'It's harder to make friends!' Former Londoner shares regrets after moving out the capital

The coronavirus pandemic saw many Britons ditch London for a taste of the country life. In fact, an estimated 700,000 people left London for the countryside during the pandemic, according to a study by the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence. Furthermore, a report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers found that Londoners left so quickly, the city’s population would decline for the first time in the 21st century.

However, while many people are enjoying their new found freedom, others are starting to regret their decision.

Journalist Lynn Enright, 37, left London during lockdown.

While others moved to the countryside, Lynn moved to Dublin with her husband.

The 37-year-old told The Daily Telegraph she is experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out) since London’s social scene reopened.

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She added: “I always found it so easy to make friends in London.

“Strangely, I find it harder in a smaller city: I think a lot of people here live near old friends and family so they don’t necessarily need new friends.”

A study from Cornerstone Tax found that over 3.3 million Britons moved away from a city or urban area over the past year.

Furthermore, 44 percent of Britons feel that the impact of coronavirus has made living in a city less appealing.

More than a third of Britons also claim they would rather have flexible working options than a pay rise.

The pandemic has seen Britons seek stronger family connections and community rather than ambitious career trajectories.

David Hannah, principal consultant at Cornerstone Tax said the advantages of living in the countryside have been “amplified” over the past 18 months.

He added: “A stronger work-life balance, spending time with loved ones, and getting out of congested inner cities has become an increasing priority for many, prompting this boom in the number of houses purchased in the regions since COVID-19 began.”

However, Mr Hannah believes the recent shift away from cities has been a long time coming.

He continued: “The move out of the the city was, to my mind, the result of a shift that has been going on for years and was merely catalysed by lockdown restrictions, rather than being caused by it.

“Major urban centres will always be hubs of creativity and opportunity but could become more and more for younger sections of society looking to learn, grow and expand their horizons.

“What our data also shows is that people also want to escape the proverbial ‘rat race’ in favour of independence and being your own boss.

“The current vacancy crisis in the world of work is testament to this.”

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