The Unlikely Bookworm

The LA Edit: On not knowing where home is anymore

LA

I suppose hitting breaking point was inevitable. This year has been nothing if not a series of crushing lows, followed by surface-level highs; a comped night in a five star hotel; a sunrise on a beach with my sister, the type of Instagrammable travel that many could only ever dream of; the footloose freedom that unemployment affords me – undoubtedly coveted by those tied to full time jobs, mortgages and unruly children.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how life can look from the outside? Our presumptions and beliefs on what constitutes an enviable existence. That should someone’s social shares feature sunshine and travel and endless sweeps of sandy beaches, it’s fair to conclude that all is dandy in their world.

And yet, of course, it often isn’t. Much of 2017 has been a succession of impossible decisions, regrets, if-onlys and blind faith that things will turn out ok, despite what seems like endless obstacles. I’ve been broke beyond my wildest nightmares, exhausted by the lengths I’ve gone to in order to navigate the Australian visa system, disillusioned by LA, and living out of a suitcase has taken its toll. Yet despite it all, the ups and the downs and the stresses and the strains, never once did I doubt that Bondi was my home; that my future was on the sunny shores of Australia.

LA

Until, one day, I did. I’ve struggled to settle in LA; to find my feet in a city so relentless and widespread, and a series of events led to a last minute trip back to the UK.  I arrived at the beginning of the week on the sort of autumnal day that reminded me how much I love this time of year; the turning of the leaves, the bright blue skies, the sharp bite of wind. I met up with one of my cousins yesterday for a drink on the bustling street I used to live on in London; a place where I have nothing but fond memories, and as I filled him in on the past nine months; my three months in Bali, my sojourn in LA and life back in Bondi, he asked me where I actually considered I lived. And for the first time in the duration of the past two turbulent years, I didn’t know. All of a sudden I had second thoughts over where I truly count as home, and whether pursuing a dream of life down under is truly worth it all.

The past few days, despite being endlessly busy, have been  my very favourite kind; bike rides along the canal, autumn walks and cosy catch-ups and bottles of bubbles with friends in London. I find myself perusing the Guardian jobs website, wondering whether to apply for the jobs I’ve seen – jobs where visas wouldn’t be an issue and I could get back into a career I love. I think about where I might live if I came back, the friends and family I could see, the weekend trips to Europe I could take; the money I could make.

Saying goodbye to London is never easy, but it’s usually laced with excitement at returning to Australia. Yet for the very first time, I’m no longer sure I want to go back.

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12 Comments

  1. Posted 7th October 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Sometimes it’s hard to just make a decision! Exciting to say goodbye to London and have a new adventure!

    • Lucy
      Posted 7th October 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for stopping by Lisanne – decision making can be very hard indeed – but good to remember to look at it like a new adventure as you’ve suggested! xx

  2. Posted 8th October 2017 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    I feel you! I’ve lived in Germany for so long, when I go home it feels like a holiday. To me, home is where your stuff and heart is, and yes that can be two places!

    • Lucy
      Posted 8th October 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      My heart definitely is in two places, and I think that’s where the difficulty lies – when I’m in Sydney that feels like home, but being back in the UK currently I feel like I never want to leave! xo

  3. Posted 8th October 2017 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Dear Lucy,
    I am an expat too. Being German and living in Tokyo for two and a half years now.
    What I found is even if it is sometimes hard living so far away from friends and family and handling cultural differences at my new home, it only works out if you have some real reason to be where you are.
    For me, that reason is my boyfriend. I hope you will find your reason. And if you don’t it isn’t a bad thing to just return to your roots, going back home to friends and family. The place where you can truly feel like you belong.
    I hope it will all work out for you.
    Lena

    • Lucy
      Posted 8th October 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Thanks for stopping by lena, and for your lovely message. I have so many reasons to be in Australia – the lifestyle, the weather and my lovely boyfriend, but I find it gets increasingly hard every time I go home to leave! I suppose we should count ourselves as lucky to have people we love in two places! xo

  4. Posted 8th October 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Wow, this is exactly what i am dealing with. I have lived in London and would love to return. I just got back from 9 months abroad in Vancouver/The USA on a working holiday, and now I am back in Oz. I have no idea where I want to be, I am starting to work out a base here but i still haven’t given up on the idea that I will end up elsewhere. A true crisis of faith girl. I feel it. I hope you find the clarity I am searching for too.

    • Lucy
      Posted 8th October 2017 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Toni! It’s definitely a tricky time – give me a shout if you’re ever in Sydney. I hope you figure things out as painlessly as possible xo

  5. Posted 9th October 2017 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    I so resonate with this. Not feeling like you have a home or a place you belong is really tough. And you’re right, life isn’t always as peachy as social media portrays. For any of us. I hope you find your home soon, wherever that may be.

    • Lucy
      Posted 9th October 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Thank-you Sasha! xo

  6. Steph
    Posted 9th October 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I can relate to this post so much!! I have always struggled with the concept of home because I move around so much. The more you leave, the less home feels like ‘home’, yet I haven’t really connected to a new space or place that feels like “home” either. It is definitely a part of travel no one talks about but glad I’m not the only one <3

    • Lucy
      Posted 9th October 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for stopping by Steph – always nice to know there are other people in the same boat! xo

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  • lucy Welcome! I’m Lucy, a long-standing bookworm with a passion for literature and all things bookish. As a former Londoner and current Sydney-sider, this blog will offer you a window into the life of an expat, along with weekly book reviews, travel features and blogging tips, all written lovingly from my bedroom in Bondi. Read More

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