Hello and welcome to my first official blog post!
As I have mentioned on my Instagram account @homewiththejohnsons we have recently relocated from Cambridgeshire to the south coast. We are just coming up to 6 months into our adventure, so I thought I would answer a few questions which I have been asked and share a little about our exciting but somewhat emotionally testing journey.
Our family have been visiting Dorset since myself and my husband met 11 years ago. I myself had holidayed here as I child with my family, so naturally I had to introduce my happy place to my now husband. We would travel down once a year for a week’s camping or hotel stay depending on the time of year and it holds such fond memories for us all. It’s the place my eldest daughter took her first steps during one of our camping adventures, the place we got engaged and a place for us to escape to and relax, even at the most stressful of times.
Our most recent family holiday was here in August 2018, our house had been on the market for a few months, as we were looking to move from our newbuild first home to a renovation local to where we lived. It was day 1 of our holiday and as we sat on the sand at 9am with our breakfast watching the 3 kids make sandcastles my husband looked at me and said, “why don’t we just move here”. We had spoken about it a few times before but always talked ourselves out of it, thinking how we would make this work with schools, job, family and friends. It always just seemed like a dream, however this time we took it a bit more seriously. With a house not selling, regular viewings and the end of the 6 weeks summer holidays with 3 kids, I was more stressed than ever! Strangely the more I thought about the possibilities of a move to the south coast, the less stressed I became, I felt calm and relaxed and suddenly all of life’s how’s and what ifs no longer mattered.
As soon as we made the decision, it all spiralled, our house sold the weekend we returned home, meaning we had 2 weekends to travel an almost 4-hour journey down to Dorset to find a house. We came to view houses without much of an idea about areas. I had been visiting for almost 20 years and I knew where all the nice beaches, the best pubs and the best fish and chip shops were, but I didn’t have a clue about good schools, facilities and what areas were nice and family friendly to live. We viewed 6 houses on day 1 and the first 5 just didn’t feel right. We were going from the comfort of a newbuild in a tiny village, to looking for a total dump in a large town. As soon as we saw our house that day, we knew it was the one. It was a bigger project than we had planned, at the top end of our budget, but we knew we had to go for it. I applied for schools for the kids, Aaron began job hunting and we started planning the move. 11 weeks later we were in.
The logistics of relocating:
It was the 30th November. ‘what have we done’? Neither of us said it, as we opened the door on moving day and began unloading our belongings into the freezing cold house, but we have since confessed we both felt it! We moved everything in with my lovely parents staying the weekend and helping us clean and make it feel more homely. The house started to feel more like our own and we started to get excited about doing some DIY, so every time I went upstairs, I pulled some wallpaper off the walls in the mouldy bedroom. There was still a feeling of something being amiss over me.
Aaron hadn’t yet found a job locally, we needed him to be in employment to get the mortgage so he couldn’t job change just before an application. He would be travelling back to Cambridgeshire to stay with my parents and work locally while I settled the kids into our new life in Dorset. Luckily a few days after the move he got a call offering him a southern job that he had interviewed for just before we moved but still needed to work his notice. We had 4 weeks of him being away all week and it was the loneliest 4 weeks of my life, it was so daunting putting a satnav on not knowing where a local shop was, knowing I had no friends and absolutely no family less than 4 hours away. That phase soon came to an end and we really started feeling like we had made a great decision, we started working on the house and spending time exploring the area.
Life 6 months on:
So, we are 6 months in and at the start of our first summer in our favourite place in the world and I can honestly say it is the happiest we have all ever been. We use the beach at least once a week minimum, we cant wait to take the children swimming at the beach this summer and are making it our mission to teach all the children to swim in the sea. Teaching the kids to swim has become high in priority since moving to the coast. The children have settled into school so well, made wonderful new friends and Aaron loves his work and best of all I HARDLY EVER USE MY SAT NAV! The biggest challenge for myself was making friends, I have known all my friends for many years and leaving them was one of the hardest things about the whole move. I am bubbly and friendly on the outside but doubt myself and my relationships and always have…..a terrible over thinker. I have made some amazing friends in Dorset and am meeting new people as the weeks go on. We were not unhappy where we lived before, we had a lovely house, lovely friends and family local. I cant actually put into words why we moved away and why we did so when we did, but what I do know is sometimes in life you need to go with your heart and take on change in order to build the future that you want for yourself and your family. Aaron and I can’t wait to watch our children grow up in this beautiful part of the world and feel excited about our future.
So, to anyone in a similar position or worried about an impending relocation, if your wanting to break the mould………GO FOR IT!!!!!!