This trip to London has been absolutely perfect. I collected my UK Visa Permit (2 years, let’s do this!!), saw my first live musical (An American In Paris, and it was truly spectacular), and brunches at Borough Market (just so tasty). I don’t want to like London, I really don’t! I’m a country girl at heart – happiest on the coast, away from the hustle and bustle of the big noisy city. Yet there’s just something about London that feels like home.
On the streets of London my anxious inner voice is (suspiciously) quiet. I fearlessly traipse my way down Oxford Street (only somewhat out of place with my ratty converse and massive hair), dance my way through the tube stations (yes, I’m THAT person) and wander with a purpose, happily pretending that getting lost was part of my plan all along.
In London, my heart beats a calm, steady rhythm and I find myself content to merge with the crowds, both tourists and locals alike.
In London, I feel at home.
One of my most prominent anxieties is the fear of never finding home. Growing up in Canada I never truly fit in, so it came as a surprise to absolutely no one that I ran at the first chance provided. Leaving for boarding school at 15, I spent the following 10 years wandering. Searching I suppose. You know the saying “Home is Where the Heart Is”? Well, I think that’s complete and utter bullshit. My heart is scattered all around the world, woefully reaching as far as the furthest corners of the globe (Australia). At the age of 25 I’ve had more friends come and go from my life than I can count on all my fingers and toes. Between an international boarding school program, army service, and my tendency to befriend foreigners, the majority of my close friends have been “temporary”. We stay in touch, but the chances of seeing each face to face in the near future are slim to none. Plane tickets are (to my eternal dismay) expensive, and I am (alas) a broke millennial. So you see, according to that rubbish saying, my heart lies all over the damn planet and bits of it remain in places I could never call home.
Canada has never felt right. I adore the life I had in Vancouver and being away from my friends, the children I took care of, the Pacific Ocean and of course, my favourite craft brewery (Main Street Brewing for life) makes my heart ache the tiniest bit. I considered staying but at the end of the day my heart told me to move on. Vancouver just isn’t home.
Israel was home for 9 years. I forged many great friendships and experienced many a brilliant adventure. Heartbreak is what drove me from Israel back to Canada and a part of me does regret taking my ex’s advice (tip: never take advice from an ex. It’s a borderline insane thing to do). But looking back, it was absolutely the right move at the time. It pushed me to explore and to confront many an inner demon that I had long repressed.
But where does that leave me? Wandering the world in search of a home? What is “home” anyways?
I sincerely apologize for the cheese BUT –
Home is absolutely a feeling. It’s the place where you feel comfortable in your own skin. The place that hosts those you feel you can rely on for support in times of need. Home is where your heart is content.
On the streets of London my heart beats a steady rhythm, content, at peace. But is that enough to decide to make it HOME?
In the immortal words of Camp Miriam:
For now I leave London behind. Dublin is calling, and after that The Ireland Way, and who knows what I’ll find along the way! Maybe I’ll discover a previously hidden love for potatoes and sheep? Maybe I’ll fall in love. Maybe my heart will be even more content. Maybe, maybe, maybe. What’s a girl to do with all these possibilities?!
I suppose the only thing TO do is to wait and see.
Here’s hoping for a truly incredible Irish adventure.