When I was 4, my parents moved from the gleaming spires of Oxford to the, um, to…well, Bristol.
When I was 6, I found myself as the only girl in my school year, so the decision was made to follow my very bestest friend from the village primary to the local catholic school, adjusting from the teachings of Mrs Cummings to those of Sister Agnes at the Sacred Heart.
When I was 11, I graduated to an all-girls private school, a 1 hour commute from home, and then, at 16, I moved back to the local comprehensive, literally next door to mum and dad’s house. Two years later, I left home for the flat plains and cheap beers of Norwich to start my biology degree at the University of East Anglia – 240 miles away.
Without meaning to sound like an episode of “This is Your Life”, I’m going to continue with the geography of my past. So…in 1998, I spent an amazing year at beautiful Lund University, Sweden, as part of my degree.
In ’98, back I flew to Naaaaarch, to find myself in the “International Students” halls of residence, after my friends and peers, who hadn’t chosen a year abroad, graduated and moved on with their exciting new lives.
Post-graduation, I moved to tacky, pebbly, beautiful, bohemian Brighton, to start my career in Clinical Research. 2 years after that, following a 4-month stint in dirty ole’ London, I decided that I was far too young to settle down, and upped sticks to Sydney, Australia! Itchy feet? Oh yes, I practically have chicken pox on my soles!
I’m nearly there, I promise!
So yes, three and a half years after arriving in the Land Down Under, I met my husband…and 6 months later we were on a plane back the UK. I was 29 years old, and that was the 11th big move of my life.
I’m well aware that military families have many more stamps on their passports; that the children of soldiers, pilots and oil tycoons have far more exciting tales to tell and challenges to face.
My point, in my usual rambling way, was merely that you would have thought, after all this “experience”, that I would have this relocation thing down pat. That I would be a pro at making new friends, discovering social groups and exploring unfamiliar cities.
Well, I thought so, at least.
But, you know? This life, this family, these little people…they make things a little trickier:
I can’t go to the bar, to drink beer and loosen the ole tongue (and inhibitions) with these guys in tow. My visa states that I can’t go to work and make chit-chat over the water cooler with potential pals. With my husband working late most nights, and my children up at the crack of dawn, I can’t even attempt to bond with the Crossfit Crazies.
Much as I adore my two perfect Pepperlings, and much as I love Seattle, the Dream House and all that wonderful Washington has to offer, I think it’s time that I admit the truth. It’s bloody lonely sometimes!
They say that it takes 2 years before a place starts to feel like “home”. So. One down, one to go. Looking at the photo below, I know it feels like just yesterday. So here’s hoping that 10/10/13 feels like, well….tomorrow. And, like home!