27 Jul On Change and Being Back in the UK
I was on a train to meet Andrew in Wales, chatting to the girl next to me, when she asked: “So, where do you live then?” the question had me stumped. After mumbling something about just getting back from Asia and visiting family in the UK I eventually had to admit that I don’t really live anywhere. “I’m just travelling around at the moment,” I replied. I could tell from the bemused look on the girl’s face that she thought I was odd and for a moment I saw my life from a different angle, one where not having a home, job or more than a backpack worth of possessions doesn’t look as amazing as it feels.
Being Back in the UK
Moments like these remind me of how much our lives have changed since we left the UK in 2013. Our old life in London was a good one but I remember feeling trapped, plagued by restlessness and a desire to get out and experience something different. In leaving the UK we’ve managed to build a life that isn’t dominated by work and routine, a life where we get to explore the world and try new things. However, this lifestyle is also full of uncertainty and being back here in the UK, seeing the kind of stable life we could be living, brings flashes of fear and doubt to the surface. Should we be thinking of settling down by now, of building a home?
During these moments of doubt I try to remind myself that there’s no right or wrong path to take, no correct way to live your life; there are many different routes to happiness. Although we love the UK and we’re pleased to be back for the summer, we know we’re not ready to return here permanently yet, there’s still too much we want to see and experience first. We’ve learnt so much from travelling and living in Asia and I’m excited to see how our experiences in the U.S and Europe shape our outlook on life. Yes, there will be scary times when I wish I was back in the UK, but there will also be new work opportunities, places to fall in love with, people to meet and lifestyles to try out. Crucially, the UK will always be here for us to return to and we are so lucky to have that option.
For now, we will continue to embrace the joys of being back ‘home’, of visiting friends and family and enjoying the rituals of a Great British Summer; punnets of strawberries, steaming mugs of tea, windy (and often rainy) walks by the beach and BBQs in the back garden. Travel has helped us to see the UK with new eyes and wherever we are now, we make an effort to get out and explore. We’re currently in Wales and I’ve seen more of the country in the past few days than I have from visits over the last ten years. This weekend we’ll be revisiting our University home, Bristol, and taking a road trip with friends to Cheddar Gorge. August will see us returning to London to house sit and reconnect with our favourite city and in just five weeks’ time we’ll be back at the airport, boarding a plane to New York.
Sometimes I can hardly believe how lucky we are to be living this incredible life.