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:
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This post is part of the travel link up with Emma, Angie, Jessie and Polly.
27 thoughts on “At Home around the World”
I completely agree with you Ayla. While I love the rich history of the UK (and was born and grew up here), I don’t really consider any one place home. Although I have to admit, after a few years in London I do feel that it’s one of the best ‘base camps’ I’ve had to date! My whole blog is based on the premise that we can feel at home anywhere, but some of my favourite places include Peru, Slovenia, Canberra in Australia and The Gower in Wales. Really enjoyed your post – thanks for sharing!
Some fab places that you’ve felt at home! Would love to visit Slovenia soon especially as you seem to have loved it so much 🙂
Thanks Tanja 🙂
Aw, I love this post, Ayla! I think you and I are similar in that way – I also feel completely at ease and ‘at home’ while on the road. The travel destinations you highlighted (whoop Cape Town whoop!) are all beautiful, and I hope you get to do some more travels soon ❤
Of course Cape Town is in there! A lot of travellers seem to feel the same but at least it means we have plenty of places to call home around the world 🙂
I think that a relaxed life in flip flops and a colourful beach sunset would suit me fine too Ayla! This was such a lovely read 🙂 x
Thanks lovely! Doesn’t that just sound like the most perfect life 🙂
I would love to go to Carmel – my cousin lives in CA now and goes there regularly and loves it… Sounds awesome
Carmel is so so lovely. One of our favourite stops on our US road trip ❤
I think we must have similar taste. I fell in love with similar places…it’s that beachy, coastal vibe while still being city. Beautiful landscape and great food that that does it for me.
Yes, that’s exactly what it is! I need the whole buzzing city life with lots of things to do but also need a relaxed beach vibe. Glad you agree Angie!
I require plenty of sunshine myself so totally understand that one! Would love to visit Cape Town.
Cape Town is absolutely gorgeous so you should definitely visit. Sunshine always puts a smile on my face 🙂
I think you and I are very similar Ayla! Love this article 🙂
Thanks lovely! Glad you agree 🙂
It is so funny, because as a tourist in London I was totally oblivious of all the negative things you listed about London. I guess when you are visiting for a short period of time you concentrate so much on the positive (on the most part) plus you are limited in time to learn the true face of the city. The most wonderful thing is that you get a chance to travel and discover other places that feel like home! I felt at home when I arrived in Italy, there is something in the air that makes me utterly comfortable there. All the good Italian food doesn’t hurt either lol. I never thought I’d want to visit Africa, but after reading so many blogs raving about South Africa I really want to go one day! 🙂 xoxo, nano
I guess you don’t really notice things like that when you’re a tourist. There are probably negative parts to most places but I just fail to see them when I’m there on holiday! And the sunshine always helps too! Italy is my favourite place in Europe (and my favourite cuisine!) so I can totally relate to that. You should definitely visit South Africa. I have not heard a single person say anything but magic about the country after they visited 🙂
oooh big score for melbourne my town and AFL! 🙂
I couldn’t agree more! I do feel fairly at home here in the UK yet I don’t particularly enjoy living here! I am fond of all the green gardens and afternoon tea but apart from that… And London does my head in after about 10 minutes, you’re not the only one! I can’t understand why people want to live there but that’s just me. I wrote a post about why I want to go and live in Australia, so clearly I agree with you on many points!
Haha glad you agree Rachel! Afternoon tea is a bonus but it’s not enough to make me want to stay here forever!
I can see what you loved about Cape Town, the sea, the mountains, the cuisine, the people, the nature…especially on a rainy day like today!
Hey Ayla, I think you’ve perfectly summed up the traveller’s personality here and I’m sure so many people can relate to this post. I’m always amazed at how easily I feel like I can slip into everyday life in some places. I love everywhere I’ve been in South America and Mr A and I both agreed we could easily live in Japan for a year or so! Although I must admit, I do also love coming home – even if people are grumpy on the trains 😉 x
I just think that some people simply have a global soul!
I love all the different places you feel at home… and I agree London is not helping its cause with the summer thus far!
This is a lovely post Ayla! It took a few years but now, whenever I cross that border at Gretna I know that I am truly home. I may not have been born there but Scotland is my home. As a nomad it’s good to know I have that special place I can always comfortably return to.
I’ve found a second home in Finland . A place I keep returning to, maybe one day I’ll try living here. (I’ve spent more time here in Finland this year than I have in UK so far!)
We’re (oh my god big news!) moving to Sweden for the whole winter so maybe I’ll be adding a third country here next spring! Eek!