Wednesday, 13 July 2016

There's No Place Like Home...But Where Is That?

Last week, my family & I headed off on a trip to Liverpool to visit my Mum & Dad for a while.

It's a road trip we've taken many times before since I made the move from Liverpool to Devon almost 9 years ago.

9 seems impossible that it's been that long since I left Liverpool behind, 9 years sounds like such a long time but you'd think after that amount of time that Devon would feel like home to doesn't.

I moved to Devon after spending my childhood visiting the English Riviera every year on holiday, and yet I still feel like a tourist here even now.
Perhaps it's because I've lived a somewhat nomadic lifestyle since upping sticks and heading to Devon - over the course of the 9 years I've lived in 5 different homes...across 3 different cities and towns all very far removed from each other on many levels.

It's only been just over a year since we moved to our current home, which is in a new town and a new area of perhaps it's not so strange that it doesn't quite feel like home yet.
I'm terrible at mingling with people and I avoid many social situations like the plague, so I have yet to actually make any friends in town - I don't really know anybody other than a particularly friendly neighbour a few doors away who pops in for a coffee and to see the children once every few weeks, and our next door neighbours to say hello to.
In my head, I guess I've still always thought of Liverpool as home.

But whilst we were travelling there last week, as we neared the city - Jon said to me in passing "Do you feel better now you're getting closer to home?"

And I honestly had to stop and think for a moment..."Hang on....where is home?"

And if I'm honest, I'm still not sure that I know the answer to that question.

Devon is where I live of's where 2 of my 3 children were born, its where we've always intended to stay, it's where Jon & I met and really it's where i've lived almost all of my adult life - I didn't leave my parents home until 25 and I headed straight to Devon, so I have never lived as an adult anywhere else.

But Liverpool is where most of my family is, where my roots are and - in many ways - where my heart lies.

I love the sense of familiarity I feel walking the streets of Liverpool even 9 years after leaving it behind, I love the familiar sound of the accents around me that remind me I'm at home, I love the busy hustle bustle of the city life...but it's a city which has so much heart and soul to it unlike so many's a calm kind of busy if that makes any sense at all...or it is to me at least.

 I find comfort in it's chaos. I find peace in its pandemonium.

I make no secret of how I struggle with anxiety in my day to day life, but being in Liverpool last week - for whatever reason - I didn't feel so anxious as I usually do.

I felt calmer on the whole, I enjoyed myself and lived in the moment more.

And it made me wonder...if this is where I feel calmer and where I enjoy life most, should we really be living somewhere else?

Or if I was to move back home, would those problems just follow me back anyway?

There's no denying that there is so much to do in Liverpool - for the children and for me.
For the children there are bigger and better play centres, museums, parks and all sorts of other fun days out within very easy reach - there's a lot of life to Liverpool for the young ones, a lot of fun to be had and so much to see and do - all of the big attractions come to Liverpool, all of the big shows, etc. In little old Devon the play centres are little more than a  cafe with some soft play equipment, and the big shows and tours  - Disney On Ice etc - seem to stop dead at Cardiff...nothing ever seems to travel any further down the country.

For me, there is the freedom to get out and do more in Liverpool - we'd have grandparents nearby to babysit every now and then, and I know people here, I have people I could socialise and be active with without having the need to go through the anxiety of mingling with new people and making new friends - there are so many exercise classes here that I'd love to go to - Clubbercise and such, things which just don't exist in the little part of Devon I live in and likely won't reach us for ages! And even if they did - who would I go with?!

But then Devon has it plus points too - we're so spoiled for nature and beautiful beaches right on our doorstep, and isn't it lovely for the children to grow up as beach babies...spending days after school out on the shore. Doesn't that sound an idyllic childhood?

And that slow pace of life brings it's own attractions too - there are few safer places to live than Devon when you look at the statistics, the crime rates are so much lower, and there somehow seems more of an innocence here...

But who's to say which area is the best for all of us?

Is home where I hang my hat? Or is home where the heart is?

And if you don't feel like you really know where home is at all, how are you supposed to know where you belong?

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  1. I guess home is wherever you make it hun. You can't spend too much time looking for it, just make it wherever you feel comfortable :) In my opinion, it sounds like you swaying towards Liverpool... And then you could always have getaways to the beauty spots of Devon. Sounds idyllic to me :D

  2. Heartfelt post - totally understand how you're feeling, my husband and I moved from Manchester to Brighton nearly five years ago. We love the city and our children were born here, but it's only within the last year it's begun to feel like home. Buying a house and preparing for my eldest to go to school have helped, I guess? And developing a strong network of friends (most met with the kiddies). Manchester will always be homely, both our parents still live there - but Brighton is my family's home and where we've chosen to put our roots.

    What fills your heart with joy, is it the hustle and bustle of a city or the stillness of beautiful countryside? What are your hopes and dreams for your family? What opportunities will your boys have in the future. Perhaps starting here will lead you to where your heart wants to be xxx

  3. Like you I have lived away from my parental home town - it's tough sometimes. But the one place that felt like home when I lived there was London. I still think of it as home now. Birmingham will never be home, even though I own my house there! Maybe some places get under your skin more than others... #kcacols

  4. I thought about this a lot recently, as I lived in Kent for 18 years, then moved to Swansea where I've lived ever since. Swansea is definitely my home, it's where I've built my life with my husband and children, but I still talk about 'going home' when I visit Kent! I think 'home' can be more than one place, and is often linked to the people who are there rather than the place itself. x #KCACOLS

  5. It's a hard one isn't it, I LOVE Liverpool, the people and the culture but Devon looks dreamy. I think home is being close to those you love but also what you make of it. We are chatting about a possible move, maybe in a year. Write a bit list of pros and cons and maybe do a little test like a holiday in Liverpool so you can compare? x

  6. this really resonates with me because I didn't feel like my "home" was my home until I had my son. ive found just appreciating what I have around me helps :) similar to you with the pros and cons of being in Devon vs Liverpool :) Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday :)

  7. Lovely post, I feel exactly the whole family are from Herefordshire..and there is a lot of them, I miss the hills and the farms and all of them but I too got lured by the South West and lived in Plymouth for 5 years and now Exeter..I couldn't be without the sea now or the moors but I am currently wondering where I should be stay here where my heart is or move to the shire where my roots are..its hard when you have two homes!x #KCACOLS

  8. I can relate to this so much - we live in Brighton but the family are in Surrey and although it's not far, I definitely feel calmer when we can visit for a few days. I think it's really hard being far from your family and often I feel like here is just somewhere I live. Fab post xx #pocolo

  9. It's never easy when you don't leave close to your family. But it's a choice. Such a good idea for a post. I am sure many people feel like you. Frenchie Mummy with #KCACOLS

  10. Ah what a dilemma, but not a bad one to have. Although the drive must be long. I say home is wherever you're happiest, but that's for you to work out. Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo

  11. You've written exactly how I feel, having moved from East Anglia to Yorkshire eight years ago. I've always pined for 'home' and wondered if I should move back. I've come to the conclusion that they can both be 'home' and that Suffolk will always be there for me to visit when I need to.


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