Wednesday, 25 June 2014

ISLAND LIFE


Just over two years ago, while still at university, I received an email about a job opportunity on the Isle of Lewis in the Western Isles of Scotland. Intrigued, I opened the attachment and began to read. The job advert started like this:

"Are you interested in working and living in an area of natural beauty with clean air, no traffic jams and the prospect of being able to explore a variety of outdoor leisure pursuits?"

Immediately I thought 'Yes! That sounds lovely!'. With very little consideration of practicalities, going entirely on my gut feeling, I filled out an application and sent it off. I'd heard a million times how difficult it would be to find a job. With this being my first application, I decided not to think too much of it and told myself it would be good application-writing practice at best.

That being the case, it was pretty surreal when not long after, I found myself sitting on a noisy propeller plane heading to what would turn out to be a very unusual interview involving a trip to the beach and a scenic drive. It was even more surreal when a few days later I'd accepted a job in a place I'd never even heard of a few months earlier.



Taken on the day of my interview

Having grown up in Essex with easy access to London, moving to an island with more sheep than cars and just a handful of shops (that I'd never heard of) was a bit of a shock to the system.

Jared, my boyfriend, and I decided to embrace the cultural differences and it wasn't long before we found ourselves on all kinds of weird and wonderful adventures. At weekends, we'd grab a map of the island, close our eyes, point at random and head out in that direction. More often than not, we'd find ourselves on a stunning beach with not another person in sight.




Unfortunately, when I fell ill, these excursions became less manageable and more recently we've not been out and about in our beautiful surroundings as much as we would've liked. A couple of weeks ago, I resigned from my job and we've decided it's time to move on.

Before we go though, we're determined to do as many things as are (sensibly, given my condition) possible and really make the most of living here. It's not going to be easy and will require a little more planning than before I fell ill but I've amassed plenty of helpful strategies which I know I can call upon. Where there's a will, there's a way and there is definitely an awful lot of will.

I've managed one very exciting little adventure already and am looking forward to sharing it along with any others I manage over the coming months here on my blog.


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13 comments

  1. Wow! That's such a brave thing that you did, I'd be too wimpy to move like that! It looks like a beautiful place, the beach looks gorgeous. Good luck with your future plans, hopefully you'll be able to go back to the island for little holidays! x

    Josie’s Journal

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    1. Thanks so much Josie! I don't know if it was brave or just a little bit mad.... It definitely paid off though :) It's been such a treat to live in such a beautiful part of the world and it's really lovely to think we can come back for holiday.
      x

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  2. Such a beautiful place! Your story of a complete new way of life reminds me of mine when I out of the blue decided to teach in Madrid, a gut instinct for me too and it was such a great life changing experience! I really want to visit Scotland one day and the Scotish isles, or the southern isles, or both, I just need to get better haha. There's an island not far from me in the eastern north sea called 'Sealand island' wikipedia it if you're interested, you will so amazed, it's crazy!

    Xxx

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    1. How amazing to have lived in a Madrid for a while! I visited for a weekend a few years ago and thought it was a beautiful city! I love Spanish culture too. I have a ridiculously long list of places I want to visit when I'm better as well. I find having a 'places to see wish-list' really lovely and exciting but also find it hard to stop myself resenting not being able to do it all right now. I've still got to find the right balance I think! Thanks so much for the suggestion to look up Sealand Island. Just googled it and it's fascinating! I had absolutely no idea it existed before....

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  3. Sounds amazing! I would love to get other to Scotland, about 7 years ago I moved over to London for 2 years and explored a little of England but never got up to Scotland. Where you live looks wonderful and peaceful. I can relate to the sheep from living in New Zealand lol. Exciting to be living a new a chapter in your life.

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    1. Amazing that you lived in the UK for a couple of years Lennae! If you do get over again, I'd say it's definitely worth fitting in a trip to Scotland. I don't think I'd ever really appreciated how beautiful it would be until we moved here!

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  4. I'm new to your blog but this is so cool that you had the opportunity to go there! It is a beautiful place and it sounds like such a dream, living in a place with so many unoccupied beaches. :) I am sorry that your illness is getting in the way of that -- I certainly know how that is! -- but I'm sure that life has much better things ahead for you!

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    1. Thank so much for your lovely comment Gabbi :) You're so right that it's a dream to live in a place with so many unoccupied beaches - sometimes I forget how lucky we are! I'm so sorry to hear you know how it is for illness to get in the way. Hope things are as good as they possibly can be with you at the moment.

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  5. It's so brave and inspiring that you moved to an entirely new place! Good luck with your future plans :)

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    1. Thanks so much Gemma, that's really lovely of you.

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  6. Good luck in whatever happens next and enjoy the island to the best of your ability. It looks beautiful there and to be honest I'm a little (maybe a lot) jealous ;) xx

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    1. Thanks so much :) Hope you're doing ok Laura x

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