Jennie takes up the story, "On our travels we would arrive in to major cities but would venture out in to the countryside as soon as we could, exploring the wilds of Vietnam, China, Mongolia and Russia. New Zealand was our favourite place and a plan was hatched to emigrate there but on my birthday I was so homesick, I couldn’t stop crying. New Zealand was off the table. The Yorkshire Dales National Park was the alternative...
I knew this area of as my Mum and Dad had a holiday cottage and I quickly realised that by moving here it would give us the lifestyle change and country living we craved, whilst being conveniently located an hour and a half away from family.
We set up a consultancy business that gave us the flexibility of remote working, with occasional visits to Liverpool, which we combine with visits to family. We also bought Artlegarth Country Lodges, a holiday let business, 3 log cabins on a private acre site which we have since extensively refurbished, as well as building 3 new log cabins last year. We've also set up a tour, events and experiences company, Happy Days, which allows us to share the wonderful places and people we have discovered to provide amazing memories for our clients.
Jennie & Neil's life sounds idyllic, but have there been any challenges moving to the Dales? Jennie and Neil live in quite a remote area in the Westmoreland Dales so it's very different from Liverpool. "The pace of life can be very relaxing", says Jennie, "but I am the type of person who thrives off chaos and operates at a million miles an hour. When I am keen to get an immediate result on something and the person I am relying on doesn’t share my enthusiasm for speed, getting a job finished or closing a sale, I can get very frustrated. At the same time I envy them for prioritising themselves and saying no to something- two things I really struggle with!
"Power cuts and extreme weather are also frequent occurrences but we have learnt the hard way to make sure we have plenty of dry wood inside for the fire, candles, match and torches and to keep the store cupboard full. Now we embrace it as part of the adventure, it takes us out of our comfort zone from the pampered convenient world we live in.
"That being said with a little patience, organisation and realignment of expectation, we now live a happy life in the countryside. Our children have a wonderful upbringing full of nature, fun and freedom.
We delight in our surroundings everyday and are enriched by the people we have met here. Some of my city based friends find it very amusing that I have ‘escaped to the country’ and comment that they couldn’t bear it. For me, I couldn’t bear to live anywhere else. My home and my heart is The Dales".