This is a good question.
Right now as the sun shines and I’m sitting in a snug, warm and rather lovely room on a Saturday morning looking out at some nature, it’s rather easy to answer. When it’s January, we’re all cold and damp and haven’t seen the sun for several months, the answer might be slightly less close to hand.
But – here’s the backdrop, and a few answers which might give a bit of context.
1. Because we fancied an adventure
For a while now, Rach and I have been pondering doing something ridiculous. What we’re doing now might seem odd, but it ain’t nothing compared to what we started off talking about which was moving to Shetland or The Orkneys or even further afield. We’ve neither of us ever done the travelling thing – so this is, I guess, scratching an itch.
2. Because we can
We’ve been running our web business for just over a year now. Quite apart from busting our balls and finding ourselves in a position where we have two or three biggish, lovely clients, the fact we run our own thing – and the nature of that thing – means we can (in theory, more later) do it from anywhere.
Also – and this only became clear when we started looking hard at the possibility of moving here – two or three things dropped into place which helped the decision along. For example: the local school (a brilliant, superbly performing local school) found two places for our boys; we located an office in Bude which we could take on on a part time basis and also found a tenant for our house in Bath. Neither of us is a believer in fate, but certainly it all felt like a bit of a “planets aligning” moment and this all helped get us here.
3. Because we need to do the place up
We have the extraordinary fortune of owning a second home – a holiday home which was built in the 20’s and has been in the family since the 50’s. I inherited it from my grandfather (my father died when I was a week old, and I’m the eldest grandson, so that kind of explains the sequence) maybe 5 years ago. It’s a totally beautiful, completely original place – much more on this later – but it needs some work so we can spend more time here and rent it out more in the summer. We’ve found over the last few years that it’s been difficult to do this from a distance so figured a year-long blitz would be a good plan.
4. Because, clearly, I’m having a mid-life crisis
For me, this is the biggie. The practical reasons above are deeply important and they’re what I tell to people who ask. To my friends however, #4 is the deeper story. Joking aside, this isn’t – as I discussed with someone recently – a “midlife crisis”. A “crisis” feels to me like a panic moment of HarleyDavidson buying, a sudden interest in Hornby 00, or the taking on of an 18 y/o mistress. Instead, this is maybe a “mid-life reassessment”. This journey is a need to take stock, try a different, simpler life, reconnect a bit with my surroundings and try and do a little bit less. I’ve absolutely loved everything I’ve done over the past few years – BathCamp, the Digital Festival, writing a book, setting up a business – and, as Rach will tell you, I’m never ever going to be a person who just stops doing that shit. I’m not good at relaxing, to be honest. But – I’m practicing doing a little bit less and trying to understand a bit more about what life is all about.
So that’s the beginning of the story.