First up, thanks so much for all your wonderful feedback in last Tuesday’s blogpost. It seems we’re all on the same wave length with what we like and don’t like about blogs and meganellaby.com in particular so I’m thrilled to bits, meganellaby.com 4.0 will be coming very very soon! I can’t believe this is my 4th tweak to this little space, time really does fly! From blogspot and a very questionable blog name (hands up who was here back then!?), to pagesbymegan and finally a move over to WordPress and to meganellaby.com, I’m excited for a new chapter and to really have some fun with this space from here on out.
Changes have happened all over the show lately and I’m really enjoying it. It’s been just over a year since we moved out of the city centre and away from our drop dead gorgeous Northern Quarter apartment. If you weren’t here back then let me describe it for you; a renovated old mill in the centre of the “cool” part of town with bare brick, steel beams, a walk in wardrobe and furnished to perfection by the landlord with reclaimed wood EVERYTHING! It was the dreamiest first home for George and I and we made a heck load of memories for the two years we were there. Moving to that flat was a big move for both of us, we both decided to give up on London to be closer to our families and for a slightly slower pace of life (oh how wrong we were!) I left my job as a stylist at ASOS to pursue my blog full time and it was a pretty scary leap of faith we both took.
That being said, it felt like the right move as soon as we were in our dreamy little city centre flat, everything began to fall into place, I had time to focus fully on my blog, I started my YouTube channel, something I’d wanted to do for years previous and George and his family opened the doors to the very successful bar and music venue Jimmy’s. We have a lot to thank 23 and 25 year old Megan and George for, they were quite the risk takers and thankfully we can both safely say that those risks paid off.
It was a big decision for us both to give up life in London but when we really discussed it, family was more important than anything a career in London could give us. I’ve discussed the whole North vs South debate in a blogpost before and having just read over it again I still completely agree with everything I said! If you fancy checking it out and basically hearing the pro’s of moving up North and pursuing a creative career then simply click here.
But now, a year on since having moved to the suburbs of Manchester from a renovated, industrial and super cool city centre apartment to a Victorian terrace house I wanted to be slightly more specific and discuss the pro’s and con’s of moving to the suburbs from a bustling city centre, ‘cause let me tell you, it is quite the adjustment. I thought now was the perfect time to do this as I feel a lot of people my age are moving from city centre’s around the country and opting for quieter suburban life. And if that’s not quite the case for you, I know a lot of you live in smaller towns and suburbs so I hope you can relate to both the pro’s and the con’s of this kind of living.
I’ve quickly scrawled a list of pro’s and con’s for living in the suburbs down on paper and thankfully the pro’s completely outweigh the con’s so thats reassuring hey!? But let me get cracking in further detail.
So first up we have the whole space factor. Naturally when you move your life from a one-bedroom flat to a 4 bedroom house you’re going to have a lot more space for both living and for all the crap you accumulate throughout life. This is a HUGE one for both of us as we’d manage to collate a rather ridiculous amount of clothes, furniture, vinyls, books and decorative items in the two years that we were in the flat- A flat that seemed massive at first but we quickly filled out.
And of course after over a year of being in our house, we’ve certainly filled it up and turned it from a house and into our home but it’s naturally more spaced out as we have many more rooms. I remember when we first moved into this place, it was really surreal and we both wandered around the house expressing “I can’t believe this is ours” and “How on earth are we going to fill it” and low and behold it is now filled, almost to the brim, but with regular clear outs and seasonal change ups it’s still a space we are growing in to and that is the biggest pro of all.
We’re not sure whether this will be a house for life but we’ve bloody enjoyed growing into it over the last year.
Whilst I love the hustle and bustle of city life there really is nothing quite like escaping the centre after a busy day of work and returning to the peace and quiet of the suburbs. Now don’t get me wrong we don’t live in the countryside, in fact it’s just a 20 minute drive from the centre of Manchester but the difference I feel is always so peaceful. We have a park on our doorstep which is totally dreamy and we live on a really quiet street so it’s great for rebalancing, for clearing my mind and escaping the craziness of the city.
Living just a short drive away from Manchester is great as it means we can pop in and out of the centre as often as we like but it has taken some adjusting for the both of us I must say.
We lived in the centre before, surrounded by our favourite cafe’s and bars (directly behind Jimmy’s might I add) and just a 5 minute walk from all the best shops and to the train station at Piccadilly. So now when I want to pop into town it’s less of a pop and more of a strategic plan.
Whether it’s avoiding rush hour (absolute nightmare and HUGE con of working in the city and living in the suburbs but such is life!), timings for transport such as booking taxi’s or getting Manchester’s tram service with enough time to make my train to London, it’s all a bit more of a blag as it has to be considered and timed to perfection. It’s not a huge issue and now I’m totally used to it but at first it was really tricky.
When I first moved into this house I felt completely out of the loop. In fact the blogpost that went out a year ago to this day and the one before it explains how I was feeling exactly that, completely and utterly out of the loop. One of my lovely readers, Hannah, mentioned how she felt the same when she left Manchester for the suburbs and it filled me with ease. She spoke about how she challenged herself to make the effort to get back into the centre to socialise and to just wander about town on her lunch break in order to reconnect with the city and all that was a part of it. This little nugget of wisdom really helped me to find my groove again amidst the dreariness that is January and moving into a new place. So yeah, I guess you could say that feeling disconnected and out of the loop with your former life is a con of moving to the suburbs but now I’m on the other side, I see it as more of a pro. I’m now excited to get into the city, to submerge myself with the culture of Manchester, observe the street style, try out the latest brunch joint and grab a beer with friends after work. It’s forced me to make more of an effort with myself and I know that when I’m feeling a bit low, popping into town for an hour or so or even for a full days work is a surefire way to make me feel myself again.
And finally we have the huge pro of renovating a property. I’ve absolutely adored doing up our first house with George, it’s been so much fun to create a home that is completely ours from top-to-toe and that in itself is worth every low point and any FOMO of the life we used to lead in the centre of town. I’ve discovered a huge passion for interior design, something that has always been there bubbling on the surface but now has become a key part of my life and something I’d really like to explore further in the future. Whilst I miss the original features of our city centre flat such as the bare brick and the beams, they’ve been replaced with other original features such as coving, tiles and woodwork, it’s just a different kind of original.
All in all moving to the suburbs in your mid-twenties isn’t quite as scary as I first thought it would be. It took some adjusting and before that some persuading by George as I simply didn’t feel ready to give up city living, but one year on I can’t imagine life being any other way. I adore our house, the town we live in, the passion I’ve developed for interior design and of course we have our puppies Peter and Nancy two MASSIVE pro’s of moving to the suburbs and owning your own property. I hope this has been useful to some of you and that when the time comes to growing up and moving somewhere leafy, it doesn’t feel half as scary as you thought it would.
And if you still weren't convinced, since writing this last week, strangely Liv Purvis has wrote a beautiful piece all about growing up and living in the suburbs so do check that out too.
Lets chat about it in the comments, do you agree with everything I’ve listed? Where are you at in the whole city vs suburbs debate? Or perhaps you have some strong thoughts about the whole North vs South thang, I’m keen to hear it all.
I’m also really interested in learning about what kind of interiors and home-life blogposts you’d be interested in reading so if you have any ideas, please do leave them below.