This month marks my six year anniversary of living by the sea in Brighton. Moving here was a difficult but massively life changing decision for me. I’m known among my friends for being indecisive, so for me the move was quite brave.
I can still remember the feeling of the first day: standing on my new doorstep, having not yet met my housemates, and watching my mum drive away.
My thoughts were along the lines of “Oh my God. What have I done?!”
My first house in Brighton – and that elusive doorstep
It was a month shy of my 23rd birthday and sure, I’d moved around loads before – from Northampton to university in south Wales (and various moves around Cardiff and Newport), and later on to Minehead and Bristol – but this time was different. When I moved to uni halls at 18, I wasn’t on my own. Not that it wasn’t a bit scary, but it was also very exciting and I looked around the campus to see hundreds of others, all new and in the same situation as me. From the first evening, when a large group of us went to the pub, I knew I’d be ok.
Brighton was a whole new ball game. I’d visited once before when a friend lived here a couple of years ago. From then I loved the city – the vibe and the atmosphere. But that friend had since moved on. The bottom line was that I’d moved to a new city, where I didn’t know anyone. I didn’t know the city itself well either. I didn’t have a job. So why did I move here?
The spark was moved by a revelation I had while travelling in Australia just months before. It’s a cliché that you go travelling after uni to ‘find yourself’ but for me, it kind of was like that. I realised that I wanted to work as a writer on magazines. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, but I started doing research from internet cafes while in Cairns, on the north east coast of Australia.
Almost as soon as I finished travelling and stepped on English soil, I got a temp job to get some money together. Shortly afterwards my relationship ended. That was it: I needed a complete life overhaul and to start all over again.
I started researching magazine journalism courses and came across the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), an accredited council which runs journalism training. Of about six colleges across the UK that ran the course, one was in Brighton. This was my chance. This was my calling!
I applied for the course. Meanwhile I booked in a day of flat hunting in Brighton and my mum drove my down for the day. Most of the houses I looked at and the people I met were not for me. But one I really liked; it was with three Aussies who had been travelling the UK and had settled in Brighton; and one English guy – who I didn’t meet at this point. They seemed really friendly and fun; and the house was massive. The next day, they called me to offer me the room.
That was it, not long after I quit my job and packed up my stuff. And that brings me to standing on the doorstep of an empty house, watching my mum drive away.
Luckily my housemates turned out to be amazing, and I can’t thank them enough for helping me to settle in and being the only friends I had for a while.
Dawson’s Creek style poses on the doorstep with my housemate Nick, his brother and friends
I also got an interview to the college course. And I got in!
If I hadn’t made the scary decision to up and move to Brighton, I don’t know where I’d be and what I’d be doing now. It really did change every aspect of my life, and I’m so pleased that I took charge and made the leap.
This is a sponsored post in association with giffgaff.