View from the Ponte Vicchio – Firenze (Florence)

So, for the last week I’ve been having a wonderful break with one of my very best friends, Erin, in Italy.

You remember Erin right?! The New Yorker I met when I was living in Italy? Well she’s still here teaching English and I took the opportunity to fly out and chill with her for a week.

Whilst she was teaching, I caught up with old work colleagues, did some shopping in my old town, ran errands for her and wrote a couple of essays for my counselling course.

Of course, I also became Erin’s show and tell at one if her schools and did a question and answer session with varying degrees of success to students aged between 8 and 18.

What I wanted to talk to you briefly about today though, was that I was always harbouring a desire to move

From the Giardini Del Roses, Firenze (Florence)

back to Italy. I was only here for nine months so my Italian was ok, but certainly not fluent, and I didn’t spend a summer here. Both things I wanted to fix.

I thought coming back might reignite that desire or add fuel to the spark, but instead, to my surprise, it did the opposite.

I realised that, whilst I love it here (seriously – who doesn’t love gelato?!) I don’t actually want to live here again.

Now, why?!

Because, sometimes it doesn’t matter where you are if you’re at home in your own skin.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter where you are if you’re not at home in your own skin.

Sometimes, a sense of belonging is so much more important than beautiful surroundings and nice weather.

It’s taken me two and a half years of living in London for it to begin to feel like home, but that’s how I feel now. Not because I live there, but because my friends are there. They make it home.

The same reason I love Liverpool and Wales where I grew up. My family is there. My roots are there. A part of me will always live there.

Don’t think changing your environment will change you. If you need a change find, but be ready to face yourself and change whatever it is about yourself that you’re running away from – it will follow you wherever you go.

Have you moved to a different city of country? What did you learn about yourself by doing it?!