Jessica Henderson from @littlelivinglifestyle recently packed up her life in London and moved her entire family, including babies Farleigh and Phoenix to the countryside, in Kent. We caught up with Jessica to discuss the ups and downs of the move and the perks of being a newly appointed countryside mum.
Could you tell us a bit about your family and the motivation behind this new adventure?
I live with my husband Charlie and our two children, Farleigh and Pheonix. They were 18 months and 4 weeks respectively when we relocated from Queens Park to the Old Rectory in Kent. Having been brought up in the middle of nowhere in France, moving out of the city felt like a natural change for me. We had never ever thought we would stay in London, as it couldn't provide the experiences and natural environment we wanted our children to grow up in.
What were your fears/anxieties about moving away from the city?
I wasn't at all anxious about the move but I was slightly fretting about the obvious things, like having no friends in Kent! The whole thing has been amazing though, making new and very honest friendships in the countryside has been my highlight so far. But also, the space we now have compared to London seems endless. We still can't quite believe we now all go up and up to bed!
So our move was more stressful at the thought of us not being able to get our dream house more than the actual separation from city living. Country life is where we feel at home, and it is where I feel naturally myself and especially where I feel I am the best mother. Country life didn't choose us, we chose it with absolute lust!
What effects has the change had on your children?
We have absolutely loved all the changes and excitements the country has to offer, compared to our lifestyle in London. The biggest surprise has been how much our eldest, Farleigh, has hugely adapted to the new rythm of life, and because of it she has suddenly blossomed into such a little adventurer, which is surprising for a girl you wouldn't even touch a flower in Hyde Park in fear that it was too 'Duuurteee'!
What are your two favourite aspects/ activities of your new lifestyle?
My favourite things to do now, are being outside most of the day with the babies, even if it means not leaving our ranch for a couple of days as there is so much to enjoy just being here. But most of all, its the realisation that we now have so much more to learn than we ever thought possible. I had no idea how much I didn't know about nature, and my own character, until we moved down here.
I avidly look at explorekent.com for weekly inspirations of places to go with the children and as a family. We are about to go on a Seaweed trail in Ramsgate, which is one of the many hugely fun educational, and adventurous activities on offer this summer, in Kent. I think most boroughs, wherever you live, have more than you would imagine going on for young people, specially during the summer holidays. Also the Rare Breed centre in Woodchurch has been our go to most months.
I now enjoy just being at home a lot more than when we lived in London. I never realised how often I would be out and about just for the sake of being out. Whereas now, we have more of a reason to go out and do things. I especially enjoy preparing our kitchen garden for the big sow next year as it has taken us ages to dig it all up and start again. Phoenix is always in the baby bjorn whilst this is happening so I really hope he will be a green fingered little person one day.
It's all such a personal thing though, as I know living out in the 'sticks' isn't for everyone! But we have never looked back.
Ps I do miss the occasional take away almond milk decaf latte though!!