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‘Is it fair to uproot my family and move them to the seaside after the pandemic?’ – Claire Gilbody-Dickerson

Dear Coleen, I live in a busy town about 20 miles from London.

Both my husband and I used to work in the capital – that’s how we met – but now only he does and I work part time, locally.

In lockdown I’ve really taken stock of our life and when restrictions are lifted, I’m not sure I want my husband back on the 7am train into London and getting home at 7pm, or all of us rushing and driving around.

I really want to move to the seaside, perhaps Devon or Cornwall, where we visit every year and have always loved.

We went last summer and I love the slower pace of life, and since then, I’ve been thinking how good it would be to move down there.

We’d be able to have a much bigger house for a start.

My children, however, are eight and 11 and my eldest is in her first year of secondary school. Is it fair to uproot her and move them down to the seaside?

My daughter doesn’t want to leave her mates, and my husband thinks that I am looking at this through rose-tinted glasses. But I really want a new start.

Coleen says

It is a really difficult one because when you visit places in the summer it’s easy to think, ‘Oh I’d love to live here’. But it’s a very different vibe when you actually do, compared to being there on holiday.

Seaside towns can be quite bleak in winter, so I think your husband may have a point about the rose-tinted specs.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t do it. But I think maybe try it first.

Could you rent somewhere for the whole of the summer holidays to see how you feel? Or try to speak to people who have done it to see how they found it.

I know what you mean about the slower way of life, and Devon and Cornwall are beautiful, but I think you have to take your kids and husband’s views into account.

What you don’t want is to uproot them and then they’re all really unhappy. But kids are resilient and adaptable, even if they don’t think they are.

I uprooted my two boys after my first marriage ended and moved back to Blackpool where my family live. The boys had friends they didn’t want to leave, but after a few weeks in Blackpool they loved it.

It’s more about you and your husband. Will he be happy there? Will he be able to find work? I just don’t think this is an ­overnight decision.



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