For months I have been waiting for time to pass, for my long days of academic work to be over and to finally be able to come home on holiday. A proper one, where I can do whatever I want for once without trying to juggle uni commitments with time to relax and seeing friends and family.
It always feels special to come home again, no matter how many times I have taken this trip in the past two years already. There are all the familiar smells of my house and of the neighbourhood where I grew up, of washing powder and sheets, of fresh air and concrete. There are the familiar sounds of each family member’s unique steps on the stairs, the creaking of the wooden floor and the well known sound of doors opening and closing around the house. And there is a quiet that has nothing to do with sound and more to do with the feeling of coming home to a place that is known and safe and has a timeless quality, a feeling of something standing still, even as the house, the neighbourhood landscape and the people around me change. Even with these inevitable changes some things always remain the same.
And then there are all the new experiences I get everytime I come home. Like when I went to Copenhagen on Monday to see my friend Claudia from London, who has recently moved to Copenhagen. We did what we always do in London, we sit down to drink tea, we talk endlessly about our shared experiences of living between different countries and we find places to walk together on streets and in parks until its time to go home. That experience was both familiar and new. Familiar because its what we often end up doing when we are together and new because it was in a different place. Claudia has until now mostly belonged to my London world but now she is also a part of my world when I’m at home.
As time goes by it feels like my life in London and the one I have at home becomes more and more blended and I really like that. It makes me feel like no matter where I am, I’m not a stranger and I have a life in that place. I love living in this kind of duality between old and new. between people and places and between cosyness and excitement. It makes me notice and appreciate all those little things that makes my life feel really special.