My apartment was empty, all my belongings were packed and I could lock the front door. Yes, my life in the city was coming to an end. The long-envisioned moment had finally arrived.
Moving to the city
Seven years ago, when I signed the lease, I never intended to live here long. Two years I could manage, but any longer? After all I had just began my working life. I’d started my first real job and moved to the city to live closer to work. This apartment was just a temporary stop. Once I figured out what I wanted to do in life, I would move to some-place else. Yep, I was really youthful and optimistic in those years, a firm believer in the-world-is-your-oyster cliché.
Life however, had other plans. Just when I made the decision involving new career goals, I just had to walk into a bicycle. And well, we all know how that turned out. No more lofty career goals for me. Suddenly my life revolved around learning to live with a brain injury. One of the many things that changed, was the need to move. The thought of moving alone was already exhausting, so I stayed in my tiny apartment in the city. It was far from perfect, especially due to my new sensitivity to lights and sounds, but it was my place. A place to get away from everything.
The major downside of the city
Fast forward to this week. Next week it will be five years since I walked into that cyclist. And all this time, I’ve lived in that tiny apartment. (Though the size turned out to be perfect, as a smaller house meant less chores. :)) But the dreams of moving came back. Especially when the outside noise became too loud. It’s simply never truly quiet in a city. The sound of traffic, of sirens, of people in the street, it always goes on, day and night. Whenever I couldn’t find the quiet that I longed for, I dreamed about living some-place else.
Yet city life isn’t all bad, far from it. Now that I’m actually leaving, I know that I’ll really miss certain things. As city life definitely has some upsides.
The perks of the city
The biggest perk being the public transport. No matter where I was, I was always a short stroll away from a bus or tram stop. On those days were walking or cycling just wasn’t an option, this enabled me to go places. This really made my life a whole lot easier. Sometimes it was just the idea itself that comforted me. Knowing that I didn’t need to walk or cycle and still could get home. I have no idea how I’ll manage when I live somewhere were public transport is less available. But that’s something to discover this summer.
Another thing I’m sure going to miss are the opening hours of stores. Now I don’t have to best of relation with stores. But to good thing of the city is that stores, especially the supermarkets, are almost always open. You don’t have to take shopping hours into account, only the hours in which the entire neighbourhood seems to do their shopping. Also the sheer amount of supermarkets means that you never have to go far to get your groceries. This made life a lot more convenient.
But, the thing that I’m going to miss the most is the beach. Now I’ll admit that I had the fortune of living in a city borders the North Sea. This meant that the beach was just a short bike ride away. Once at the beach all my worries and obligations would fade away. The wide open space, the sound of the waves and smell of the ocean, it always felt like an escape of the city and daily life.
Still these upsides weren’t enough to cancel out the downsides. All in all, I think that leaving the city will prove to be a smart decision.
How things can change over time. Seven years ago I couldn’t wait to live in the city. To be in the midst of all the hustle and bustle. And now, I just look forward to peace, quiet and nature.
I can’t wait to see what the future will bring, to be continued!
How about you, do you live in a city? What are the greatest up- and downsides of where you live?