Apart from my naturally pasty skin and my unwavering love for tea and scones, I don’t really consider myself to be very British. That may sound a little silly seeing as I was born and have lived in the UK my entire life and my family tree is English for as far back as I know, but England is not somewhere that I have ever truly felt to be my home.
I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because my body craves constant sunshine instead of constant drizzle. Maybe I dream of a more chilled out life with less rushing and stressing. Or maybe it’s simply because I love exploring the world so much that nowhere will ever truly feel like home to me; I always want to be on the move and am always looking for a new adventure.
I do love London but (and I feel like a slight traitor for saying this) I’m not one of those people who think it is the most amazing city in the world. I love the copious amounts of fabulous restaurants with all sorts of different cuisines from around the world. I love that there is so much to do here that there are areas of the city I still haven’t explored despite having lived here my whole life. I love that it’s one of the most diverse places in the world and pretty much anything goes. But it’s also a city that I get incredibly annoyed with. People are always rushing everywhere and Londoners are just so rude. God forbid if you walk too slowly in front of someone. The public transport system is all but useless – being pushed up against someone’s sweaty armpit on a delayed train is not my idea of an enjoyable commute. And what is with the rainy summer?! (I’m allowed to say all these things because I am a Londoner and I will huff loudly at you if you walk slowly in front of me.)On our adventures around the world, we have rarely come across a place that we’ve disliked but there are a few special places that I have simply fallen in love with, where I could easily imagine living out the rest of our days together. I may be a city girl at heart and always like to have a whole host of things to see and do at my fingertips (I would get bored silly if I lived in the countryside or a small village with nothing to do) but I do prefer a more laid back and relaxed way of life than London offers which is probably why I was so easily smitten with Cape Town.
Africa is somewhere that made me feel at home and like I belonged from the moment I stepped foot on the continent but Cape Town is one of the places that really captured my heart. The chilled vibe that Africa is so famous for seeps through the city along with its culture, beautiful beaches, incredible mountains and one of the most gorgeous coastlines we’ve ever driven along. It’s a city that has everything and I would move there in a heartbeat.
Melbourne was the first place we tried an Airbnb experience which is probably why we felt so at home here. Our host treated us like long lost friends and we spent just over a week here being shown around the city, being taken to local markets and cooked amazing home cooked meals. To me, it felt like London just a hotter, more laid back London with amazing scenery not far away. Who wouldn’t love somewhere where you can have a BBQ and drink wine in the park every evening?! And AFL is way more entertaining than football!
Because I’m such a city girl I was quite surprised when we arrived in California’s little town of Carmel-by-the-Sea and I found myself never wanting to leave. Despite the extortionate house prices I could totally picture myself living here – sunny days spent by the beach, the prettiest cottages to live in, surrounding vineyards to drink our way through, and yet another gorgeous coastline to go off exploring. A relaxed life in flip flops and a colourful beach sunset every night would suit me just fine.
The place that has always felt most like home to me is Gibraltar, which is and always will be my home away from home. Since I was a little girl I have regularly visited this lovely little country at the southern tip of Spain to visit our family who live there and to get married. I have so many happy memories here and with the extremely friendly, safe and relaxed environment (plus all the sangria), this is the first place that I would think of if I was ever to move abroad.
So even though I may not feel like I totally belong in London, I know that there is a whole world out there just waiting to make me feel at home.
Where do you feel at home most in the world? Let me know in the comments below or at: