I have itchy feet again.
I have flights booked but, it seems, they just can’t come round quick enough.
I start to feel quite stagnant if stuck in one small place for too long. As though I’m missing out. And, to be perfectly truthful, I am. There are a million things happening elsewhere in the world right now. A million parties, a million corks being popped, a million celebrations, a million discoveries and declarations and experiences. All going on while I’m sitting in my living room window, listening to all the things happening even in my own city, and writing this article. So much I’m missing.
And, in actual fact, none of it wildly out of reach.
Thanks to my wonderful parents, I was shown at a very early age that the world is actually a very small place. Well, not small but… certainly attainable.
When I was around five or six they up and moved us half way around the world to Singapore. No mean feat for any young family but they did it. I attended a school which prided itself on the mixed nationalities of its pupils. English, Japanese, Swedish, Hawaiian, French, Australian, Italian, Korean, Polish, Mexican, Chinese, American… All sitting at the same desks in the same classrooms, swapping stickers in the yard, eating lunch in the cafeteria, playing basketball on the courts. The children in my class are now grown, as I am, and as widespread as dandelion seeds on the late summer breeze. I sometimes wonder where everyone is now, as I’ve only kept in touch with a handful of those I once shared my sweets with.
I would absolutely recommend the leap my parents took in moving abroad. I personally think it’s great for kids to have these experiences. In fact, if I had kids I’d make an effort to ensure they definitely had the chance to experience an ex-pat life and all that goes with it. To learn to take any opportunity with both hands and make the most of it. Cheesy though that sounds, I genuinely think I’d be a different person had we not moved around.
Now of course, I’m back in the UK. But my family are as widespread as my old classmates. In fact it doesn’t get much further away than Brisbane!
Although I can’t often get over there to see my parents and uncle it’s still a healthy reminder that there’s a whole wide world out there for the taking. Some people literally never leave their hometown, or they do leave but then they feel so lost when taken out of their comfort zone that they flee back at the first opportunity. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But that’s not me. I’m comfortable pretty much anywhere. In fact the more exotic the better.
Luckily so is my other half. He was born in England but grew up in Hong Kong, followed by a sort of whirlwind tour of Hawaii etc before moving back the the UK. Then attempting to move to the US of A in his early 20’s, coming back for a quick stint down in Surrey and then Manchester before ‘settling’ up North, here in Newcastle.
Just in time to meet me.
Naturally together we’re continuing our exploration of various different countries, some near, some far. Slowly closing the gap between what is currently ‘foreign’ and what feels like home.
Making sure we have plenty of stories to tell when we’re old and that we’ve tasted all the world has to offer, the things that, if we stayed sitting, writing and listening at our living room window, we’d never know even existed.
So it would appear it is a small world afterall.