I’m from London. I’ve lived in cities and suburbs my whole life and the countryside is, well, a culture shock. Not just because the air is clean (oh my goodness I can actually breathe). Nor because of the sheep giving me my wake up call (6am they start baaing. So inconsiderate). The countryside is, quite simply, pleasant.
Having just spent a long weekend in the small village of Thorverton, Exeter, (let’s call it my writing retreat), I can confidently say that it’s a world away from city life. Spending the mornings looking out to hills while I write, listening to the wind in the trees and birds singing has been almost like a dream.
Being out in Devon, near nature and a slower pace of life, I’ve been able to come to potentially life-changing decisions without rushing into them. I was recently faced with two offers of employment (though one was unpaid) and while it seems like a no-brainer, the reality was that I had to decide between money or pursuing a life-long ambition of mine. And right now, being in the country, I decided that the ambition hasn’t changed, and it probably never will, but before I can undertake unpaid work I need to have some money squirrelled away to support myself. So the ambition is on hold, and I’ll come back to it in a year or so. But that doesn’t mean I’ve given up on it.
And so I’m here in this dream, but it’s one that I’m now ready to wake up from. Because while I love this village, the sights and country lanes, it can’t compare to the hustle and bustle of London streets. And now that I’ve made my employment decision, it’s time to get back to reality, away from the dream, and away from the country. But that change; it really made all the difference.
At this stage in my life, coming from quite a privileged point, I have decided to pursue practicality over my fantasy of becoming a writer. I might do it someday, and perhaps some day soon, but now is the time to put away money for my future; for the travelling and the puppy and the house I want to buy. I have big dreams, and I have lots of them, so choosing not to pursue one doesn’t mean I’ve given up on it, I just have higher priorities right now.