Ciao for Now London!


Time is such a weird thing. I feel like it was just the other day that I was writing about my last day at working in Maastricht and bidding farewell to the Netherlands

I left Maastricht, a comfy job and my sweet apartment to return to my hometown London and get more ‘serious’ about life. I guess at then 26 I thought I needed to buckle down and start sorting myself out. Everyone was getting married and having babies, meanwhile I was cycling to and from the pub. At that time, I think my idea of ‘doing the right thing’ equated to getting a job in the city with room for progression and locking down a mortgage.


Fast forward to today

Now it’s 3 years later, and I didn’t quite manage to finesse either of those things, although at points it seemed like I was pretty close! Today, my bags are packed again, but this time, I’m packing to head into a new chapter completely of my own accord. Not out of obligation, or because I think it’s what I should do, but because I want to. My friends are still getting married and having babies (this never stops btw!)

I’ve always lived very aware of the fact that life is short, but I don’t think I’ve ever felt it as much as since last March. During all the extra time that comes with working from home, I was able to reflect and ask myself questions about the future that I have never really thought about before. As a result of this personal question and answer session,  I’m washing my hands of the rat race for now and funnily enough heading back to a place with a much slower pace of life, not dissimilar to the beautiful Dutch town above that I left.

I’m going to be one of those digital nomad people gang! I have no real idea of what to expect beyond what I’ve read and heard. I’m sure it will be a life full of ups and downs and I’m excited to tackle it all. I finally got a remote job which allows me to work from anywhere, so as you can probably imagine, it really didn’t take me very long to book a flight. Destination: Barbados. 

Reflecting on my time at home 

In different ways, I got a lot more and less than I bargained from my last job. It gave me the funds to be able to look for a flat – and whilst I never quite cracked that formula, I like to think that it happened for a reason.

Being back in the big city after spending two years in a relatively small Dutch town brought a new perspective to things. I loved the accessibility of city life, with everything you could want readily available. Events, communities, transport, food, shops, open every day – all hours.

On occasion, however, I would miss the tranquility of Maastricht life. Simple things like just how easy it was to meet up with friends when everyone, and pretty much everything we wanted was no more than a 15 min bike ride away. This is in steep contrast to London where you need to plan a group gathering weeks, if not months in advance, make reservations, and set aside at least an hour to travel to wherever the meeting location is. Or maybe, is that just me and my friends? 

Onwards to the next chapter 

I’m looking forward to having everything I need within easy reach again. Having parameters to work around like store closure times, and the rest that comes from most things being shut on Sundays. Creating a new routine around remote work and freelance life will be a new and welcomed challenge. Whilst spending time with friends old and new in warm surroundings I’m sure won’t be too hard to get used to. I’m excited to have you on this journey with me. 

Do you think you could ever up sticks and move somewhere completely different? Or would you miss the creature comforts of home too much? 

Whilst Barbados has pretty much everything the UK has available (at a price), I’m sure there’ll be some food items I’ll be missing before long. 

But that’s a problem for next year’s Charlotte. Today’s Charlotte is getting ready to jet! 

Charlotte Gray
Charlotte Gray

Thanks for spending some time Up and Away with me!

I’m writing here to keep track of not only my travels to new places, but also my daily journeys through learning, loving and life.

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