In my twenties I had a semi-anthropological approach to relationships. I went out with people that really, I had very little in common with. I always liked them, (before if not after) and there was always some appeal, but they rarely shared a similar outlook to me and regularly lived outside London. I wanted to experience other ways of living. And this wasn’t because I had any particular urge to escape my own upbringing, I was just curious and dating different people gave me access, (in a non cynical way) to these different worlds.
I view my decision to move to Portland in much the same way. I don’t have a linear view of my existence, that well tapped trajectory of liberal middle class life in (North) London. I have always wanted to do different things. I want to live a different life, for a while, all the while knowing that at some point I will go back to the old place that is, and will always be home. Although ‘home’ to me now is less specific than London, and more nebulously the British Isles as captured by the shipping forecast (which sounds all the more atmospheric and other worldly, late at night, as you’re drifting off on the other side of the world).
Even this simple re-evaluation of what constitutes ‘home’ makes what we’re doing an interesting journey of discovery and um, self-discovery. London is somewhere I love, of course, and that has for most of my life been home and yet I’ve always wanted, since I was a child, to experience life somewhere else, to turn everything on it’s head and start something new. Now that I’ve done it, made that leap, I think it’s had a profound impact on how I view place and space and distance. Before I left London moving to the other side of London felt like an impossibility, ‘too far’, ‘too different’, ‘not home’, ‘too far from friends, family’ and the idea would once again be dismissed. Now that we’ve moved to the other side of the world I feel the scope of my existence shifting outwardly in immeasurable ways.