I'm officially a Londoner!
In late 2013, my girlfriend and I decided to leave the North of England and move to the South, after living in Leeds city centre for 6 years, I felt I'd grown tired of city life and so we decided we'd aim to move to Dorset. As a contractor though, this would not be feasible immediately as there is less work available without a hefty commute. So we decided that we would move to Portsmouth. It was quite close to the sea - which was a big draw for us - and it had good links with Southampton.
We did actually find some limited success with contracts in there area and I was not short of work - in fact the most lucrative contract I've ever had was in Portsmouth working on a project for Accenture - however we decided before we moved that we really wanted to build a digital agency and work together, so we poured a lot of money and focus into that.
Things actually started to go well, we got quite a bit of interest, we had our own very nice offices in Southampton and we were even one of the most talked about companies at the Southampton Business Show.
Something was missing, we didn't feel satisfied or happy in our new lives and we couldn't quite put our finger on it. Eventually though it hit us, we didn't like where we lived at all. In fact contrary to my previous view that I was sick of the hustle and bustle of city life, I actually found myself missing it terribly, neither Portsmouth nor Southampton had much of a 'vibe' and we constantly felt we were stuck in a dead zone.
We had a choice to make, we could continue with our agency and stay in an area we didn't like or we could return to contracting (which admittedly was a lot more lucrative for us anyway) and move to London - a city which we had spent a lot of time in for business reasons that year and had utterly fallen in love with.
We chose the latter, we said goodbye to our agency dream and started flat hunting in London. After a few weeks we found a really nice flat in Ealing and moved ourselves in just in time to spend New Years Eve in London.
The agency dream was a great one and is maybe something we will revisit in the future, however I've loved contracting and I am more than happy to return to it. It turned out that 'Location, Location, Location' is a very accurate statement.
Here's to 2015!