We’ve been back in England for a whole week now, and somehow it feels much longer. Probably because everything is still so familiar, and we’re perfectly at home here. The girls just walked through the door, and it’s as though they’d never left the place, and we’ve already seen a lot of our friends, who haven’t changed one bit. Well, not sure what I was expecting, but everything is reassuringly as I remember it! It’s a funny thing, moving to a different country and then coming back as a visitor… I have some experience of that feeling, of course, visiting Germany over the years while living in the UK, but I’d never been away for a whole year without even a flying visit.
The interesting thing is though, that unlike last year, when all I wanted was to be here and spend every minute with old friends, and enjoy the familiar and not think about my strange new life with all its challenges and “newness”, I’m much more relaxed this time, and just enjoy my time here, all the while thinking how nice it’s going to be when I get back “home”. Because that’s what California has become to me now, another home. I say another, because I now have three. I didn’t think I’d ever feel that way, and that it could be possible to feel at home in so many different places, but I’ve surprised myself. It’s a nice feeling. It’s an unsettling feeling as well, but I guess I’ve got used to that now, and can enjoy it for what it is! Someone said to me that the downside of living in various countries is that you can never be truly happy because you always miss something. And while I think that that’s probably very true (and am oh so familiar with pangs of homesickness), I am also determined not to let that be a negative thing, but rather simply a part of my experience, something that enhances my life rather than hinders it. Right now, I feel incredibly grateful and happy (ok, I’ve gone a little soppy American now).
I really look forward to tonight, catching up with some more lovely friends, and tomorrow, when we’re going to London, and to some more walks through my beloved, beautiful English countryside, soaking it all up. And next week, we’ll be on our way to Germany, and enjoy our time there. And then we’ll return to California, where our beautiful golden hills and our American friends are waiting for us.

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