‘I Swapped London For A Seaside Town I Barely Know’ The Reality Of Relocating In A Pandemic

'It was only when we moved out that I realised how claustrophobic and trapped the past year had felt.'

Moving to the seaside

by Hannah Almassi |
Updated on

I had always envisioned my ideal future self as a bohemian creative, living by the sea, jangling with jewellery and turning my hand to pottery in the garden shed. I’d be the eccentric one from London who worked in the fashion industry, wearing outrageous outfits to the newsagent’s, the one my new neighbours would call on to regale them with wild anecdotes. But with the arrival of my first baby at the end of 2019, and the combustion pressure of a global pandemic, this life plan of moving from the fashion capital I’ve called home for 14 years to a town I barely know was accelerated by a decade or two.

I’m 35 and nowhere near hippy enough to be living out my original plans, however, the decision to opt in for space, fresh air, friendly locals, a nearby childcare support bubble and a slower pace has proven to be a game-changer. It wasn’t until my husband, 16-month-old son Teddy and I moved out of our first-floor flat in Leyton, east London, and into our Eastbourne semi that we realised just how claustrophobic and trapped the past year had felt.

Many families live in far more cramped and challenging conditions, I know, but we struggled nonetheless. I was naive to think life could continue as normal after a child, let alone in these restricted, relentless times. A month into our new life, seeing Teddy thriving puts all FOMO aside – London is still there, just a train ticket away. But this way around, when my team and I return to the office I can feed off the city’s energy, rather than be drained by it.

Hannah Almassi is editor-in-chief of Who WhatWear UK

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