the North East our permanent home :D

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  9. I actually teared up reading this a little! I can't wait to do something like this and just up and move away but I think I'd be too scared. haha.
    Kloe xx
    skullsnkisses.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Don't be daft ... I lived in Norfolk with my parents for 27 years before I decided to make a change and move to London ... I never ever thought I'd do that but I did and now it's lead me to Newcastle! You never know when a change might come x

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  10. Why am I crying?! haha This is lovely. It's so amazing to see someone talk so highly of Newcastle and makes me feel ashamed for not enjoying living here more.
    Congratulations for a year ago - being so brave.
    xo

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    1. Awwwwwwwww, I cried whilst writing this and had a few tears at some of the comments too :D x

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  11. Awww this is such a lovely post, such a brave decision and I'm so glad everything worked out for you! I moved up here straight after uni with work, and wasn't intending to stay very long - 7 years later I'm still here and I love it! x

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  12. I know what you mean about that journey to a new place, time really does slow down and you catch yourself double thinking everything! So glad you love Newcastle, I actually imagined it being the place i'd settle down in and live for a rather long time, funny how life changes!

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    1. It really does, you never know where you might end up!

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  13. amazing! i love your shots! and i wish you all the best in life <3

    xoxo,
    rae
    http://www.raellarina.net/

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  14. I made the big 332 mile move from Surrey to Northumberland at the end of September. I'd been in a 3 year long distance relationship. I know the tears on a Sunday night on a packed train well, when all you can think about is the 2/3 weeks that stand between you and seeing your boyfriend again. Never imagined leaving everyone and everything behind but i fell in love with the north of the country. I've had loads of stick, and my boyfriend is always getting sarcastic 'northern monkey' comments, but i love reading your posts, it makes me fall for Newcastle even more. And it's nice to know i'm not the only one that's made this same crazy big change and loved every second of it :) xx.

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    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment!

      Wow 3 years! That's huge! We were only apart for 1 year, but it was so difficult ... it was very frustrating and I felt like I spent a lot of my life crying at Kings Cross or Central Station. Skype became the most annoying thing in the world, trying to have a conversation with someone over the internet when the connection keeps cutting out .... GRRR!

      I do get a few people asking me "why would you leave London for Newcastle?" and looking at me like I'm mad ... but they're missing out! The North East is just the most amazing place to live :D

      I'm so glad you made the change too ... let's keep it our little secret eh? Or before we know it everyone will be wanting to live up here :D

      x

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  15. A really lovely post. Long distance love is really hard. I recall those Sunday night train journeys or early Monday morning at some unearthly time because you can't bare to be parted. But when you know you have met the right person you just know. You would move heaven and hell to be together. We did the reverse Nottingham to london and have never looked back. You have some great adventures ahead and here's to many more x

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    1. I think Long Distance makes you so strong and committed from the word go, plus we're in our second year together but because we had the first year apart so much it still feels like honeymoon period :D

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  16. this is such a great and uplifting post! it was a leap of faith that paid off - the best feeling ever. i know a girl who lives and works in Newcastle, and from what she's told me it sounds like a great place, and somewhere that you can get a better quality of life for your money than London (not surprisingly).

    also as a sidenote - i lived in Wimbledon for years and years!! how funny x

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    1. That's such a coincidence! We might have walked past each other in Morrisons :D

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  17. I have never been to Newcastle but its one place I would love to visit. It looks such a lovely place to live x

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    1. Make sure you add it to your list of places to visit :D

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  18. I live in Newcastle and when I visited my sister downsouth it was such a shock that you would barely get a smile from a stranger... And there was me running over to a car with a tiny puppy peaking out the window because it was adorable. I love that we are able to do that up here I felt rather intimidated when nobody seemed to even acknowledge you. New follower loved the post :) really uplifting

    www.sophalou.blogspot.co.uk

    Sophie xx

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    1. Awww thank you .. and welcome :) I do love finding other North East bloggers!

      One of the first times Simon came down to London to visit me, he chased a guy who'd got off the tube to return his little girls glove that she'd dropped, he looked so so confused that someone was kind enough to make the effort to return it! And that's sad :( I loved my time in London but it definitely was a bubble, not like real life at all - I missed seeing happy friendly people! x

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  19. So happy to find your blog! I lived in Wimbledon with my husband, who is from Newcastle! We are in the US now (I am from here) but we are heading back to Newcastle in a couple of weeks for our annual visit, love reading some great ideas on where to visit!

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    1. That is such an amazing coincidence, I love it! Make sure you let me know where you visit when you're in Newcastle! x

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  20. Aw I love your moving story :) so glad you decided to come up North! :) xx

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    1. Me too :D I plan to stay here FOREVERRRRRR!

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  21. Aww lovely post. I love reading your blog, I lived in Newcastle as a student but work brought me down south. I miss the city but try and visit when I can. Maybe one day I can convince the hubby to move up north!

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    1. Thank you :D

      I'd say pick a really lovely sunny Sunday, have a nice stroll along the Quayside through the Market, then a few drinks at the P&P by the Tyne ... surely that'll convince him to move? x

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  22. Hello! Just discovered your blog and im loving it! I just relocated to the North East from the South almost 3 months ago and also loving it! :)

    Lou
    whiskyandpancakes.weebly.com

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    1. Lovely :) I love hearing other people's stories of how they relocated to the North East! Looking forward to reading about your North East adventures on your blog :D

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  23. Such a lovely post. Many of my friends live in London and I visit there at least once a year, usually more. In my 20s I always thought I might move down there but I honestly love the north east too much and there is no way I could ever get my husband to move down south! Newcastle is a great city and I love how close to the country side we are wnd how friendly everyone is. Also you have to love north east house prices!! I did a long distance relationship for a year after uni and I found it so hard but it wasn't meant to be. X

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    1. I do wish I was looking at North East house prices with my London salary though :p I could have bought a mansion! Really hoping we can find ourselves a good bargain when the time comes.

      x

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  24. Such an amazing story. My husband made the move from Cambridge to Carlisle a few years ago and we've never looked back. Funnily enough Newcastle is one of our favourite places to visit. Our next move might be in a more north easterly direction!

    pierrelecat

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    1. That's a huge move as well ... I love Cambridge, it's not a million miles away from Norwich where I grew up. I keep meaning to visit Carlisle, I've not been for years so I might go on a train adventure!

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  25. This. This is why you're brave and awesome!
    So glad the decision proved a good one, you do look blissfully happy in all your bloggy endeavours!
    M x Life Outside London

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    1. Thank you :) I am quite annoyingly happy most of the time!

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  26. Fantastic! I love your story, it's so romantic and your posts make me fall in love with the North East all over again. I lived in Northumberland for 7 years and every time you post I feel so nostalgic! I'm not far away so I'm keeping a list of all the wonderful places you've visited that I fancy and I'm going to start ticking them off soon!

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  27. Thank you :D I'm the same with Cumbria, it's so so close (and my Aunt and Uncle live there!) so I need to get over for a visit, my only problem at the moment is no car :(

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