Thursday, July 30, 2015

Home is where exactly?

It began on a flight to London in June 2010. It was an early morning. I was on the way to a job interview and was pretty nervous. The woman sitting beside me was telling me about her holiday plans and how she was going to see friends around the UK over the following few weeks. Rosalind was born in the UK, had married an American man and become an American citizen. She recounted how her husband had died and that her sense of ‘home’ had changed. Aside from seeing friends, she was also travelling to try and get a British passport. She hadn’t renewed it when it last ran out and it was tricky to try and get it resolved without a visit to London. She was worried that it was going to be a difficult process to get a British passport again. Quite emotional, Rosalind was worried that she wouldn’t actually be able to move back to her original home. It was such a sad story to hear. I wonder if she made her way back home eventually.
It chimed with me, because I had always wanted to work in London after spending time here during my university days. I was thinking about what the move would mean, how my life would change and wondering if I would move back to Ireland. It has been an interesting journey, where you often feel between two stools – keeping an eye on what’s happening in London and the UK and another eye on Ireland and what’s going on at ‘home’. I think you adapt to that change over time. The airport is my version of the train from Dublin to Limerick.
So six months became a year, and a year has become five. I’ve met amazing people and made fantastic friends along the way. And at thirty three, with a ‘h’, I’m not a homeowner - and I’m not sure I ever will be. That’s a strange thing for an Irish person to say. We’re all about buying houses. Especially if you’re in your thirties. Home, to me, is where the important people in my life are - which is Ireland and London and further afield.

Meanwhile, I’m moving flat again this weekend, officially back to east London. As we’d say at home, I’ll basically be living “in town”. I’ll be able to walk to Liverpool Street station and cycle to work.

So happy anniversary London. Here’s to the next chapter!