BUT WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO BACK HOME? This seems to be the most common question people ask when they learn that I am trying to move out of London. They don’t ask me, though. No, they ask my kids, so this post is mainly for them. My kids. So they know what to say. But if you’re at all interested, it’s for you too.
For anyone who doesn’t know, I am one of those nasty EU-migrants who moved to this little island to steal people’s jobs. I also had the audacity to bring my family with me, so in one single contract of employment I added six new scary foreigners to Her Majesty’s United Queendom. I had a job, we rented a home, my kids went to school, I paid my tax and we made ourselves a life here.
The kids grew up and their English was better than their Swedish. None of us had any intention of leaving this place. Why would we? London has more to offer than any other place in this part of the world and, contrary to popular opinion, the food here is outstanding. The sprogs-no-more – went to uni, started working, one even got married and bought a home. Life was good.
WELL, I NEVER SAW THIS COMING. OR MAYBE I DID…
When David Cameron announced that there would be an EU-referendum, an advisory one, literally everybody I know said not to worry. It won’t affect you, and “they” won’t win anyway. But of course it did. And of course they would.
I had Swedish family members telling me the anti-EU movement in Britain wasn’t really about the EU and European workers at all. It was about Muslims. I guess it’s easy to sit on the outside and tell people who are in the game how it’s played. Not that it matters anymore. The day after the announcement, my youngest daughter was at a bus stop talking to an elderly family member in Sweden on the phone. An English person told her to speak fucking English or go home. And she was going home, that’s why she was at the bus stop.
It was the first time any of us had been told we did not belong here, but it wouldn’t be the last. As the election drew nearer the winds of nationalism grew stronger, and I began to fear for our safety. My children’s safety. Still, this was our home and there was a chance Labour would step up to the plate and support us. Right? No. As it turned out, Corbyn was pro-Brexit too and did sweet fuck all to speak up for the EU-migrants who felt more unwelcome here by the day.
THUS THE BREXODUS BEGAN
Sadly, for us, the Brexiteers won and the Brexodus began. One of my kiddoes left their job as a nurse at the biggest adult trauma department in the country. Another resigned from their job at one of the largest financial services corporations in the world. And they were not alone. Most of their colleagues were European, and most of them resigned.
Three of my kids and my grandson moved to Sweden to see if they could carve out a future for themselves there. One has decided to leave, but they are not sure where they want to go. Not Sweden seems to be the only thing they are sure of at the moment. Then there’s me and the one who is my live-in carer and PA. So why are we still here?
Well, the obvious answer, in my books, is that this is my home. I don’t have a home or a job waiting in Sweden, and at the moment I have no way of supporting myself there. For some people, the idea of moving to another country and putting yourself in a position where you have to depend on friends and family for your survival is not a problem. I’m not like them. If I was 20 years younger and able to go get any available job I would. I did. That’s how I moved here.
As a disabled person who had to tie myself in knots, and go through all the hoops of getting a diagnosis, followed by the whole assessment procedure involved in becoming officially disabled and, subsequently, written off as a hopeless case… No. At this point in time it is not possible for me to move abroad. And frankly, if it was, I’d go somewhere warm. Tuscany, perhaps? Right now, I’d swap this for a shed by the Mediterranean in a heartbeat. But let’s keep it real.
SO WHY DON’T I JUST GO BACK HOME?
I started Operation Lexit – get Linn out of London – because the cost of living crisis is choking me. I cannot afford to stay in the house I am in, and there is no accommodation in London that makes it feasible for a disabled person to stay here. Unless they are entitled to council housing, have a good job and/or money in their bank account, or live in a house/flat share with family or friends. It’s simple mathematics, really. If I can move to Yorkshire, as an example, I could rent a 2-3 bedroom house for £1,000 less pcm than what I pay here.
Will I get the same services? Probably not, but as long as I have access to food and healthcare and a good internet connection I’m not too fussed, to be honest. I’ve been in covid isolation for over three years now. I love London, but at this point in my life I want a place I can afford and a chance to get back on the road again.
My dream is to make my writing work. What I mean by that is to focus on my writing and my content creation and try to turn that into an income that can sustain me. I’m rather frugal and don’t need much, so it shouldn’t be impossible. I want to live a life where I am not dependent on a person or a state for my survival.
To make my dream come true, I have to cut my costs and increase my income. The single biggest cost-cutting move I can make is to decrease my rent. If I can find a place for somewhere between £400 and £700 pcm I would be able to save up to buy a van or a motorhome. And if I had that, I would be dividing my time between my home here and my family and friends that are spread out across Europe. And maybe, just maybe, get on a ferry to other destinations too.
I would love to spend at least 6 months a year travelling. I’d kit out my van with a good bedroom and the things I need for writing/content creation, then I’d go galli-van-ting. So, that was the long answer to the question why I don’t just go back home.
The short answer is: This is my home. I may decide to leave it one day, but not unless I can afford to, and have a steady income to sustain me wherever I am.
Hopefully, we can put this question to rest now and focus on the important stuff. Operation Lexit is still on, and I still need your help to find my next home. You can check out this post if you want to know more.
Until next time,
After 25+ years of anonymous blogging on a number of free platforms, I decided to go pro and put all of my writings on a private wall in the imaginary pirate ship I have named after one of my most prominent character traits: Resilience.
In my personal blogs, I primarily write about living the dream and how to keep on living and loving when everything around you seems to be falling apart. Professionally, I write about writing, personal and professional development, business studies, communication and writing.
My ambition was for the Resilience to become a source of inspiration, but I also hoped this old ship of mine would provide a space where we could talk, teach each other our tricks, and learn new things together.
As a lifelong Spoonieverse resident, I soon found that there is a lens, a shared experience, that only other spoonies understand. It didn’t fit in with my other content, and it upset certain readers. And that’s how the Spoonieverse blog was born. It was a place where I could allow myself to be me, just the way I am, and talk about all aspects about spoonielife without making apologies or having to take responsibility for the feelings of normies.
So far, this experience has been so much better than anything I’ve ever dreamed of. It has brought some incredible people into my life, and it has given me opportunities I may have missed out on had it not been for this blog and the Spoonieverse community.
In 2023, I launched Operation Lexit to lead me out of London and get me back on the road again. Wanna tag along and see what happens?