I live in your stereotypical English cottage with a fireplace, steep stairs and an attic room that doesn't bother my short stature too much. Most days I wake up and kinda crawl (I could say jump ... but that would be lying) out of bed, chuck on my gym clothes and cycle to work. I make the trek to work on this bicycle I picked up from Halfords a few years back when we first moved to Kent. Though initially quite costly, and a little punch in my bank account guts, it has become my most trusted means of transport and by far the best investment I’ve made to date!
At first I didn’t quite like the bother of cycling (i.e. the getting into cycle appropriate gear, chucking my high visibility gear on, wearing a helmet, constant wedgies) ... but now I think that i’m so lucky and happy that I can just ride to work (minus the wedgies). I never get traffic, don’t have to worry about my carbon footprint and I am routinely gifted with all kinds of scenery depending on the season. The Spring delivers trees full of green and garden beds of flowers of every colour, Summer means blue skies and a sneaky tan session, the Fall brings a change in nature’s colour palette and the transitioning of trees to their bare Winter look. The Winter is bitterly cold and my nose has never known frozen until I’ve cycled in minus five degrees at five in the morning. And I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been caught out by a surprise rain shower and arrived at work looking like a drowned raccoon. And the amount of times I’ve reached work only to realise that I forgot socks. Or forgot my bra. Or worse, my lunch. But, despite all these things, cycling somehow clears my mind in preparation for the chaos of my twelve hour shifts and lets my legs stretch after driving countless miles around the country in an ambulance. When I’m not working, I’m either sleeping or travelling. That’s one of the main reasons I moved to England. Not to sleep (although the winter does make that so much easier) but to travel.
what I love about living abroad
MY LIFE &
Living so close to London has made it a million times easier for me to travel both around the UK and over to Europe than it would have been if I lived in Australia. Gatwick airport is a forty minute drive from my house and an hour by public transport. Stanstead is a little more of a trek but has the irresistible bonus of cheap flights to a lot of places. Once I scored £10 flights to Montenegro for my birthday ... and it’s crazy to think that I’d spend more on an Indian curry, rice and naan for dinner! There’s also Luton and Southend. These are smaller airports but still offer cheap flights to lots of places and easy enough to get via public transport from London. Feel free to check up on some of my travels here.
where i live
I live in a county called Kent – the Garden of England as its affectionately known as by the village dwellers. I live in what I’d describe as rural. We have one corner store that sells less than the essentials and doubles as a post office, a deli which closed down a few months ago and a food van that comes by on some days of the week. I wouldn’t know which days it does comes though because my brain is usually in all sorts. I feel like it might even change the days it does visit and set up shop just to confuse my braincells that little bit more. Though there are no big shops near where I live, the adjacent villages have a decent amount of places where you can find more than three isles of food, knick knacks for odd jobs and some restaurants with decent selections of foods and beer! And also, London is just a train ride away if I’m feeling that way inclined.
One of the best thing about living where I live is the walks. I still find it so amusing that 'public footpaths' here often (if not 90% of the time) incorporate some farmer's paddock or weaving your way through an apple orchard or some flower fields. I've wandered down a lot of these walks but continue to uncover places I have never been before when I am feeling a little curious. If you were to ask me the best thing about living where I do it would have to be the treasure chest of castles and National Trust gems we have right on our door step. Among my favourites would be Knole House, Sissinghurst Caste, Scotney Castle, Bodiam Castle, The White Cliffs of Dover, Chiddingstone Village, Dover Castle ... actually, I like them all! They're each filled with rustic charm and make for a perfect day out no matter the weather! I've done a little scribbling about each of them here if you're wanting to know more about these National Trust locations.