Moving from a village to a city presents a unique set of changes and challenges. While the energy coursing through busy streets and bustling shops is some peoples lifeblood, it can be poison to others. I am somewhat uncomfortably perched in the middle.
City life perfectly facilitates my interest for craft beer, with bars and bottle shops scattered liberally amongst the vinyl record stores and the indie barbershops. The rows of retro boutiques and glass-walled chain stores are a veritable banquet for fashionistas, including those with the urban outfitters catalogue on an intravenous drip.
Conversely, cityscapes can be an open tap on ones passion for the outdoors. Arrogant bankers in M5's, obnoxious taxi drivers and oblivious commuters make cycling an act of self defence as much as transportation. Some revel in the chaos, for me it depends on the day (and how recently I've been hit/nearly hit by a car).
The university city I live in can often be a seething whirlpool of activity both enriching and toxic. However, if you really look, we are lucky enough to have streaks of gold amongst the gunmetal grey of urban experiences. Trees, rivers, wooded banks and muddy trails hide in plain sight amongst the infrastructure and stress. They are a welcome retreat and a space to think when thoughts are clouded and deadlines loom.