Over the past year, I have slept in eighteen different beds and/or couches. By the end of this month, the total will have increased to twenty. Now, I know what y’all are thinking, and please stop. (Maybe one week I’ll be brave enough to write THAT post, but until then… Hi Mum, Hi Dad!)
Right, back to my point. My point is that while some of these beds have been attached to hotels and Airbnbs during holidays, most have not. And that is because, without really realizing it, I’ve become somewhat of a nomad. Or, at least, a hell of a lot more nomad-y than at any other time in my life. Because up until July 2016, the thought of not having a fixed address, my own sanctuary – the same place for each and every single night of the year – would have turned my stomach, would have sent hot and cold shivers down my spine. In fact, rather than dream about my wedding day, the only dream that I had when it came to life’s conventions, was owning my own house. And when that dream became a reality in March 2014, the euphoria I felt on learning my bid had been accepted by the owner of a delightful terrace house in one of Melbourne’s (best) inner northern suburbs, it really was everything I had imagined it would be.
However, like with most of the learning and growing and adventuring I’ve been doing while north (hemisphere) side, it turns out, I didn’t know myself, or what makes me happy, as much as I thought I did. Turns out, I’m quite partial to not having a fixed address.
With the aid of a few amazingly generous friends (and one in particular – shout-out to my Stokey flatmate/life saver), I am currently unencumbered with the restrains of a tenancy agreement. The freedom that this has brought me has been an unexpected, yet delightful, by product of my London life.
Such freedom has allowed me to explore different parts of the city, to get to know London so much more than I ever did when I first lived here and only stayed in one location. This freedom has also allowed me to explore the idea of relocating to entirely different cities, which, yes, has taken a slight backseat now that I’ve had to go out and, well, earn a regular income. But, more importantly, having the freedom of no fixed address has meant that I can begin planning a visit home for longer than a few weeks.
To some, and especially my old self, the thought of living out of a suitcase, or having to learn the ins and outs of a new abode – I mean, how the hell does the front lock work? What delightful quirks will I find hidden in the shower stall? Where, exactly, does the rubbish go? – is something akin to torture. But actually, I have enjoyed it so much more than I ever thought I would.
As I write this post, I am seated in the living room of a flat while a friend holidays State-side. For two weeks I have a modern apartment all to myself, in the amazingly convenient location of King’s Cross – I CAN WALK TO WORK! – with a view of St Paul’s to keep me company as I write. A situation I never thought I’d be allowed, living on a bank balance as woeful as mine. But such is the joy of calling home wherever you lay your head.
|St Paul's with a cameo by the Shard|
It still surprises me that I can be learning so much about myself, about how I want to live and about what makes me happy, one year on from moving to the UK.
I only hope it continues.