I’ve been in the UK for just over five weeks now, so I’m just over halfway through my trip. In two and a half weeks I’ll be leaving the UK for a couple of weeks in Canada before heading home to New Zealand.
I’m having the BEST time. I’m seeing all the people and doing all the things. Of course, this is exhausting (and all my own doing) but LOVELY. You know what I like the best? All the hugs. The proper, come-here-and-squeeze-me-hard-I’ve-missed-you hugs. I feel loved.
I’m lucky to have a lot of wonderful people in my life, and I’m stoked to have the time to meet up with most of them. To catch up with what’s gone on the last few years, chew the fat and reconnect. And laugh. Oh my word, have I laughed and laughed and laughed.
It’s weird being back. Everything in Lincolnshire was so familiar, it was like I’d only just left. Cheltenham is different, and it feels like AGES since I’ve lived here. My memories are a little hazier, and the town that little bit more unfamiliar. Likely because I only have 3 years worth of memories compared to 30, but still, it’s disconcerting. I loved my time in Cheltenham, and I adored my life here. This was the life I gave up to move to New Zealand, and I felt the loss for a number of years, so to feel a bit of a disconnect was a surprise.
New Zealand seems a little further away now, and the UK becoming more usual each day, but I don’t feel a pull to come back to live. NZ is home now. Ben sends me pictures of the mountains, and I’m a little homesick for my life there. I’m excited to see him again, to see what happens. Starting a relationship over video calls and messages isn’t ideal, and I’m impatient.
Covid has affected everyone in so many different ways, and conversations have gone beyond ‘what you been up to the past few years?’ Priorities have changed, conversations are deeper, the hard stuff is up for sharing. I’m feeling very enriched, grateful and connected. I fucking hate this saying, but it feels right: ‘my cup is full’.
I’m also absolutely LOVING: old buildings, pints of beer, the green English countryside, walking everywhere, sunshine, not having to work, halloumi.
Not loving: traffic, roundabouts, crowds of people, litter, not being able to sleep past 7am (even when I go to bed at 1am), living out of a bag.