Creating a new life in Kent

When I moved to Kent to start my job, I didn’t remotely think that my life would turn up like this. After my PhD, spending time doing science at evenings, weekends, Christmas, Easter and bank holidays, I was looking forward to starting a new life with a real job, real money and loads of more time to spend for myself. I moved down here on March the 7th and lockdown started on March the 23th. I didn’t even the chance to waste the money I got on my first paycheck because everything was already shut down.

Honestly, I have been doing an incredible afford to stay positive. This isn’t really the life I imagine for myself. After years and years of hardship, I was really looking forward to living my life. But let’s see the bright side of things. To stay positive and motivated, I decided to explore more things here and get to know this region and its places better. The biggest regret I had for my PhD is not travelling enough. Outside Nottingham and London, I haven’t seen that much of the UK. Mostly, it was because of financial restrictions. Plus, I have mixed feeling about travelling in company because of my social anxiety. I like to follow my own routine and I am not really a fan of doing what everyone else is doing. On the other hand, I am not keen on doing stuff alone either. So, for my own piece of mind, I ended up not doing anything at all.

The situation is shit, but let’s see the bright side of things!!!

Despite the travel restriction, as soon as trains started running more regularly, I went to visit Canterbury. It was a short stay and spent there a few hours. Enough to take pictures to post on social media, lol. Canterbury is a cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Kent just an hour away from London by train. It’s a city dense of history and its main touristic attraction is the Roman Cathedral. Unfortunately, I couldn’t visit it due to coronavirus restrictions. So if you want to plan your visit, you need to prebook tickets online as they only allow 300 visitors per day.

If you are unlucky like me and don’t get the chance to see the Cathedral, there is a lot more to do. Canterbury is the perfect spot for picnic on the Great Stour river. I hope this picture can give a taste of what’s like to be there.

If you want something a bit more romantic and relaxing you can take a trip on the boat. Exactly like in Venice but a bit cheaper I guess!

The high street is full of independent restaurants, tea rooms ad cafes where you can sit and enjoy a nice and fresh meal under the sunshine. Kent is known as the Gardens of England because loads of fruits and vegs are locally produced and you can definitely tell it because food tastes so good. Even street food tastes great, and it’s much better than anything I had in the best restaurants in Nottingham. I enjoyed my meal in a little, nice, modern English cousin restaurant. I ordered fish and chips and I was served delicious seabass marinated in cherry tomatoes, olive oil and parsley alongside with chips. It was glorious.

I am trying to do things differently here and stop complaining because I don’t have enough friends and a partner. I am trying to deal with my social anxiety and realise that it’s okay to do solo activities. It’s been tough to deal with my depressing feelings, the overwhelming sense of loneliness and the uncertainty of the current pandemic. Things aren’t great but it could be worse. So let’s keep the positive vibes.

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