Earlier this year, the number of Londoners who had left the capital during the pandemic was estimated at 700,000, according to a study led by the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence. Another report, from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, showed Londoners were leaving so quickly that the city’s population would decrease for the first time this century.
Abi Adams, her husband, Nick, and their two children, Rafferty, seven, and Autumn, two, were one of the families who fled the capital – not during the first national lockdown, but the third.
For Abi and her family, the pandemic was what gave them the final push to undertake a move they had been thinking about for months earlier.
Abi, a menstrual cycle, movement, and mindset mentor, had been working from home with ease since the start of the pandemic, but Nick’s job depended on the city.
However, once he got the go-ahead from his company to work exclusively from home, the couple decided to move.
Abi said: “For us, this is like the countryside because we moved from Woodford, east London.”
Due to the nature of Abi’s job, she can speak to her clients online, but the mum-of-two explained she is “looking to find land to build a small retreat on”.
“I’m looking for a place to bring awesome women together to move and enjoy life and feel their bodies,” she said.
However, Abi claimed it is currently difficult to find anywhere in the area due to its popularity.
She said: “It was getting to a point where I said to my husband ‘I just feel that if I continue to stay in London, my health is going to deteriorate’. I’m very in tune with my health.
“I just said to him ‘I need to get out’. And not only for me, but for my children as well.
“I wanted them more outdoors. And with Covid, it really highlighted to me how much we need nature.”
Abi stressed the last five months have been “amazing”.
“It’s been wonderful.”
The outdoors has played a key part in her family’s new life, Abi said, explaining: “Me and my little daughter – she’s two this Saturday – we go to the beach at lunchtime.
“And there’s so much more we can do here – we can go for bike rides in the forest, paddleboarding, and go swimming in the sea.
“There is so much more we can do outside that doesn’t cost us money.
“We value each other and that has really stripped away this dependency on screens and TV.”
Abi continued: “Because of Covid we were given this opportunity to see what we really valued from life and what we want from life – which is to spend more time with our family and our children.”
“And we also saw just how precious life really is,” she added.
“Covid did really open the door for us.”