Quality of life in York

People in York are shocked when I tell them how much I love living here. Why is that? There’s an assumption that life is better in New Zealand and Australia so I’m going to challenge that assumption with this blog post.

Quality of life is partly subjective and so the things I love about York will not necessarily appeal to everyone else. What makes my quality of life so good?

*I would say that the first and most enjoyable aspect about life for me in York is the freedom to live car-free and to walk and cycle everywhere. I have never felt so fit and healthy in all my life. I never have to sit in traffic and I never have to wait at the petrol station to refuel. I also don’t have to make any effort to include exercise into my schedule because it comes for free with my daily commutes. This is the magic of commuter-cycling: it’s exercise for free.

*I love the climate. If someone was writing about me as some strange, exotic creature in the latest edition of National Geographic, it would read something like: “Habitat: prefers a temperate climate with gentle lighting. Diet: exclusively herbivorous. Behaviour: needs regular exercise”

*I love the history. Walking around the city centre in York is free entertainment because there’s so much fascinating history to admire. I really value this and I find it uplifting.

There are lots of other things to love about York too. The schools here are fantastic, the people are very friendly and the housing is affordable.

Grocery prices are considerably cheaper here than in New Zealand. I don’t know why this is but our living expenses are much lower in the UK. It’s also easier to conserve power especially when you live in a mid-terrace, double brick home with double glazing and insulation as we do.

I have not felt lonely here. I probably should have given that I don’t have many friends here and I’m by myself for much of the time as Ben has been doing a lot of traveling for work of late. I attribute my not feeling lonely to the few amazing friends that I do have here and who I will miss very much when we leave and also to the lovely WordPress community. Thank you all. At least I can take my WordPress friends back to New Zealand with me πŸ™‚

26 responses to “Quality of life in York”

  1. πŸ™‚ You sound very contented and that probably makes your family happy and contented too. I don’t think anyone expects to live trouble free. But to know some things are stable and reliable makes the bigger things easier to face.

  2. I have already told you how much I envy where your are Rachel and I also would like to live in a bike friendly place, they do have them in the states just not where I live.

  3. Sounds like my kind of environment Rachel. Your sentiments remind me a great deal of time I spent in UK on sabbatical years ago. Best part of each day was walking the children to school over the bridge, through the park, checking out the white swan family, past the massed daffodils, along the path to the school where the children were so happy (and “champion” swimmers having come from Australia)… on to the bakery for delicious, crusty bread from the local baker and fresh food shopping. Seasons, churches, colleges, gardens, walks, book shops, history, architecture, fresh food markets. Now I live in Kyneton Australia, and wow, it is just like that including varietal weather. lol

      • I’m so glad not to have a spider phobia. I’m genuinely fond of them and go to some lengths not to hurt ones that are providing a free pest control service in my house. I usually have one or two huntsman spiders doing their patrols but can’t find any just now.

        Your post has prompted me to think of a few ‘geographically-based’ things that contribute to my quality of life,

        Weather is definitely important. I relish being away from humidity although, after 14 years, I’m not so enamoured of Canberra’s winters these days. I especially hate the short days.

        I love being so close to natural bushland and wildlife. My garden is full of birds of all kinds. I enjoy following the resident birds’ lives closely. We are so lucky in Australia to have such an incredible variety of magnificent birds.

        It’s lovely to be away from concrete jungles, traffic fumes and lots of pollution, although there are good things about rat races. They’re just hard to live in day to day.

      • I feel about snakes how you feel about spiders. Snakes are good for keeping rodents in check and I always liked having them in the garden in Brisbane.

      • Agree with you about snakes although would always prefer that deadly ones find a home far away from my house. My phobia is big, brown, crunchy, clingy, scary, horrible grasshoppers. Plenty of those in Brisbane. They love to lurk in hibiscus shrubs. eeeewwww!

  4. Britain has a lot of variety (and weather) on fairly small island. Interesting and quite cosy compared with the vast spaces. I’m glad you like it. At least you know that York is place to visit when you can. πŸ™‚ Are there any other bloggers in York that you know of ?

  5. Ahh Rachel, I’m so glad that we can still keep in touch via WP when you do move back! It’s funny as my younger son, born and bred in California, and who was 14 when we moved back here says to anyone that he much prefers it here, loving the British way of life. I love how much you enjoy your life here πŸ™‚

      • My eldest son does, he came over when he was 21 and half way through his history degree at Cal Poly in California to finish it at Sussex University. I thought he would return but he really loved the life in Brighton and has stayed every since! He is 31 now and lives in Lewes with his lovely girlfriend of several years.

        My Aspie daughter was 10 when we moved back and she, out of all three, is the one who wants to go back but not without me!!! She misses the food and the way of life but she hates the heat there. Not too sure how we will get around this one… !

      • Have you told your Aspie daughter about the earthquakes? That’s enough of a reason for me to never want to move to California but I also wouldn’t like the heat.

  6. it’s great to hear your warm thoughts towards York Rachel. It is a lovely city but even Yorkshire folk who are as pround as any englishmen of where they live sometimes fail to ‘accentuate the positive’. I wish we could keep you so you could keep promoting us to your readers the way you do.

    • Thanks, northernbike. I’m hoping for one of Iceland’s volcanoes to erupt, grounding all planes for the next year. Failing that, maybe someone will kidnap me. πŸ™‚

  7. Rachel I can understand how happy you are with such a compatible environment for your lifestyle. Like you I am lucky enough to incorporate my daily exercise into my daily routine by walking to and from work plus a lunchtime walk.

    Fortunately I also like to do things very early in the morning and so am largely unaffected by traffic and crowds. When Eliza suggests going somewhere after 10am, I inwardly groan but fortunately her cheerful banter is a great distraction to the traffic

    I can relate to Annie (Forest So Green) – it’s a great freedom to not be dependent on a car.

    • Thanks, Susie. It does make such a difference to quality of life when you can walk or cycle to and from work everyday. I wish town planners would realise this.

  8. I missed this post. My comment is: The best place to live is where your family and friends are within reach (this may not mean next door) and you have activities/ work that you really enjoy.

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