As the rain drizzles down my window pane I sigh and moan, yet another dreary day, permeated by dusty grey clouds, with no sunshine to be found. The leaves begin to fade away and the damp of winter threatens ever closer, as the trees are stripped bare from all decoration. The wind is laced with ice and biting cold, nibbling at me with vindictive vengeance, reminding me that summer is nothing but a distant memory. I pack away the floral swimsuits and the inflatable swans and drag out the sturdy wellington boots and the thick faux fur coats, summer is well and truly over. 2017 was meant to be my year of travel, but that dream dissipated into murky mush, within mere weeks. As I flick through catalogues that are emblazoned with vivid images of travelers on their vacations, I wonder what it would be like if I, Faded Spring would ever move abroad. Would I be home sick and long for the familiarity of my London community or would it be an adventure, where I would be too busy having fun to miss home?
You see I’m not the only one who sometimes dreams of swapping boots for sandals; according to HouseBuyFast, 70 % of Brits long to move abroad, with the US, Australia and Spain topping the list. But why on earth would we leave behind our childhood homes, for the promise of the unknown I hear you ask? As someone who is of Maderian heritage ( a Portuguese Island named Madeira) sunshine is in my blood and while I love living in London, sometimes I crave a getaway drizzled in the welcome blaze of the morning sun, with a refreshing mojito in one hand and a book in the other. There would be no pressures of a working environment here and the air would be still and quiet. Away from the office drones of the urban city, a harmonious silence would ring through the private desert island, with the only sound being a quiet tinkling of laughter that seems to be coming from the rustling leaves of the nearby palm trees.
As Brits, we are true to stereotype and obsessed with the weather; when the sun has decided to bless us with an appearance we take off all our clothes and leave our suits rumpled in a corner as we dance under the meager sun, and yet when the skies threaten to boil over with thunder and rain, we stay inside, wrapped up in cozy blankets as the open fire cackles and spits in the face of our gross misfortune. So it makes sense that when the true British winter kicks in, we pack up our suitcases and leave, begging to be doused in the glorious rays of the tropical sun, instead of returning home with damp shoes and a rain stained face. But would I Faded Spring, ever be bold and make that move abroad, away from the ones I hold dearest to my heart? The truth is despite my moans and groans about the British weather and my grumbling distaste about the biting cold, home really is where the heart is.
When I was growing up in the countryside, I always felt like something was missing. I felt alienated, I felt bored and I felt like I didn’t belong. Sure the tranquility of the countryside was a welcome balm to childhood woes and I loved the secret worlds that I found myself to be a part of, but the shoe ‘didn’t quite fit’. But something changed when I went to university, aged 17 and I found myself finding what I had been looking for my whole life, somewhere to call home. And that home was called London. Yet it wasn’t until a year and five months ago, aged 22 that I was able to call East London my forever home. I love the street art that decorates arches and narrow doorways, I love that no matter how alternative you are, there is a community for you and above all I love the whisper of a thousands foreign tongues, as they chatter among themselves, buzzing with anticipation.
But then there are the days where the depression sets in and I feel numb, desensitized to myself and those around me. It is when I am at my lowest that I imagine the palm trees swaying in the breeze and scented coconut oil lotion wafting around a wooden cabin that lies a-perch its sandy location. Its a beautiful thought and its easy to see why us Brits are so afflicted with the winter blues, with 1 in 3 people suffering with Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D). So naturally the promise of a far flung land, will often seem like the answer to all our prayers. For some its the adventure of a lifetime, travelling the world and always being on the go, living off the clothes on your back. But for others their dream of a lifetime abroad is a nightmare in disguise, as they realize that ‘too much of a good thing’ can ruin a good moment forever. For me personally I dream of travelling but I know that I am too attached to my ‘creature comforts’ to ever move abroad. I would miss the solitude of my room and its immediate connections to the outside world, I would miss the ever changing landscape of the East London world and miss watching it change before my eyes. Most of all, where else but London would I be able to eat food and experience culture from over 270 different nationalities?
When we long to move abroad, we are often craving a fresh start, away from the demons that watch our every move. And yet what we don’t take into account is how those demons will never go away unless we confront them head on. So while I would love to travel, I couldn’t see myself living abroad anytime soon. I might bemoan the weather and long for a vacation abroad, but when it comes to finding my ‘forever home’, to me there is nowhere more welcoming or accepting than London. But then there are others who do find happiness abroad, from Brits who move to Portugal like Cath from Battlemum, to American expats who find their home in the UK, a move abroad can sometimes be the change that you so craved for. But for me there is nowhere else that I would rather call home than London and that is a beautiful thought indeed.
Would You Ever Move Abroad? If So Where Would You Go?
Please note this is a collaborative post but all thoughts and research are my own and not affected by monetary compensation.
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