You may have noticed things have been a bit quiet here on the blog lately.
That’s because – almost two years after putting my little flat on the market – we finally secured a successful sale. And on the 14 August I moved into my new home: a cosy circa 1910 2-bed semi-detached house with original period features and oodles of character.
Although I’ve never really been one for believing that, “whatever is meant to be, will be,” when I look back now it’s actually quite serendipitous how it all worked out in the end. The house I’m now living in is actually the first house I fell in love with shortly after the “for sale” sign went up outside my flat.
The initial sale of my flat fell through at the beginning of the year, shortly after we pulled out of a prospective purchase due to dubious survey results. And then, a few months later, it just so happened that the new owners of this place were thinking of selling at exactly the same time that we needed to find somewhere to buy.
Yes, it pays to stick a cheeky note through the door of the house you’ve had your heart set on since day one. And I shall be forever grateful to my mum for the suggestion!
But what does all this have to do with travel blogging?
#1 It’s actually not a joke when you hear people say that moving house is the third most stressful thing you’ll experience in your life – after divorce and bereavement.
Stress causes a lack of focus on everything but the root cause of that stress. Stress can be disruptive to sleep patterns and diet, and causes tiredness and apathy.
You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you?
I desperately wanted to write, because I knew it would help to alleviate the stress, but I struggled to find the motivation to actually do so.
Or, in fact, the time.
#2 Moving house is way more time consuming than you’ll ever imagine.
It’s not just a matter of simply packing up all your belongings and transporting them to your new home.
There are the countless phone calls and emails to estate agents, solicitors, vendors, utility companies and internet service providers (to name but a few!). There is the organisation of your belongings prior to packing them, in order to make it easier to find everything the other end. And then there is the fact that, once you realise how much “stuff” you actually own, you’ll want to sell everything you don’t need or no longer want, on Ebay, or donate it to the local charity shop.
When your property is on the market, you have to keep it clean and tidy at all times, in case of any viewings this estate agent may want to arrange at short notice (I left a spare key with the agent and instructed them to show people around whilst I was at work). This means that you’ll have to do a lot more housework than you would ordinarily do. Housework takes time.
There’s also all those hours I spent on Rightmove perusing potential properties and arranging viewings, on retailer’s websites pricing up kitchens, bathrooms, appliances, and furniture, and on money management apps attempting to calculate my expenditure and get my finances in order. Moving house is expensive!
#3 It took exactly three weeks to get my internet connection up and running in my new home.
A week prior to the move I didn’t have more than a few spare minutes each day to access the internet I did have. That’s four whole weeks without internet, which is a pretty big deal when you’re a travel blogger.
Initially I didn’t see the lack of internet at home as a huge problem. I figured I could write posts offline and spend my evenings becoming part of the furniture at my local coffee shop, editing photos and inserting them into my pre-written posts. Digital nomads manage it; why couldn’t I?
Unfortunately I hadn’t accounted for points #1 and #2 above, and the fact that the cafes in town (and therefore, the availability of free wifi) all close by 7pm, and I don’t get back from work until around 5:30pm. Even if I was keen and points one and two were not applicable, I would’ve had just an hour each day to get any work done.
Pubs were my other option, but I really didn’t feel comfortable sharing my work space with intoxicated individuals. Don’t get me wrong, I love the atmosphere of Shrewsbury’s traditional drinking haunts when I’m drinking, but not when I’m attempting to get any work done.
And so it was – albeit unintentionally – that I took a break from blogging for over a month this summer.
It was only after my long weekend in Luxembourg at the beginning of the month that I began to rekindle my passion for blogging once again. I loved Luxembourg so much that I couldn’t wait to start writing about it, and it was whilst I was in Luxembourg that I also felt inspired to write this post.
My house is still a long way off getting sorted – there is a growing list of repairs and maintenance work for Stu and I (ok, mainly Stu; I’m not great at DIY!) to undertake, an issue with the wardrobe not fitting up the stairs that still needs resolving, pictures that need hanging on the walls, and blinds/curtains that need ordering and fitting – but it’s slowly starting to feel like home.
The stress is ebbing away, I’ve got more time on my hands (even now that I’ve taken up running; my first 10K race is at the end of the month!), and I’ve got internet once again.
It feels good to finally be getting my life back on track 🙂
Have you ever taken an involuntary break from blogging? Tell me why in the comments below!
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