It’s been a year since I moved back to Cornwall and it’s undoubtably the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m far happier, more independent and at home here than I’ve ever felt before. To celebrate the occasion, I thought I’d share with you some of my highlights from the past 12 months.
Before we begin, I think a little backstory is in order. Just in case you’re new here and haven’t been following me for too long. I am originally from London, just outside of Wimbledon but first moved to Cornwall at 18 to study Photography by the sea. When graduation came around, I hadn’t thought up much of plan. So, I returned home to the big smoke in search of what I thought I should be doing.
A couple of years passed by and I couldn’t quite let go of Cornwall. I’d visit the county as often as I could, taking solo camping trips with Millie. I secured my first full time job, with a decent salary and incredible location but as the months passed by I felt more and more disconnect. I was a shell of the person I once was and my mental and physical wellbeing suffered. Being bullied at work wasn’t a pleasant experience and it made me feel even more of an outsider.
So, exactly 12 months ago to the day, I upped sticks and moved back to the county I love. My boyfriend moved back with me too and things were looking up. Now, without further a do, let’s get in to the post!
I’m a great believer in things happening for a reason and when I found a job and a room to rent in Cornwall within a week of each other, I knew this was the right decision. Before I knew it we had packed our bags, moved and started to settle in.
My boyfriend had never experienced Cornwall in summer, so we made the most of the long evenings after work. We’d drive to new places, just because, go metal detecting for treasure at Dollar Cove. I even learnt how to fillet a fish and we’d row out on my boat to catch the schools of mackerel before bringing them back for a barbeque on the beach. Now the summer evenings have returned, we’re keen to tick a few more things off the bucket list this summer!
Discovering Work/Life Balance
Work/Life balance seems to be an ‘in’ topic at the moment and this year I learnt the true meaning of the term. I’ve always preferred a simple, outdoor lifestyle. I was never really one to party at university, instead I’d take myself off on road trips across the county, in search of beaches I’d been reading about online.
This year has been all about discovering my own path and indulging in all the things I’ve been dreaming of trying. I finished knitting the blanket I’ve been working on for years, tried bread making for the first time (top tip: don’t forget the salt!) and got back into gig rowing, a sport I truly love. It’s been a year of managing my expectations and energy levels too, as for too long I was ignoring my ME while I was in London.
Of course, the highlight of my year has to be adopting this little guy! Woody has brought so much love and happiness into our lives and he continues to teach me something new everyday. It’s been amazing watching him grow over the months and also seeing my confidence flourish at the same time. He brings a smile to my face with his little ways and I can never stay angry at him for long!
The responsibility of owning a dog has given me purpose too, something I’ve welcomed with open arms. Woody comes everywhere with me and has turned into a proper little side kick. Having a four legged friend to care for has been the best thing for me and something I want to write about more in the future. The most important thing Woody has taught me over the past few months is to live life to the fullest at every opportunity. This is something I now live by and it’s amazing what has happened as a result!
Snow Day in Cornwall
Back at the beginning of March, Cornwall was blanketed in snow. This is a very rare thing down here in the Duchy and we definitely made the most of the occasion. From building snowdogs to helping our neighbours, I always admire how communities come together when it snows.
It was also Woody’s first ever experience of snow, which was beautiful to watch. He loved chasing snow balls and being out exploring all day. We spent the day pushing cars up a steep hill when they got stuck and fetching supplies for housemates and friends who were housebound.
Starting My Own Business
I’ve always wanted to start my own business. It’s like it’s in my bones. Back at school I would marvel at photographers online who created stunning images for a living full time. Up until now, I’ve never really found my niche within the industry. I fancied myself as a fashion photographer for a while but couldn’t quite cut it.
Then, the opportunity to combine my two biggest passions came knocking. It was like everything was slotting itself into place. I didn’t even know being a dog photographer and content creator was a thing this time last year! In the past few months I’ve felt more creative and motivated than ever and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings!
Making New Friends
Since starting The Cornish Dog, Woody and I have had the pleasure of meeting so many pawsome people both in Cornwall and further afield. From boutique pet shops, quintessential tea rooms and pawsome businesses. Each and every one of the humans and hounds we’ve met are doing incredible things across Cornwall and beyond.
One particular highlight for me was meeting Steph and the Spaniels. We joined Sev and Lily for a couple of days, showing them some walks and sharing dog pizzas in Newquay. Meeting our idols in real life was a great experience and I’m looking forward to more playdates soon!
Trying New Things
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the past 12 months, it’s to give things a go. It’s been such a crazy year and there’s no way I could have predicted it. A lot of what I have achieved in the past year has been through being open to new experiences and giving opportunities a try. I’ve herded sheep, lead horses, adopted a dog, started a business, co-hosted a live radio show, been filmed for TV and more. All this has happened because I’ve said yes to, welcomed and sought out new experiences. For that I’m incredibly grateful.
This year wouldn’t have been half as fun without meeting a few key people along the way. I’d like to thank everyone at The CHAOS Group, who enabled me to move back to the county I love and continue to support my ambitions. Kayleigh from Praise and Paw who has been my business buddy, friend and number one cheerleader. Eat Play Bark and the guys at GURU Pet Food who believed in my business from the start. Olivia and Anna who continue to prove that you can make it on your own in Cornwall and of course my boyfriend Ryan who goes above and beyond each day to support my dreams.
Moving back to Cornwall was definitely one of the best decisions of my life. I finally feel like me again and have found my home. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings, there’s still so much to learn, try and explore!
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