JC Chats: London, The UK, NZ, The EU + Home
I’ve actually already written this post once, but it was the day of Brexit and it turned into a random, depressing rant, so we are going for round 2 a few days later, and hopefully a little more positive! The travel link up this month all centres around the theme of home, what home means to you, if you’ve moved, or where you’d like to live. I originally had a few ideas, but I feel in the short space of a few days, the world has shifted, and once again the meaning of home changes.
You see, I don’t think I have a traditional notion of home, I’ve never lived in one place for more than 7 years in a row, moving from the UK, to NZ, to the States, back to NZ, short stint in Aus and then back to London. For me, home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling. It’s a feeling of being safe, it’s a feeling of having those you love around you and being in a strong community. The place I’m in doesn’t necessarily make home to me, it’s instead those around us. We really can make home, anywhere, seriously if I came across one of those “cash for your house in Seattle” and I was in Seattle with another hearty place I wanted to move to, that would be my plan for the next day.
I love London, I really do, the sense of it, the feeling. But I’m so sad that as a result of a generally misinformed campaign, full of the wrong messages, all thriving on hate that we decided to leave the EU. I’m sad for all those whose concept of home will now change because of it, that suddenly the thought of getting up and moving to any of the 27 countries in the EU has now been pulled away, not only from me but from everyone. I’m equally sad that the awesome country of the UK may now shut up borders from a huge amount of skilled people looking for opportunity. That a huge amount of people who have made their home here, may no longer feel like they are welcome. The rise in hate since the end of the referendum has seriously shocked me, the stories literally bring a tear every time.
So where does feel like home now? I’m definitely more worried about the UK, about what will happen. But I don’t necessarily think NZ feels like home either. There was a reason I moved to the UK, to London, to experience things which I won’t be able to get down there at the bottom of the world, to value new things, to travel around Europe, to work in a giant of an economy and get a heap of really valuable career experience. And since moving here, I’ve built up a network of amazing people, including Paul who I love more than the world.
So yes, the UK has changed, home has changed, the feeling has changed. But I know that the community, that those things which make the UK and London great, that feeling, that vibe is still there. We are going to face a whole lot of uncertainty and change in the next few years, but the answer isn’t to run, isn’t to fracture that community anymore, the answer is to stay, to stick it out. To make all feel welcome, to assure those that this is and can still be home. That this beautiful little country really can be united and inclusive. To make sure that those that are spreading hate are drowned out by our voices. Without sounding cheesy, we really need to share the love.
And yes, maybe the answer one day will be to move, to set up home in another country. But I’m nowhere near ready for that. The UK is home, the EU is home, and I hope it will continue to feel like that for many more years to come.
Now, it’s time to stop before this turns into an emotional ramble.
Tell me, how do you feel about home post Brexit?
Other posts which have captured my feelings of Brexit:
We need to talk about Brexit – Life Outside London
As the dust settles – Mini Adventures
Heritage and Heartbreak – The Peppermint Pencil