A Travellerspoint blog

Still Overseas. Still Outside.

Is this home?

sunny 14 °C

Night fall covers me, but you know the plans I'm making. Still overseas, could it be the whole world opening wide?
- View to a Kill, Duran Duran

It has been a busy few weekends past. First was my trip to the Paralympics, and then, with a friend from Canada in town, two weekends of day trips to Hampton Court Palace, Brighton, Canterbury and... um, this is a little embarrassing... The Harry Potter Studio tour. Actually, Harry Potter was surprisingly good, even though I haven’t read any of the books and only seen the first of the films.

Award winning beach, Brighton

Award winning beach, Brighton


Rose Garden, Hampton Court Palace

Rose Garden, Hampton Court Palace


Canterbury Cathedral at Night

Canterbury Cathedral at Night


Dumbledore's office on the Harry Potter Studio Tour

Dumbledore's office on the Harry Potter Studio Tour

Given all this activity, I decided to take it easy this weekend. I slept in, did some laundry and as a final activity got my haircut. I planned to grab some take-out chicken from Nando’s and head home for a Saturday night in.

My haircut finished up about 16:30, so a little early for dinner. Instead, I popped into a local pub to catch the end of the Saturday Premier League football. I had a couple of pints, watched the football scores come in and surfed the internet on my phone.

18:00 rolled around, so I decided to head home. Wandering out of the pub, a thought flashed into my mind. “I am enjoying visiting this country,” I thought, “I will miss it when I go home.”

I stopped dead in my tracks. “Wait a second,” I thought. “I am not a visitor here. I live here, just around the corner.”

It’s not the first time I have caught myself thinking like that. Thinking that this is just a temporary situation - a holiday away or a longer-term business trip. I still, after four years living here, sometimes find myself surprised at the fact that I really am living abroad.

N001_Picca..t_night.jpg

The truth is, I don’t really feel like I am British. Certainly, legally I am not - not at least for another couple of years.

However, at some point I would have thought I would start to feel like I belong here.

This isn’t an externally driven feeling. The people of London who I know have never made me feel like I wasn’t welcome. I feel accepted here. I feel like I have a life here. I feel like people are happy to have me here.

But I don’t feel natural here. I don’t feel far outside, but I do feel like an outsider, just always outside of the circle of those who have lived in the UK all their lives.

I wonder if that ever goes away?

Posted by GregW 23.09.2012 02:17 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged migration_experiences migration_philosophy

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