One of the daydreams I’ve carried round with me ever since I started to think about moving home is this: A little cottage somewhere in the hills, with views of hills dotted with sheep, and maybe a stream running by. And as we planned for our move back, I couldn’t help imaging our new home in England that way. But now that we’re just a few months away from the move, we’ve started focusing on the practicalities, and that’s where my little daydream ran slap bang into reality.
The fact is that most rural areas of the UK are woefully underserved when it comes to broadband access. In some cases, homes can’t even get download speeds of 1MB (we currently get 20MB). 1MB isn’t enough to watch a youtube video, or to download a song (unless you want to wait hours) or to stream songs on Spotify. And it certainly isn’t fast enough to run an international web-based business.
Sadly this means I have had to wave goodbye to my ideal country cottage. And we have both had to let go of his desire to live in Kendal, the town we’ve visited on our recent trips back to the UK – at least for now. Things are changing rapidly so a year from now, who knows?
But all isn’t lost. After a few days of intensive research online, we found several towns that are just as nice as Kendal and that have super fast web access (actually faster than we get here) as well as meeting all our other requirements (good train connections, nice countryside, low crime rates etc). They’re all quite close to each other and none of them are so far away from our families that we can’t visit for the day.
Because we can’t be there to search for a home, and because it’s hard to find a rental property when you have pets, we’ve hired a home-finding agency to look for us, and they already have some appointments set up over the next few days in Knaresborough, Ilkley, Addingham and Harrogate.
Any of these would be fine with me. At this stage, I just want to know we have a roof over our heads when we get back. And as for that country cottage, there’s nothing to stop us taking weekend breaks in such a place. Even we can survive without fast broadband for two days … surely?