My name is Ruth E. Cockburn, and I am willing to relocate!
There are hundreds of blogs, probably thousands, telling us 'How to travel the world on a budget', or greatest 'Secret Get a Ways' or 'How to eat your way through Europe'. But what about Britain? We spend more time planning our holidays than we do picking our home town. The place that we grow up and live in can effect the person we are and the choices that we make in life. Where we live is important. However, we mostly end up places by default, because our family come from there, or it's close to work, or it's in the good school catchment area. But what if you had to choose for yourself? What if you could just live where ever you wanted?
I am in that position. I am thirty three, single, childless and work freelance where ever I want. I can live anywhere. So here's the challenge; Where will give me the best quality of life?
I'm lucky enough to have seen quite a lot of Britain. I love Britain. Wet, tired, cold, grey Britain. I think it's great. No really I do! I'm proud of Britain. Not in an angry Daily Mail way. In a 'God aren't we lucky, 'innit dead nice' way. I also love France, Germany, Iceland, Italy a whole host of places, but Britain in home.
I know people that have travelled round half of Spain and Italy and been on several cruises round the world but wouldn't travel down the M6 past Birmingham, or travel outside the M25.
I over heard a girl on the train whilst writing this saying 'Yeah, I think it's in Carlisle, that's Scotland isn't it?'
Another of my friends when I told her that I was going to Lancaster she said 'I can see the word but can't imagine it on a map. Is it near Bath? '
I must admit my own knowledge of our green and pleasant land is a little rusty. I can easily point on a globe to where Paris is but ask me to show you Derby and I fear I may let myself down.
My parents have always been rather nomadic. My dad has a look of a Gypsy about him. Never settling into a community or local friendship group, always happy to 'up sticks' and relocate. I spent much of my childhood looking around derelict three bed semis in numerous different towns trying to imagine what my Axl Rose posters would look like on these walls. (Don't judge me, it was the 90's.)
I often envy people that have lived, grown up and raised families all within a 20 mile radius. They have childhood friends, family and extended family all around, and yet, I would not change my life for the world. I love the freedom that this nomadic lifestyle affords me.
Saying this, I have started to wonder...
What am I looking for?
Where do I want to be?
What makes 'a place', a good place to be?
When given all the choice in the world, what choice do you make?
What makes us stay put?
These questions obviously stem from being in my 30's and not having a stable existence that, as a woman, I am meant to have or crave.
It is after all babies o' clock in my biological DNA. I'm still not entirely sold on the idea, but just in case I wake up one morning feeling completely bereft without a suckling child upon me, I'd better work through some issues.
So I have decided to work out where it is I want to be. Where will give me the best quality of life? And in true Monica Geller fashion I have a points system to figure it out.
Each town or city will be given a mark out of 100 to find the winner.
I will assess these places on...
3. Affordable housing and cost of living.
4. Public transport.
5. Night life.
6. Road network / access to motorway.
7. Phone signal / internet coverage.
9. Work opportunities.
10.Friends and family.
First up is Edinburgh. I like Edinburgh, it a beautiful city with culture history and the biggest arts festival in Europe. What's not to love?
It's close to family.
It's very close to family.
The rest I'll work out as I go along. If you think your town is worth a go please let me know. And if you can help along the way please contact me. I'll need work, a place to stay and tips on places of interest to visit.
Wish me luck!
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